My “New” Year Starts in February

photo of a ground hog on a black background pasted on a purple wall

Well, Happy (belated) Ground Hog’s Day, Imbolc, and Lunar New Year! This time of year naturally feels more like a new year to me. Ever since I was little, I’ve had some feelings about the (Gregorian) New Year. It didn’t feel right. No particular reason, it just didn’t. But I really wanted it to feel right. The proposed freshness, possibility, dare I say the newness? Why wasn’t I excited like other people? Why did I feel “off” about the excitement, action, and possibility? I am now supposing this wasn’t my “new year.” 2022 is the first year that I’ve allowed January be a transition month which doesn’t fit into that New Year/new calendar pattern.

However, transitions are necessary and okay despite not being neat and tidy. Rude, I know.

The end of December and the beginning of January find some of us slowly moving out of the holidays or seeing collective shifts of movement. For example, celebrators of Christmas keep their trees and lights up from just before American Thanksgiving to mid-January, depending on what Christian sect or traditions they adhere to as well as their level of motivation. No judgement, especially given these past two years. Believe me. But as the noisiness of all the resolutions and “New Year” come marching in around the end of December, mingling with the dwindling or gearing up of holidays and celebrations, it just felt neither here nor there for me. Especially since I didn’t feel all resolution-y and “new.” I also have a propensity for being done with the holidays and celebrating come the January 1st and that often leaves me with an empty feeling.

Although, this year was a strange exception. I still have pumpkins and poinsettias lingering on my front porch, so there’s that. For some reason I was okay with the lingering “holidays,” but I digress.

For 2022, I officially declare February my personal New Year and February 2nd The Day. The day for what, exactly, I haven’t decided. It’s just “The Day.” Maybe it’s the day I finally decided to shift and move away from some things I’ve been subconsciously clinging to. Check in with me next year and we’ll see how it all pans out for me.

I’ve always been partial to Ground Hog’s Day because it’s just an odd event. I’ve also joked that I was going to send out Ground Hog’s Day cards–even more frequently and seriously of late because I was so tardy getting out Christmas and then New Year’s cards, if any. New flash–I haven’t sent anything out for a couple of years which is bad in my book. I actually set out to send cards this year but had technical glitch. I’m considering sending belated Ground Hog’s Day cards this year and doing it henceforth–on time, that is. At any rate, add to the Ground Hog’s Day cards an extra Advent calendar that somehow escaped the Christmas festivities, mixed with these February feelings of renewal, and I now have my own new tradition. I feel better about gently moving through the end of December and most of January at my own pace and without all the social pressure to send Christmas cards and make resolutions and not feel melancholy about anything to boot. Could I just be a curmudgeon and not do these things? Yes, but I feel guilty and what fun is that? I’d rather be a scofflaw and create my own.

It’s like sliding that piece of paper right back to the “manager” at the car dealership:

I see your bluff and this is what I’m willing to do. It’s happening–Ground Hog’s Day. I celebrate you, but I’m also doing my own thing.

Although in real life I’m much less cantankerous about it and I’m not dismissing the religious aspects of this season (any of them), despite what I’m going to tell you in the next paragraph. Also, I’m just not on top of the Christmas card situation or its alternative, New Year’s cards.

My father’s side of the family is very German, so advent calendars were a big deal and I always looked forward to having them (chocolate aside). I did one in December and now I’m going through another one in February–it’s a Baby Yoda advent calendar. I know. I know! It’s one that I bought for Chief and he didn’t use. The boys and I opened ours. (If you remember from the last Tomfoolery “Grogu” gifted me a calendar that I happily used.) Chief’s won’t keep until next year and it seemed kind of greedy and gluttonous to open all the doors and eat all the candy in one sitting at December’s end. Totally considered it. I’m not beyond it, but it did give me an irreverent pause and hot guilt I couldn’t shake. I actually looked around and above me when I thought about eating it all at once. With this said, in the vein of the “mingling” January, I’m doing my own mixture of celebrations: Lunar, seasonal, and repurposed. (See how I’ve justified doing the calendar in February by doing it daily…at least it’s not a religious-themed calendar.)

So as this January moved along, I felt more at ease with not being the super New Year gal or being the one without resolutions, etc. I also felt a shift within me. I was finally okay with not flowing down the river with the rest of the folk and was okay with doing my own thing. I’m allowing the natural evolution that comes with a new cycle.

Physically and mentally, February 2022 has felt like a New Year and a kind of rebirth for me, so I declare it. Since “last year” felt like the super mutant year and there was a lot of doubt as well as consternation and dismay, this declaration feels good. I’m running with it, whether or not Phil sees his shadow.

Give me a shoutout! 🤠

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