My fiancée and I had an interesting debate recently as to which month we think is the worst. While I argued in favour of November, she said January is her least favourite month of the year.
At first, I took some offence to that, as my birthday is in January. However, she made some solid points as to why our current month is the worst of the 12.
She noted January comes immediately after the holiday season, when many people indulge more than usual. I confess my eyes have sometimes bulged in early January, upon noticing a much-larger number than usual when I step on the weight scale. The start of a new year often means it's time to exercise, diet and watch more carefully what we eat.
My fiancée’s second point against January was the reduced bank accounts many people experience after a December of shopping and splurging on Christmas gifts for friends and family – something that might have been compounded more than usual this year, due to the pandemic.
There’s also no long weekend to look forward to in January, apart from the statutory holiday of Jan. 1. After New Year’s, the next long weekend – Family Day in mid-February – is at least six weeks away. For people who enjoy some respite over the holidays from the usual hustle and bustle of work, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things.
And let’s not forget about the climate. According to weatherandclimate.com, January is the coldest month of the year in Alberta, with an average temperature of -6 C.
Speaking of climate, my selection of November as the worst month is because that is the time of year when we, as Canadians, have to accept the fact summer and fall are truly over. November is when we must mentally prepare to endure at least five to six months of winter weather.
It’s also the month that sees daylight savings time occur, which shortens the amount of sunlight we receive in the afternoon. I always dislike driving home from work at 5 p.m. and it’s already dark outside.
As our argument progressed, we realized we were being pretty pessimistic. Despite the negatives of these two months, they can still be enjoyed with a positive mindset. For instance, this January, we have already enjoyed various outdoor winter activities, such as sledding, snowshoeing and ice-skating.
Prior to 2019, I used to really dislike winter, and would hibernate indoors as much as possible. I saw winter as a time of year that I would seriously consider skipping if I had the power to. But since then, I’ve tried my best to embrace everything this season – including the cold, dark days of November and January – has to offer.