25 things to be happy about in January

A guest post from Barbara Ann Kipfer, author of 14,000 things to be happy about (1990, 2007)

January is a beginning, time-wise, but it is also smack-dab in the middle of winter—a happy thing for some, not so much for others.  The “big” holidays are over, which is also a relief for some and a downer for others (bills to pay, decorations to put away, etc.).  But just like any other month or time of year, you can train yourself to notice the fun and funky details of life, the little things that say you are awake, aware, and alive.

In case you didn’t know, today is Blue Monday, a made-up date for “celebrating” the most depressing day of the year. The date was determined by an elaborate formula involving weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and the feeling of a need to take action.

To that, I say “Huh?”

We can choose to accept and appreciate the weather conditions, vow not to spend so much money when the holidays roll around again, eschew New Year’s resolutions, and find inspiration to learn and do things no matter what all the outside circumstances are.  After all, happiness is in your head, so turn it on and enjoy! With that in mind, here are 25 things to be happy about for January:

  1. replacing all the smoke detector batteries on the first of the year
  2. every horse having the same birthday, January 1
  3. the one leaf still clinging to the tree
  4. setting five goals for the year on January 1 and achieving them by the next December 31
  5. the symbols of January: carnation, snowdrop, and garnet
  6. enjoying the canned fresh fruit from the previous summer
  7. soaking in an Icelandic hot spring in January
  8. buying a bicycle in January
  9. shimmering rooftops under the January moon
  10. the slow curl of smoke from the chimney
  11. the wind-whistling days of the month
  12. eating fresh corn on the cob in January
  13. a Hawaiian luau
  14. the blinding whiteness of mid-January afternoon
  15. walking through a warm greenhouse on a dreary day
  16. Knowing January is just a rest stop on the walk toward spring
  17. a fireplace fire
  18. a January night that engraves itself on your senses
  19. skim ice, the thin layer of ice on the water surface
  20. looking left at the past year and right toward the new
  21. being a homebody
  22. plowing through thick novels
  23. shopping at the annual January sales
  24. trying new recipes for savory soups and yeasty breads
  25. celebrating Common Sense Day, January 29, by doing something nonsensical

For more things to be happy about, check out Barbara’s website:

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