Positive Pause – 9th January, 2017 – Who Said January is a Long Month?

who said january is a long monthWho said January is a long month? It is in fact no longer than March, May, July, August, September and October which all also have 31 days. Who came up with the notions, “thank God it’s Friday” or “the Monday blues” or, on a Wednesday, “we are halfway there”? I’d love to know exactly where we are halfway to? Where is it people are so busy trying to get to? All of these common and conditioned phrases trip off our tongues without much thought; they carry about as much weight as a passing comment about the weather and yet the subtext they give is that we are fundamentally “wishing our lives away”.

Ask someone with six months to live if “January is a long month” or “isn’t it great that it’s Friday at last” and they may well express a very different opinion.

Choosing to embrace January with a positive mind-set is the beginning of being able to let go of such preconceived and out-of-date ideas that ignore the wonder and joy that each precious day has to offer.

This week, settling back into my busy life in Dublin, many well-intentioned people have asked me, “How are you coping?” They are not referring to the jet lag (which by the way, is like childbirth, you don’t know what it’s like until you have done it) I may be experiencing after my trip to Australia but to the reality of being home, the weather, returning to work etc. The idea that “reality” is a place that is best avoided and that escaping to the sun is the perfect way to avoid this harsh “reality” is based on false conceptions. Now, I love the sun more than most but at the same time I can honestly say that I don’t feel the need to escape to it to avoid my life here in Dublin. I am very comfortable with “reality”, in fact I love “reality” and find it a great place to be, no matter what day of the week it is or, for that matter, what month. The trick is to find something positive in your “reality” and believe me there is always something.  The grass is always green if you choose it to be.

The importance of gratitude is something that we can all focus more on in 2017 and beyond. Helen Kelleher’s inspirational quote, “I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet” sums it up for me. Every day that we wake up is a gift that deserves to be treasured and not wished away because it is January or today is Monday or that it’s cloudy outside or that we’ve no disposable income left after Christmas.

When I was a child, one of my favourite activities was to move the furniture around in my small bedroom. I got so much pleasure from moving my bed from one side of the room to the other or rearranging and relocating my teddies. This idiosyncrasy has stayed with me and my husband has been known to return home from work to find that the kitchen table has yet again been moved and “isn’t it so much better?” This week, our bedroom was the target and as we live on a main road with windows on both sides of the room, I decided to do what I should have done years ago and move the bed to the back of the room and away from the traffic. As Eckhart Tolle, author of the iconic book, ‘The Power of Now’ has commented – to complain is in itself a form of madness; if you don’t like something and it is within your control then change it. If it is something outside your control and you can walk away then do that and if you can do none of the above, the next step is moving to accept it.

I ask you to take this opportunity, dig deep, be brave and ask yourself, is there anything in my life that causes me to wish my life away? If you hear yourself frequently saying, “thank god it’s Friday” or if you find yourself dreading Monday mornings, ask yourself why? Following this, ask yourself if there is anything you can do to change the situation and if there is then do it.  If you can’t change the situation then work on accepting it and move towards finding the positive in the situation. It is incredible but true that,

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

You may be surprised to notice that January isn’t long enough; each month, each day, each moment is precious, and I wish you the courage to appreciate all of the wonder that life has to offer.

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