The Darkest Month

I have a friend who thinks June is the darkest month. The kids are out of school, tourists crowd her tiny town, and she’d like nothing better than to curl up in bed with the air conditioner on high until September. (This is not me, I swear.) Another friend can’t stand December and all the forced cheer and shopping the holidays bring.

Me? My darkest month is February.

There’s a reason it’s the shortest month of the year — any longer and it would kill us. It’s usually cold and dreary, and if by a miracle it happens to be warm, there’s MUD.  (I’m guessing E.E. Cummings never had to brush out a pastured horse or clean up after a dog and two kids.)  True, there’s a week of vacation, but  if you manage to go away, everyone else is there too. And if you stay home, everyone is bored with snow, the local attractions are insanely crowded, and someone is always sick.

You can see being around me in February is an uplifting experience. (My sweetheart, wise man that he is, plies me with chocolate and champagne on Valentine’s Day, so at least I’m cheerful for a few hours.) So this year, I’m making a list of things that make me happy, activities that refresh my soul and the souls of those who have to put up with me.

Happy List

  • Climbing into bed with clean sheets and a new book. (Any recommendations?)
  • Walking in the woods with the Slobbering Beast.
  • Getting lost for a few pages in the book I’m writing.
  • Waking to find my bird feeder filled with blue birds.
  • Listening to my son laugh.
  • Watching my daughter dance.
  • Seeing my two kids play together happily.
  • Stealing alone time with my husband.
  • Doing something physically challenging that leaves me exhilarated when I’m done.
  • Reading any of the bloggers I’ve linked to in my sidebar. (C’mon, people, update — for me???)
  • Having school cancelled on account of snow.
  • Sledding at our favorite hill.
  • Tulips.
  • Teaching someone to read.
  • Getting real letters in the mail.
  • Surprising someone with a tiny gift or act of kindness.
  • Being warm.

What’s on your list?

In February, we need to be the light.

In February, we need to be the light.

Liz Michalski


  1. Vaughn Roycroft on January 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    What a list! I love them all, but ‘teaching someone to read’ really caught my eye. So cool. Literacy rocks! I know what you mean about the mud. I was sinking in three inches of mud yesterday as I walked the dog… In January… and this was the road! Ugh. I’ll take frozen any day. (And I’m over here avoiding updating my blog, so I’ll get back on it. 🙂 )

    • liz on January 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      I took four kids hiking today, and they were so muddy I had to have them change in the entryway of the house. Don’t even ask about the dog. : )

      I volunteer at our school and get to spend a little time with students who are just starting the reading journey — I really love it.

  2. Melissa Marsh on January 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I actually think June and July and probably August are the worst months of the year. I am actually one of those people who has the opposite of Seasonal Affective Disorder – too much sun and heat and I feel so depressed that I, too, rarely venture from the house and would much rather stay inside next to the air conditioner.

    I come alive in the autumn and winter months, though. 🙂

    • liz on January 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Melissa, in some ways that must be harder than having SAD – everyone expects you to be down in the winter, but finding support in summer must be tough.

  3. Jan O'Hara (Tartitude) on January 29, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    February is normally my worst month, but I have a car this year. (Did I mention I have a car this year!) Leaving home to see these animate objects known as people is now possible. Leaving home to see these animate objects known as people to dance beside them is not only possible but being done on a regular basis.

    Okay. Maybe too much caffeine today. 😉

    Seriously, as a SAD sufferer, I know of what you speak. February is a challenge. When I’m getting gloomy, I make a gratitude list, too. It would regularly include such things as the public library and my rice cooker.

    Lastly, I have to get my blogroll organized. I moved sites, as you know, and it felt like more than I could handle. But that was six months ago…

    • liz on January 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      I’m so glad you have a car this year! And I’m so glad you are dancing again. Also, I’m not sure if I’ve updated your blog address on my website, but I’ll check it this weekend and get to it!

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