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Getting Through the Longest Month of the Year

by James Snyder  
1/18/2008 / Humor

Some things in life seem like they will never end, they just drag on and on with no sign of running out of steam. Maybe it is simply me, but I find I have a limited amount of steam these days, particularly concerning certain things. This baffles me because I am in more hot water these days than ever before. I suppose steam is not what it used to be.

Nothing is quite what it used to be.

For example, the mailbox at the end of my driveway is a lot farther away than it used to be. It takes a lot longer for me to walk to the mailbox and return. One day I tried counting the steps to the mailbox but halfway I lost count and had to start counting all over again. I am not absolutely sure about this but according to my latest count there are more steps returning from the mailbox than going out to it. Someone is messing with my mind on this, I am quite sure.

Is it just me or is there more junk mail than ever before?

Another thing I cannot quite explain is that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly are going to bed earlier than before. Back in "the day," we were quite the night owls enjoying long evenings filled with activity and endless chatter. Now, it is a different bedtime story.

"What time is it?" I asked my wife the other evening.

"It's 8:30, why?"

"So, I guess it's too early to go to bed," I yawned.

Not only am I going to bed earlier, but also morning comes a lot earlier than before. Someone is messing with my alarm clock causing it to go off earlier. I remember the time when I used to get up before the alarm clock. Now, it taunts me way before I am ready to roll out of the sack. It takes me 10 hours to get the rest I used to get in 6 hours. Even then, I have only half the energy I had a few years ago.

I could jump out of bed and in a few minutes have a shower, shave, gulp down my breakfast and I was out the door. Now, it takes me that long to think about getting out of bed. Here is something I do not understand. I have less hair now, but it takes me longer to comb it and after combing there is more hair in the sink than on top of Ole Smokey. What's that all about?

I think Mother Nature and Father Time are playing jokes on me and I, for one, do not appreciate this level of levity. It is a conspiracy of contrary proportions. They should employ their talents in more productive areas like fixing the month of January.

Have you noticed that January is the longest month of the year? I do not remember it always being that way, but lately I have noticed it takes me an equivalent of 90 days to get through January's 31 days.

January has only one holiday, Martin Luther King Day. Outside of that, there is nothing to celebrate making it the longest month of the year. Somebody needs to come up with some scheme to introduce holidays to celebrate in January. I would, but I do not have the energy or the time I used to have.

The month starts bad and progressively gets worse. New Year's Day is the shoddiest holiday in the entire year. It does not even have a proper name; New Year's Day. What kind of a name is that? Such a drab and boring name sets the tone for the rest of the month. I guess people stay up so late the night before they have no energy for New Year's Day.

If you stop to think about it, the first thing we do on New Year's Day is to drop a big ball. This sets the tone for everybody to drop the ball in everything and it takes the entire month to get over this mind-set. Some do not escape this posture.

January is the only month encouraging people to lie to themselves. Someone gave it a fancy name hoping to conceal the venom; New Year's Resolutions. This plagues me with pledges I have no intention of keeping. No other month is quite as devastating to personal integrity.

Somewhere along the line someone jinxed resolutions. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight during the New Year you will in fact, gain weight. No matter what your resolution is, it always turns out the opposite. In order to lose weight your resolution must be framed in this way, "I vow to gain 25 pounds this coming year." This confuses the person behind these resolutions and the opposite goes into action. Of course, if you do gain the weight you have the satisfaction of fulfilling a personal promise.

However, I like the way the Bible puts it. "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay." (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 KJV).

The best way to get through the longest month of the year is one day at a time. The best way to get through a day is to begin the day with God.

James L. Snyder is an award winning author and popular columnist living with his wife, Martha, in Ocala, Florida and can be contacted at [email protected].

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