: the first month of the Gregorian calendar; from Janus: a Roman god that is identified with doors, gates, and all beginnings and that is depicted with two opposite faces
January is for recalibrating. It is for returning to regular life after the excitement, sugar, reflection, and gift-giving of Advent. It is for asking why we do what we do. And whether we should keep doing it.
January is for beginning anew. For starting anatomy instead of continuing with a dry astronomy text. For choosing one running route and sticking to it until I can run the entire thing without walking. For reading intentionally - whether it be a non-fiction book or a classic.
January is for listening. To God. To my body. To my heart.
January is for continuing to listen when one of the three voices above seem silent. There are things to be learned in the silence. Silence does not mean there is nothing to be heard.
January is for looking back. What things am I glad to leave in 2011? What memories will I treasure? Where did I go wrong? Where am I headed in the right direction?
January is for looking forward. What do I hope to continue in 2012? Where are we going academically? How is what we're learning impacting our daily lives? Isn't that why we learn?
January is for planning. How much vacation time does J have? How do we want to spend it? Spring break is when? Am I willing to miss Holy Week for a trip to Philadelphia? Should the Philly trip wait until May? Can I go on two silent retreats or should I limit myself to one? Is two selfish?
January is for starting slow. I need to remember that when my mind gets carried away with planning questions. This month has brought three four-day weeks in a row. I'm trying to see that as blessing, not curse. We've started our school year slow. My plans for each day have been achieved easily and without nagging from me or groaning from the girls. Does that mean I'm asking too little or that we've hit our groove?
January is for remembering. Remembering that last January is when I finally felt like I had a tiny idea of how to best homeschool. (I'm a slow learner.) This month is for remembering that what I do best as a homeschooler - and parent, perhaps - is listening to my children and following their lead. They have within them kernels of who they will be as adults. I want to weed, water and tend them so that they can bloom.
January is for remembering. For remembering the magi who followed a star, the God who took on flesh, the extraordinary who became ordinary.
January is for being open to new possibilities.
May this month bring you all this and more.