When it comes to April Fool’s Day, I’m a bit of a Scrooge. I honestly don’t like walking through life trying to figure out if I’m being scammed and tricked, even by well-meaning folks. Clever is okay, but clever is hard, and most pranks aren’t all that clever.
All that preface to say: the following is a serious suggestion.
Sorry to do this to you, but…how are those New Year’s resolutions coming?
Yeah, mine too. And while I’m willing to blame some of that on the specifics of my recent life, there’s a larger problem that impacts many of us, I’m thinking.
I’m just going to say it: February sucks. I live in Illinois, and the winter wasteland that the Midwest becomes in the dead of winter is a hard place for my soul. And, even if you love winter, I doubt that it’s a season that energizes you to do new work. (Hey, if I’m wrong, tell me about it in the comments! People are all different, and I’d love to hear from an alternate viewpoitn on this.)
So, if February is a source of major soul-suck, why do we schedule our major life changes–New Year’s resolutions–in January, when they will be immediately tested by the brutal soul-suck of February?
This makes sense, at least to my own psychology.
Wouldn’t it be better to acknowledge that winter is a hard time to muster much energy? Wouldn’t it be better to wait for “New Year’s” resolutions until a later time in the year?
Say, April 1?
No one is totally sure why April Fool’s Day came to be. One theory has to do with March 25 being observed as New Year’s Day with a week-long festival that would have ended on April 1. I don’t know if this is true or not. But, for our purposes, it doens’t matter. Maybe, for creative work or forming new habits, April 1 could be a better day to begin. Maybe this would set us up for success, by drawing on the increasing sun and the energizing of spring to power our ambitions, instead of trying to stoke passion in the coldest, hardest months.
For me, I’m going to give this a go. I know that there are practices that have been languishing. I’m willing to set aside the last couple of months and write them off as a loss. Time to start again.
And next year, I’ll allow my winter to be a time of hibernation, of lying fallow beneath a blanket of snow. Spring will arrive soon enough, and there will be time to sow when it is warm.