"I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be truly disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man."

01 February 2011

Ye Olde Monthe of Fauxbruary

February always feels such the odd month to me. It’s shorter than every other month, and extremely short in comparison with the two it is sandwiched between. It’s the only month that fluctuates its number of days, ever. It sits in post-new-year-pre-shitstorm position on the calendar, never accomplishing much other than reminding us that another year is fully underway (and if you’re single you’ve got the first two full weeks of the month for all advertising, retail outlets, and sickening couples to make you feel like a leper). In short, February is the red-headed stepchild of months; everything about it seems to enhance the idea that this month is only a faux-month.
Except February precedes March -- March for me is, historically, the second shittiest month of the year, nearly tied with perennial first-place August. Still, is that enough to work in February’s favor and make it a worthwhile month? Probably not.

And yet… here’s my brand new thought on this month of Fauxbruary: use it, and use it well, like a really good hooker (not that I have experience with that). If this month doesn’t want to make something of itself then it’s up to us to make something of it -- even if that something equates to using this time to reexamine our goals for the new year and instead of burn ourselves out before even getting to the quarter mark, take some time to stop and smell the proverbial flowers. You know, those things buried under two feet of snow in two-thirds of the country right now.
Use this sculpted block of four weeks to take a deeper look at ourselves and life and really contemplate what we want out of it. January typically crashes in with fanfare and demands that a new year means new life and you’d better decide on all that you want RIGHT NOW. February, I now say, exists to take all those aspirations and crazy thoughts and cull them down to a manageable pile of to-be accomplishments AND should be a time where we give ourselves permission to try and fail at life a little bit. January is never perfect, and never will be. Instead of giving up for February, why not dive further in: explore and screw up and pull out unexpectedly to dive into something else. Pause in writing your novel and try writing a play. Cease counting every calorie and try eating one new food every week. Turn one run a week into a more leisurely walk or hike and enjoy the scenery you usually dash past. Treat Fauxbruary like the summer after high school when you get all crazy and wild because it’s your last chance to screw up whatever you want and party like a not-so-grown kid… minus the weekly house parties playing Russian Roulette with alcohol poisoning (not that I know anything about that either…).

So who’s with me?
Use Fauxbruary up like your favorite pair of Chuck’s. Run this month into the ground with use, all the while learning from it what you really want from the rest of this year.

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