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The Januaries

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The Januaries



A Sunday newspaper comic from my childhood always stands out in my mind.  This was back when Sunday was the only day of the week for which comic strips were in color—we called them the Sunday Funnies. Garfield stood in his slippers groggily declaring that he has a case of the Mondays.  A “case of the Mondays” was a medical condition that caused Garfield be extra grumpy and cynical on the first day of the work week.  The condition peaked upon waking up and realizing that the weekend was over.


Well, in my adult life I have come to realize that it is common for me to have a case of the Januaries.  Since January is no longer the magical month of snow days off from school, I often see it as an overlong hangover from the excitement of November and December—31 days of the Mondays.  I remember January was especially difficult when we were in Kerala, a truth to which my comrades can attest.  For, not only was January like a Monday, but it was also like hump day…typically Wednesday in a work week.  If you can make it through hump day, then the rest of the week is easy sailing.  The YAV year was arranged in such a way that January was the midpoint.  If we made it through January, then the rest would be easy sailing.  So, every single day of January seemed to drag on for eternity, and the month seemed interminable.    


The way that we mark time is a human invention, but it has so much power over reality!  The ticking of the clock and the marking of days on the calendar dictate our social interactions, our communal celebrations, and our daily movements.  Such is why the Mondays and the Januaries affect us (or at least me) so deeply.


The schedule of my time in Zambia is closely aligned with the schedule of that YAV year.  January has been both Monday and hump day.  Remarkably and blessedly, though, I have avoided that dreaded case of the Januaries!  Launching back into work and the wonderful jolity of the TEEZ office after the Christmas holiday, spending significant and much-needed time with my family, and finally feeling at home here have given me a spring in my step over this long month.  Not only have I survived January, but I have thrived!   Since I moved here in September I am not yet quite at the midpoint, but it means much more to me that I have made it through January.  I have made it over the slump and the hump and can look forward to the months to come.  



Posted February 1, 2016



Being planted in the rich soils of Zambia to inspire regrowth at home. “Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit” -Matthew 13:8