February 01, 2012

Why February is Cause for Optimism

Traditionally thought of as the darkest, coldest month, in fact February is one of the most positive months for change.  There's lots to like: the days get noticeably longer, with the sun staying around later in the day postponing sunset until a more reasonable hour. Think about it: during the dreaded January it's truly the dark days -- it's pitch black by 4:30 pm. 4:30 pm! That's the time for a coffee-break, not lights out. In February, whether people realize it or not (and usually we don't) much is done to rectify this.  Truthfully this started in mid- to late-January but it kicks in big time in February. Starting as early as Feb. 1, the days stretch out until at least 5 pm and that's just for starters, as each day another minute or two is added to the day. By the time the end of February hits, daylight doesn't end until a more respectable 5:45 pm, or shortly before most people are thinking about dinner.

Another good thing February has going for it: it's the last full month of Winter. February is what I call a Countdown Month, where it's 28 days of waiting for us to get to March and the imminent arrival of Spring. There is the sense among lots of people that they can survive X number of days to get to March. After all, they've survived this long, since November, then December and the arrival of the winter solstice on December 21. They rationalize they can probably make it 28 more days.  And, although Spring doesn't hit until March 20, there is some sense of relief when you flip the calendar to March. As if you're helping hasten the arrival of Spring. As if it's really coming. And so, February is the conduit, or countdown, to that. Don't believe me? Open almost any calendar and look at January. Snowy picture. Winter scene. Flip to February. Pretty much the same. Different location. More snow. More cold. Now brace yourself as you flip to March.  It's almost always a beautiful Spring scene. It's getting you ready. It's almost here.

This is the big pay off from February. And it's glorious. And starting today, it gets underway. Enjoy. Let the countdown begin.

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