A Maggie Moment: Happy New Year


by Maggie Modjeski, columnist

Today we begin a new decade, a new year and a new month. I feel bad for the month of January; unless you have a birthday or are getting married, no one is really excited to see it come.

January is the consequence of December, a month full of eating, celebrations, shopping, and more eating. The day the page of the calendar turns we decide it’s time to step on the scale and are shocked at the number we see; after all, those cookies and cocktails we ate and drank all month didn’t have any calories in them.

So January becomes the month of deprivation. We decide to starve ourselves and ingest food and beverages that we don’t like because they are guaranteed to melt away the pounds we gained. We go from a month of enjoyment to trying new diet trends like intermittent fasting and cleanses that have us running to the bathroom and hangry — angry as a result of being hungry — which is a real thing; just hang out with me sometime when I miss a meal.

We go back to the gym only to get the evil eye of the regulars, because, like church, people have their “spots” in exercise classes and have certain equipment they use at certain times.

There are promises we make to ourselves, we promise to start the diet on Monday because you can’t start on a Thursday or Friday. Then Monday comes and we find another reason to push that date back.

January doesn’t just bring diets and exercise; in the Midwest it typically brings the reality of winter, cold or snow, short days and long nights. I have never met a person that is excited to start their car in the cold or shovel heavy snow.

In thinking about my own resolutions I have decided to give January some love. Instead of dreading the month I’m going to find the positives in the new month, even if they are little. Maybe the month of hibernation will give me time to organize my home (if my family is reading this they are surely rolling their eyes and laughing) or maybe I can catch up on reading or binge watching something new — little goals, but maybe I’ll finally be able to converse about things like what a handmaid is.

Maybe with the new month, year, decade, it’s time to try something new as an individual or with my family that doesn’t involve a screen.

It’s always hard to see the holidays end, to say goodbye to a month jam-packed with fun, to say goodbye to my son once again as he leaves to go back to school after a month at home. Instead of dwelling on the end and the goodbyes, maybe it’s time to embrace the hellos, to welcome a month that gives us downtime, something I often don’t know what to do with. Instead of looking behind or ahead, maybe it’s time to just enjoy the moment, because they do go too fast.

Happiest of New Years to all, and as Barbara Walters always said, “and this is 2020.”


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