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February: A Month of New Things

february 2014.jpgFebruary is my least favorite month of the year. In general, I am not a fan of winter (as anyone who reads this blog for more than a week surely knows), but I have reasons to appreciate every other winter month besides February. In November, the cold weather is new and exciting. In December, there’s the bustle of the holiday season. January is (for me) full of travel and setting new routines. And by March you can usually (usually!) start to see signs of spring coming.

But February? February is the worst. It’s still definitely winter, but there’s nothing “extra” to look forward to besides Valentine’s Day, which is a holiday I don’t like anyway. February is the shortest month of the year, but my gosh does it feel long to me.

Rather than sitting around and stewing about how unhappy I am about February, I decided to try something a little more proactive this year, a project to head off the doldrums that February inevitably brings – I am going to try one new thing every day this month.

To keep this from being stressful, the bar for what counts as a “new thing” is extremely low. Try a new sandwich at Subway. Bake a new kind of bread. Try a new recipe for soup. Read the first issue of a new comics series. Mix a new cocktail. Listen to a new podcast. See a new play or movie. There might be some bigger new things thrown in, but for the most part I just want to appreciate small changes to my routine that will create something different to look forward to each day.

Since this is the first day of February, the challenge starts now. The plan at the moment is to cook up a batch of olive oil salt bread from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, but I suppose that could change by this afternoon.

Tomorrow I’ll be watching the Super Bowl with my friend Carrie, which I haven’t done before, and trying a new recipe (TBD) for a snack to share. Simple, but just different enough that I’m already looking forward to it. Bring it on, February.

How do you keep yourself out of a February rut? What are some of your favorite (simple) new things to try?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Nupur February 1, 2014, 5:49 am

    This month I am happy to have house-guests, and a whole bunch of fabric with which to sew superhero capes for a local charity. And there’s Valentine’s day where I will send homemade candy to a few friends. And the Olympics which I will enjoy watching now and then. So Feb will be busy.

    Favorite new to try: try a simple craft/home decor/organization idea, try a new recipe, read a blog that’s new to me, buy a fruit/veggie that I’ve never tasted before.

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:14 pm

      It sounds like you have a wonderful month ahead — enjoy! And thank you for the suggestion. I have “try new foods” on the list, which should cover a few days, I hope.

  • Sandy February 1, 2014, 6:41 am

    I love this idea! But I am afraid I’d run out of new things (or ideas of new things). But now you have my head buzzing. I’m not a huge fan of February either, although our weather in Florida is a different deal than you have up there. I hope you keep a list of your new stuff and update us on your discoveries!

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:14 pm

      That’s part of the reason I kept the bar for what counts as a new thing really low — I don’t want to run out of ideas or get to a point where thinking of things is stressful.

  • Jenny @ Reading the End February 1, 2014, 8:14 am

    Oo, good challenge for yourself! When I’m in a rut I like to learn how to do something new — there’s this place I used to go to all the time when I lived in New York called the Brooklyn Brainery, where they would teach all sorts of craft classes every month, and that was great for learning a new skill. (Obviously learning a new craft isn’t the kind of thing you can do every day — I would do it once every couple of months, usually.)

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:15 pm

      That sounds like so much fun! I’m not sure if we have anything like that where I live, but I am going to keep my eyes open for a class I could try one evening this month.

  • Care February 1, 2014, 8:15 am

    I absolutely love February because it is the Month of Letters. I get crazy excited! Plus I get to go on an amazing trip the last month – in three weeks. Can’t wait.

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:15 pm

      Ahh, vacation! I am so jealous! And happy for you 🙂 I am not going on a trip until April sometime.

  • Sheila (Book JOurney) February 1, 2014, 11:28 am

    February is my birthday month so I usually have some fun with that. 🙂 Like you – not a fan of winter but I am trying to embrace it. TRYING. I signed up for my first half marathon on February 23rd in Edina. A completely nuts thing to do… but it certainly will motivate me to move towards that and at least finish 🙂

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:16 pm

      A half marathon, in the winter? You are a glutton for punishment, my friend. Good luck 🙂

  • Kailana February 1, 2014, 12:30 pm

    February is my least favourite month of the year, too, so I totally know what you mean! I participate in letter month and I am joining in for the stress-free graphic novel month… Things like that… I am actually excited about February, but it will depend on the weather… If it starts to get depressing storm after storm I probably won’t be able to hold it together. (I hate Valentine’s Day, too. The Guy and I never do anything that we wouldn’t do any other time of the year.)

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:17 pm

      I am trying so, so hard not to let the weather make me crazy. But it’s hard when I’m always cold and you have to scrape off your car and it hurts to breathe outside. We just need to get through it 🙂

  • Kim @ Bookmark To Blog February 1, 2014, 4:28 pm

    Great challenge! It’s the perfect time of year for something like that. I know what you mean about February. Here it sometimes gets warm enough for daffodils to pop up but then they always get covered in snow. I always get my hopes up and then it snows again.

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:17 pm

      That’s how it ends up around here in March — some lovely days, then more snowy cold days. But you get to hold out for the lovely days. Those just don’t happen in Minnesota in February.

  • Rory February 1, 2014, 5:40 pm

    February is by far my least favorite month of the year too. After slogging through January, February has nothing to look forward to. I usually paint a room or something to cheer myself up, though it usually doesn’t help.

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:18 pm

      If we didn’t live in a rental I would totally do home decorating projects in February. Rearranging furniture always makes me happy.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) February 1, 2014, 7:49 pm

    February’s not that bad here but I do love your idea! I think you’re in for a great month!!

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:18 pm

      I hope so!

  • tanya (52 books or bust) February 2, 2014, 4:21 am

    I hate February too. There is nothing so cold and so bleak. This sounds like a great idea. I’ll be following your progress.

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:18 pm

      Thanks! I’m not sure how often to update… maybe twice? Once mid-month and once at the end? We’ll see what I feel like.

  • Laurie C February 2, 2014, 7:36 am

    I don’t mind February for some reason. Maybe because it’s short? Or because snow that falls in February isn’t going to be able to hang around for months afterward? I love your idea of trying one new thing a day! I’ve been consciously trying new recipes lately, but not every day. Thanks for sharing your picks for nonfiction reading; I’ll have to order some of them for the library collection.

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:19 pm

      I always think February being short should help… and then it doesn’t. I’m hoping this will help me have an attitude adjustment.

  • Vasilly February 2, 2014, 10:13 am

    I love the idea of trying something new every day! Have fun.

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:19 pm

      Thanks, I will!

  • Lu February 2, 2014, 10:28 am

    I did something similar last January and honestly it was a life saver! Last January felt so wonderful. This year I did not do the same thing and honestly I have felt the difference. It has just been such a cranky, miserable month!! I’m so excited to see what kind of new things you do.

    • Kim February 2, 2014, 2:19 pm

      I’m so glad to hear this is not just a crazy idea! Even just a few new things will make it worth the effort, I think.

  • Jennine G. February 2, 2014, 4:24 pm

    Excellent idea! February and March are generally slow months for me too. The school year starts to drag – kids and teachers alike get restless. I think it is the nice weather that snaps us out of it, so maybe it’s just winter blahs.

  • Charlie February 3, 2014, 6:55 am

    I don’t mind February so much as sunrise seems to happen a lot quicker all of a sudden, but at the same time it does often seem the case that winter tries to hold on hardest this month. I like to go out on the brighter days and pretend it’s already spring.

    • Kim February 9, 2014, 2:02 pm

      That is true! We’re getting more and more sunlight these days, which makes me happy.

  • Katie @ Doing Dewey February 3, 2014, 7:19 pm

    This sounds like a great idea! My boyfriend and I are counting the days (months, years) until I’m done with grad school so we can move somewhere beautiful and warm and not gray all the time, so February is definitely getting us down too. I think I may adopt your idea as a way to make it February a little less gloomy 🙂

  • Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader February 4, 2014, 9:45 pm

    You are so right about how LONG February feels. Why in the world is that? I think we’re all sick of winter…that has to be part of it. My birthday is in February and even that doesn’t help get me out of the winter doldrums, lol.

    I love your idea and I’m looking forward to hearing more about the new things you try 😀

  • susan February 9, 2014, 5:55 pm

    I didnt realize how brutal February could be but after a week or more of 0 and below 0 temps, i’m starting to despise it too. Thankfully the Olympics might brighten this month up, and maybe getting back to yoga after knee surgery in Jan. Your plan looks good too. Cheers. http://www.thecuecard.com/

    • Kim February 10, 2014, 9:33 pm

      It has been so dang cold this month, I can hardly stand it. I just want to curl up in my bed and never leave.