Many people say that January is the longest month, when you feel that for 31 days the minutes are just dragging. As for me, this is one of the dearest periods of the year, which always passes in a split of a second. Maybe because it is the time of my birthday, which as kids we always really look forward to. Even if outside the freezing cold or the deepest darkness rules the day, the thought – that with the holidays the excitement and anticipation has not come to an end – was enough to have these weeks of January passing with glory. When I was little I even asked my Mum not to take down the Christmas tree, since it was my definite wish that the angels bring my birthday present as well. Then, when the colorful package was sitting there proudly, I was blind to see the tired tree, which by then was loosing a pine-needle in every minute. I could only notice that in our home the miracle of Christmas lasts till January. With cake, candles, wishes, family and friends with whom it is so nice to share laughter and collect more happy memories together.
Although I have grown out of my childhood long time ago, up until today the weeks before my birthday give me the sense that something beautiful and exciting is on its way. But instead of waiting for the angles I got into a new ritual. For many years during this time I like hiding a bit from the world, and spend some time completely alone. Then once I spent enough time with my thoughts I make a big jug of tea, gather a dozen of sheets, my favourite pen and begin writing a letter. The addressee is January. And the lines are about love, work, family, friends, places, joys and disappointments. They tell about my personal story of last year, another chapter of my life. This retrospection somehow has become part of commencing the New Year, preparing for my birthday, making closures and start new beginnings. It is nice to look back and see the road I walked, to see from where to where I got, what changed and what remained the same, what were the goals I accomplished and what were the obstacles that made me fall. This self-reflection helps me to slow down and to notice the most important moments among the million events happening all year round. It helps setting new goals and deciding on the next steps. Undoubtedly the best part is when – before sitting down to write the letter of last year – I read the letter of the previous year, which gets me in tune where I left off the story a year ago plus gives me some really good laughs. Once the old year is all on paper and sealed in an envelope I am ready to have my birthday, starting with a clean slate. Of course, before I cannot miss out on the cake, candles, wishes, family and friends with whom it is so nice to share laughter and collect more happy memories together. Because the magic of birthdays is really about these things – regardless of how many years are behind you.