Do you ever feel like you should be doing something right now? Something active with ‘significant’ meaning?

Now that January – the month of trying things all unbeknown to you to try and ease yourself into the new year – has gone, it’s a wonder what people do with the months ahead.

Around mid-December we’re hit with all new challenges to force feed the ‘new me’ agenda for the upcoming year, but I often contemplate what significance this holds. Despite my scatty nature I am surprisingly responsive to structure which is my first guess when wondering why people partake in such things as ‘Tryanuary’, – a movement to urge people to try new beers and ultimately support the beer industry – ‘Dryanuary’, – going a month without alcohol – ‘Veganuaury’, – opting for a vegan lifestyle – and even ‘Januhairy’, – letting nature take its course in between the pits.

I genuinely believe that some of these ideas started out with the best of intentions as ‘social movements’, but they’ve sordidly become nothing more than a January cliché. I mean having days off drinking just sounds healthy, as does implementing a more plant-based diet. And supporting local businesses? I thought the secret was out on that one. So, a suggested argument for these January exclusive challenges is simply that a lot of people are looking for the latest hashtag trend that will score them a few new followers. It’s good to be current, obviously.

But, actively growing your armpit hair (#feminism)? I’m not so sure – in the grand scheme of things it’s trivial, because I fail to see how growing your armpit hair ‘so daringly’ is progressive. If anything, the limelight of it all proves that women are still having to validate it. Girl, please.

I fear fads are like one of those personality-based colour code tests in the way that these ‘trends’ warrant a certain sense of belonging. And the time limit of a month isn’t comforting – it breeds the attitude “I’ve done my time, so I don’t need to do it anymore” – god forbid when people ‘try’ to recycle for a whole month. 

In this regard I am so happy that February is here so I can acclimatise to some normality – like my neighbour not pretending they’re a fitness freak.

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