January can be a tricky month to navigate for even the hardiest of fellows. For starters, the fun and frolic of the holidays is over, everyone is back to working five days a week, and then, as a cruel reminder of just who is in charge, it usually features the first slap of truly cold weather. What’s more, the month contains 31 days, which combined with the other aspects, can make it feel endless. But all is not lost, as January is not without its pleasures—if you know where to focus your attention, that is.

Let us begin with a very bright spot: there are consequential football games played in January, where the stakes are higher (one and done) and the competition fiercer. And if your team has made the playoffs, there is also opportunity to host or attend a viewing party with buddies. And seeing as how those sorts of things are usually just thinly veiled delivery mechanisms for an all-star lineup of questionable foods and beverages no competent physician would recommend, this is very good news indeed.

There are few evening and weekend activities that bring us more pleasure than plopping down on our well-worn BarcaLounger®️ in front of a roaring fire. Nestled under the watchful eye of a tastefully mounted moose head, it’s the definition of warm and cozy. And it just so happens that this highly enjoyable non-activity pairs perfectly with the next item on our list…

It is no secret that we are always onboard for a couple fingers of bourbon in a rocks glass (except while working, driving, or attending youth athletic events, of course). But something about sitting in front of a fire in our living room, while its freezing outside, and slowly imbibing the precious caramel-colored nectar stands out. Is it because it makes us feel like we are living in a 70’s magazine ad? Yes, that must be it.

Nothing makes us feels as though we are thoroughly embracing the medieval sword-for-hire and/or Jeremiah Johnson lifestyle like wolfing down bowl after bowl of hearty stew. But let’s face it: stews are not exactly a summer staple. Stews are for winter. And conversely, winters are for stews. It’s a symbiotic relationship. So put the big pot on the stove, peel some russets, grab your favorite wooden bowl and spoon, and dig in.

In the film Rocky IV there is a rousing training montage set in remote Siberia where Rocky chops wood outside in the freezing cold. It is widely assumed that this is part of his “back to basics” training regimen—pressing oxcarts, hauling sleds of rocks, etc.—as he prepares to face the Russian juggernaut Ivan Drago. But this is not the case. Rocky is simply chopping wood because it is an enjoyable and relaxing way to pass the time during cold months. “It warms you twice,” as grandpa used to say.

Source link: https://dukecannon.com/blogs/journal/duke-cannons-tips-for-thriving-in-january by Zeb Pirkey at dukecannon.com