The word “February” is derived from the Latin word Februarius, from the Latin februa meaning to “Purify” or to ‘Explate” (unfold). In ancient Rome, this was the month of purification, and people dedicated their time to living honorably, being virtuous. February was actually the last month of the year, and February 5th marked the first day of spring, a time of new beginnings.
We make our New Year’s Resolutions on January 1st and by February 1st, many of us have not only fallen off the path we set, but have forgotten what our resolutions actually were. Some people have stopped making them altogether.
For many of us, February is a time to finalize our financial statements, and stress over making it the best it can be, as we have to live with this document, this one snapshot of time, for a full year. For some others, it is time to begin auditing our clients or to start our clients’ tax returns, working six days a week to get everything done by deadlines established by banks, bonding companies, and of course, the IRS. It is a time that we can lose track of ourselves, our families, our pets. We eat on the run, we say we will exercise tomorrow. We may even forget to kiss our spouse goodnight as we fall asleep on the sofa.
So instead of worry about New Year’s Resolutions made 31 days ago, let us take a page from the Roman’s and make February a month of purifications, a month of new beginnings. As we stress about correcting W2’s or calculating bank covenants “what if’s” as we think about distributions and over / under billings, find a corner to close your eyes and meditate. Skip the potato chips in the break-room and have a glass of lemon water. Set some family time on Sunday where everyone puts down their electronics for a few hours – maybe make a family game day and bring out those old board games. Take your dog on a long quiet walk.
Establish a new resolution focusing on “purification” – purification of body, mind, and / or soul. What do you love to do that you have not done in a while? What will be the one thing you can do this year to de-stress, de-clutter, and just make your life simpler?
I plan to set time aside a few times a week to take long walks again. I will attend my book club meetings again after missing the last 3 months, and I plan to give my dog a little more playtime when I get home from a hectic day at work. Most of all, I will do things to make my soul happy.
What will February bring you?
~~Kimberly A. Hullfish, CCIFP~~