Did you know that more couples file for divorce in January than at any other time of the year? Disheartening as it is, January’s unfortunate notoriety as Divorce Month certainly makes sense. Couples on the brink of breaking up will fake it till they make it through the holidays, holding off until the new year to seek legal separation.
Luckily, I don’t have much experience when it comes to divorce (thanks Mom and Dad). However, from the second-hand knowledge I’ve collected over the years, I know that there is never an easy time to say “I do” to divorce.
Sure, it might be a popular time of year to make your failed marriage official, but there are plenty of less depressing milestones worth celebrating. I say, let’s take back January from the family law firms and make it a month dedicated to something other than irreconcilable differences.
Here are a few alternatives I’m proposing:
Give a Big Tip Month: In January 1914, Henry Ford established a previously unheard-of $5.00 a day minimum wage in his automobile factories. Why not celebrate this month by giving generous tips to all of those hard-working servers, cab drivers, baristas and other minimum-wage employees who make your life easier. In other made-up-holiday news, January also happens to be National Thank You Month, giving you another reason to show some gratitude.
Act like a Grown-up Month: On the second Monday in January, the Japanese celebrate Coming of Age Day in recognition of young adults who have reached the age of majority. Take some inspiration from the Japanese and honour your own maturity this month by wearing a proper jacket in the cold, not using emoticons in work emails and finally paying off your credit card bill.
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Get Political Month: In January 1916, Manitoba became the first Canadian province to grant women the right to vote in provincial elections. Recognize this moment in history by using the remaining days in January to learn more about Canadian politics. Stop forwarding S--t People Say videos to your friends and take some time to write to your local MP about an issue you care about.
Read a Book Month: Remember books? Well, this month (today in fact) marks Benjamin Franklin’s 306th birthday, and as the founder of America’s first lending library, he would want you to put down your iPad, get offline and become reacquainted with paperbacks. Of course, let’s ignore the fact that I used Wikipedia to research all of these pieces of January-centric trivia.