What fills your Ordinary Time?

Why do so many people not like January? Something to do with grey days and dreariness, after all that excess?

I’ve always loved January; it’s the month of my birthday and our wedding anniversary. And I love getting back into routine after the hyper-activities of December.


I didn’t do so well last December. I felt like I was on an amusement-park ride, racing toward the finish as we hurled toward Christmas Eve. Cookies to bake; feasts to cook for; presents to buy; work to engage with. I crashed about 11pm on Christmas Eve, fighting shivers and a sore throat while trying to tidy up from one feast before the traditional English Christmas Day lunch the next. Next year – must do better.

So the routine of January is one I embrace. An empty house on a Monday morning, me sitting in a sunny study, taking time to write or catch up on emails – what’s not to like? Okay, so my group-exercise classes – from which I disappeared for about, oh, eight years, but which now I’m again loving so much – are overly crowded with resolution-makers, but no doubt they will return to normality in a month or so.

This time of getting back to routine is called, according to the liturgical calendars, Ordinary Time. We’re not feasting; we’re not fasting. But the term doesn’t imply that life is just ordinary – how could that be, when Christ himself dwells in and among us? Rather it comes from the Latin word ordinalis, which simply refers to numbers in a series. Our weeks are numbered. (With thanks to About.com for this definition.)

If our weeks are numbered, how does that change how we live? How can we open our eyes to Christ’s presence in those whom we meet? Maybe I should spend less time with social networking and more time in creative pursuits. In activities that bring fruitfulness and love.

How do you view January? Like it or loathe it? What joys and challenges fill your “ordinary time”?

2 Responses

  1. Pam Burke

    I love Christmas decorations. I love to have a garland over every surface and all my precious memories displayed in the corners. But January is so clean. Simple twigs in the vases, open surfaces, a vanilla candle burning. January is a time for small organization projects – a junk drawer, papers in a basket on my desk, discarding old bags and wrapping paper. Allowing myself the time to sit and read in a sunny spot in the living room. I like ordinary time. Happy Birthday and Anniversary!

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