Hello, and welcome to February! It’s snowing as I write this, and I like to think of snow as countless frozen love tears. I do that because the alternative is to acknowledge that snow is nature’s way of slowly trying to kill us all off, and I don’t want to hate nature.
In fact, I don’t want to hate anybody this month. Typically I reserve my hatred for March and the first half of October, which I think we can all agree are perfect times of year to hate people. But February has Valentine’s Day, which means it’s a month for love. Somehow, I’m supposed to walk around in a frenzy of emotion, smiling at everyone and singing as bluebirds circle my head and plants bloom around me. Except there are no plants blooming, because the snow is trying to kill them too.
And that’s the problem with February. We’re supposed to be happy and loving and all that, but things conspire to make that difficult. It’s cold, a dozen roses cost around $100, everyone on Facebook is going to lie and make you think that their Valentine’s Day was soooo much better than yours, and most of your coworkers won’t appreciate it if you tell them how much you love them. That’s why February is such a short month, because it’s ashamed of itself and wants to go away as quickly as possible.
But you don’t have to succumb. There are still ways to be happy that won’t cost you hundreds of dollars or get you reprimanded for making inappropriate advances at work. In fact, there are 614 ways, but I’m sort of lazy this morning so I’m only going to share three.
Make A “Bad Yearbook Photo” Album Of Your Colleagues
Everyone has a bad yearbook photo. Mine happens to be worse than most. (Don’t believe me? Watch my Us Vs. Them presentation sometime – I put it in there or just look at the top of this page. Ten bucks says you’ll agree with me.) But instead of hiding them shamefully in a dusty box in your basement, encourage your colleagues to send you a copy of theirs. If everyone participates, then everyone will make fun of everyone, which is actually a great way to feel connected to others.
Hang Amusing Posters Around The Office
You probably have some posters hanging around the office. They haven’t changed for years, and nobody looks at them anymore. So make some clandestine changes, then see how long it takes people to notice. If you want something more entertaining than your standard landscape picture with a motivational phrase underneath, we’ve actually gone to the trouble of making a few you might get a kick out of.
Throw The Most Unromantic Party Possible
Generally there are only two types of Valentine’s Day celebrations – romantic ones, and friendly get-togethers organized by all the people not in relationships. But nobody has ever done an intentionally unromantic Valentine’s Day celebration, which means you absolutely should. So organize a secret Santa gift exchange and encourage people to bring the most unromantic gifts they can think of – socks, drill bits, fingernail clippers, etc. Create Valentine’s Day cards with sayings like, “I find your company sufficiently pleasant” and hand them out to everyone you run across. Ask people to share their least romantic Valentine’s Day – a trip to the dentist, recovering from the flu – and hand out prizes to the winners. Since nobody’s ever thought to do this, most people will enjoy the novelty. By this time next year, they’ll be excited to do it again.
So there you go. February doesn’t have to be as challenging as February wants us to think. Although it is still snowing here. I’m tempted to go outside and start punching the snow. But there’s nobody else in the street right now, so I’m going to refrain. If I’m going to go insane, I at least want a small audience to witness it. Have a great month!