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MOVE OVER, JANUARY FEBRUARY IS ACTUALLY THE BEST MONTH FOR RENEWAL
As a physical therapist, February doubly works well as a month of new beginnings because it’s a time to update and renew my knowledge on all things PT. In February, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) will hold their annual conference for all their members. It’s an opportunity to continue my education and learn from other PTs all over the country, which lets me bring that knowledge back to my clinic to make my patients happier and healthier than ever. It’s something I always look forward to and never regret attending. On a more personal level, there are a few things in my life that signified new beginnings in February. February is the month when my wife and I had our first date. We went out for dinner at a restaurant called the Commercial Taphouse, then went for a walk along the river. Also, years later, our youngest son was born in February. So, February marks the anniversary of the beginning of my relationship with my wife, as well as my youngest son’s birthday. Those two events, combined with the imminence of spring, make it easy to think of February as a month of new beginnings.
A lot of people see January as a month of new beginnings. It’s when everyone begins their New Year’s resolutions, after all. However, for me, February is the real month of beginnings. The name “February” is rooted in the Latin word februum , which means “purification.” Not a lot happens in February. It’s the last full month of winter, and many people are done with the cold and looking forward to spring. That’s where February’s namesake as a time of purification becomes so accurate. It’s a time to change with the season and get yourself cleaned up for the spring. While a lot of people attempt to clean themselves up for their New Year’s resolution, the imminent, natural transition between seasons makes February an ideal time for self-improvement. Once spring hits, everyone wants to clean up their house all of a sudden. They go through old clothes, throw junk out of the garage, and prepare their yards for another year of growth. Wanting to clean our houses and grow our gardens with the seasons comes naturally, so why can’t we leverage the changing season in February to clean and grow ourselves?
Of course, February isn’t quite springtime yet. There are still a lot of gloomy days between now and the first hints of a warm summer day. But besides Valentine’s Day, there really aren’t any major holidays to plan around. Our minds are free to drift forward into those warm sunshine- filled days, and if you’re intent on getting a jump-start on your self- improvement, or you’re just trying to regain the motivation that you had at the beginning of January, there’s no reason to let it pass you by. –Tom Bohanon
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