Congratulations, everybody! You made it another year! Another New Year when the Mayan calendar’s “prophetic power” didn’t kill us, our computers didn’t blow up, and The Sleepers vs. The Partiers whose New Year’s Eve plans jammed our newsfeeds didn’t become any more interesting. (No hate. I’ve posted a NYE picture before, and I will do it again.)

I personally rang in 2016 with red wine, horror stories (don’t ask), and girl talk around the dining room table with a few friends in Va Beach, but went home by 10:30 p.m. to FaceTime with Aaron until midnight since it was one of the few times he was/will be in port—therefore able to call me—these next 8 weeks. We kissed the computer screen at midnight, which is really weird when you think about it, but seemed cute at the time. #21stcenturylovers

Now, we find ourselves in January. The Monday of the calendar year. The month where you feel fat from the weekend holidays, dread going back to work, and don’t know how you’ll possibly make it to Friday April, when people start socializing again.

I didn’t get particularly fat over the holidays, primarily because Aaron and I spent Christmas just unwrapping wedding gifts and cuddling instead of eating, however I’ve made up for lost time in the last five days. Since Aaron left town, I have eaten the following…in single sittings:

  • ½ a large pizza, which I ordered for lunch. LUNCH, you guys.
  • 1 full size bag of BBQ potato chips, ½ tub of hummus, 4 Red Baron mini pizza bites
  • 1 personal pan Red Baron frozen deep dish pizza, ½ bag of chocolate covered almonds
  • Another tub of hummus

Basically, I’ve turned into a 15-year-old boy. Living on pizza and glued to the television watching MTV’s The Challenge. My name is Shannon Leyko, and I am here today because I’m in a plan-hole (Aaron’s words).

I spent the last 5 months of my life planning, all while attached at the hip with Aaron. Now, I have nothing to plan, my partner-in-crime is busy being a very productive member of society by protecting our country’s waters, and I’m just over here avoiding organizing our apartment. I need a plan.

I’ve planned my plan, which felt good, so now I’m showered and at Starbucks writing this post, which were Steps 1-3. Killing it. I got slightly sidetracked when my bridesmaids and I group-texted this morning for about two [very entertaining] hours, but I pulled through.

Yesterday, while I did not shower, I did manage to get out of bed to meet friends for some day drinks before going to my parents’ house to eat 25 lbs of mac & cheese and 25 ounces of pork tenderloin for dinner (add it to the list…). As I was reestablishing my social skills with the world over drinks, one of my girlfriends casually mentioned that getting out of the house was her biggest mission of the day. Thank God! I am not alone in the fight against becoming a WALL-E person during the month of January.


Since most of you probably won’t brush your hair until Monday morning (most likely the day you read this…but surprise, I’m actually writing this on Saturday!), I’ve decided to put together some helpful tips for how to survive January without considering your closest friend to be the delivery guy.

(If you’re on a “New Near, New Me” kick and already going to the gym among other productive activities, then I’m super proud of you. I mean it. But if, by the very likely chance, you only last two weeks…come back and read this then.)

1. Shave your legs

No, seriously. At least once a week, shave. It’ll make you feel more human, plus your jeans won’t pull on your leg spikes, which is the worst.

2. Make plans after work

Again, I’m not unrealistic. You don’t have to go out more than once a week on a school night, but even if it’s to watch Concussion in theatres, give yourself the opportunity to lay eyes on humans that aren’t your coworkers, roommates, or family. It will remind you that there’s a great big world outside of your couch.

3. Read a book

It’s tempting to let T.V. or social media suck your time, but you can be just as cozy with a good book. Your brain and eyeballs will thank you.

4. Have a project

For me, it’s making a wedding scrapbook, writing thank you cards, and making our apartment livable. Find something to do that has an end product, because end products feel really good.

5. Go to the gym

I know. I’m the worst for even writing this. But moving your body will make you feel one thousand percent better. It doesn’t need to be the focus of your whole life like those “inspirational” people you see on Facebook (I salute them, though), but try to break a sweat a few days a week. Plus, sweat will make you want to shower, which we all know takes a little extra motivation in January.

6. Put on your favorite jeans every 5 days

If they start getting tight, lay off the pizza. Don’t let things get out of hand.

chicken wings gif

7. Try something new

Aaron and I were supposed to take a glass blowing class this month, but our plans were deterred by his last minute orders to deploy. Still, I am learning about and researching a new skill while he’s gone: photography. Knowledge is power. And what is more powerful than knowing you can use a firey torch to make a vase, or that you can take a high quality picture of your favorite bottle of wine?

8. Take one trip

You don’t need to go to Florida or anything (unless you have the money, then by all means GO RIGHT NOW), but take a mini road trip to visit friends, or spend the weekend in a new city a few hours away, just to explore.

9. Buy a new pair of boots or a scarf

Look good, feel good.

10. Watch The Bachelor on Monday nights

And read Generation grannY episode recaps on Tuesdays. You’ll laugh…if not at my recaps, then just at the show itself. Plus you’ll feel like you’re part of a little online community, which is 5% sad, and 95% really fun.


There you have it. I will take my own advice and lay off the pizza so that Aaron doesn’t come home to a wife he doesn’t recognize. #letmeupgradeyou

Happy Monday January, all!