Lions and Lambs and Why March is the Worst


March is said to either come in like a lion and go out like a lamb or the opposite, come in like a lamb and go out like a lion. Either way, one end of the month is supposed to be completely different from the other end. Both beginning and end will surely not be lovely, just as they surely will not be horrendous. March either comes in or goes out like a lamb.

For me, March came this year with cycle one of a new chemotherapy regimen. It will go out at the beginning of chemotherapy cycle two.

In the middle of March, we have, of course, the Ides. “Beware the Ides of March,” Julius Caesar was warned before he was assassinated by being stabbed by something like 60 co-conspirators during a Senate meeting. Yikes, Brutus. Cold. Just like March.

Then a few days later, people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, also a celebration of someone’s death. This holiday is the smelliest holiday of the year. People everywhere boil corned beef and cabbage and then wash that down with some beer. Lots of beer. In fact, the holiday seems to be a free pass to get wasted no matter what day of the week it falls on. Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, why did Leprechaun traps become a thing? I mean, why are parents trashing their houses and blaming it on Leprechauns? Leprechauns that never end up in the traps, BTdubs. I’m sorry, but I cannot get on board with this ridiculous new tradition.

Let’s be honest (and I apologize if your birthday is in March and you therefore love it) March is the worst month of the year.

At least in Vermont. All Vermonters want is Spring, or at least good Spring skiing. But our Spring is usually cold and bitter and muddy. If you have kids, you can’t even walk to the mailbox without ending up with an entire load of laundry. I’m talking coats, gloves, and snowpants. Wash it all. I remember when I worked full time and my kids went to daycare all day. I picked them up one day at 5 pm in March and every single piece of their outdoor clothing was covered in mud. We had something to do that evening so laundry was the last thing on my list.

I was pissed.

March in Vermont means mud season.
Photo Cred: LuAnn Bailey Photography

As I stewed about the reality of what my evening would look like, I began to think of people who don’t have a washing machine and dryer in their home. I thought about people who had to conserve water or laundry detergent and did not have the luxury to just “throw a load in” whenever they needed to. As a social worker, this is often where my brain goes. I emailed the director my concerns about the daily impact of having to wash an entire family’s outerwear, and she replied with a link to Amazon for one of those full body rain suits- Muddy Buddies I think they are called.

Literally, just the link.

I just about lost my marbles as it seemed she had completely missed my point, or else just didn’t care about the disenfranchised folks in our daycare. Anyway, this post isn’t really about Muddy Buddies. They are probably useful like 4 times a year, but as a striving minimalist, I’ll make do without. And I’ll also just stick to complaining about mud-season like a good Vermonter.

March is long. 31 days, in fact, but it seems extra long. Maybe because February is so tidy in its 28 days. Someone said to me the other day “March is 5 weeks long this year”. Now, I don’t even really know what that means, because that would make March 35 days long and I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen, but I feel you, friend.

March is stupid long.

I did some old fashioned Google searching about the lions and the lambs and found a few different derivatives. The Farmer’s Almanac website stated that if March “came in bad (roaring like a lion), it should go out good and calm (docile, like a lamb)”. Well, I’m not stupid enough to believe that. I mean, I do believe in the science that is global warming, but it’s certainly not that cut and dry, right?

March comes in, or goes out, like a lion. Another website called the Paris Review offers an astrological explanation: that Leo is rising at the beginning of the month and Aries (technically a kid, but lamb sounds better) is rising at the end. The biblical theory offers that “Jesus’s first appearance was as the sacrificial lamb, but he will return as the Lion of Judah, hence those symbolic animals.”

I’m not entirely sure what these mean, except that they pertain to the 35 (what?) day suckfest that is March.

At some point, “in like a lion and out like a lamb” became interchangeable and I think every year around the Ides, while contemplating whether or not I’ll participate in some level of St Paddy’s Day adventurism, how the heck the month came in. But truth be told, I don’t care how March exits, as long as it ends, and in less than 35 days.

In summary, I think we can all agree that March is the worst.

Thank you for your time, I will be spending the next hour trying to figure out what clothing to wear so that I’m not sweating or freezing and I don’t ruin any shoes, but also am not clunking around in my winter boots or with wet feet. Good God, is it spring yet?


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