Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blue Monday

While I had never before even heard of “Blue Monday - The Unhappiest Day of the Year”, considering what a restless night I had and how thoroughly miserable I felt this morning, it doesn’t at all surprise me that the mathematical formula actually exists. It’s apparently a calculation based upon various factors such as weather, debt, motivation and the failure of New Year’s resolutions, all of which makes perfect sense. Anyway, without expanding tediously upon the conspiring elements (which I think any fool can accept), what’s amusing about the idea is that there appears to be some substance to it, more so today notwithstanding the alleviating sunshine. I am still generally downhearted.

I thrashed about in bed from one o’clock this morning until six, interrupted only briefly by some unconvincing semblance of sleep. I imagined that I had done the Austin Powers equivalent of losing his MoJo (though less of the sexual appeal and more of the self-confidence), or as others say, my chutzpah, basically my nerve. I have no doubt that my hard living has at last caught up with me. As one of my colleagues used to quip over morning coffee at the local restaurant, “He’s been ridden hard and put away wet!”, a frightful condemnation which at two o’clock in the morning seems quite appropriate for a fitful sleep and a dissipated life.

The sunshine today was also trumped by the exceeding cold temperatures, creating of course an equal hardship for the machinery on which we rely to get to and from work. As if to throw an even more menacing feature into the mix, Environment Canada is predicting freezing rain tomorrow! What a horrible combination that will make with the ice and snow already on the ground after this past weekend’s storm. If I want to demoralize myself completely I need only pause for a moment to reflect upon my retired friend in Palm Springs! That is certain to bring the world crashing down around me, reminding me once again of my life-long lack of financial planning and foresight!

To get back to Blue Monday, it is commonplace to observe that January is the dénouement of the Christmas and New Year’s performance. Notwithstanding that we had the sense to dislodge ourselves from the fracas by going to South Carolina for the entire time, it is still impossible to escape the contamination of the event. Wherever one goes it is obviously not business as usual. Either stores and restaurants are closed, or the ones which are open are mysteriously either empty or by entire contrast hideously bustling with merry makers. There is no insulation from the event, one is reminded of it at every turn. Small wonder our pummeled minds and bodies collapse piteously in the middle of January. The challenge of facing a sober and cold world is naturally augmented by the contemporaneous need to avoid all the palliatives which we foreswore on New Year’s Eve. It creates a mean and strikingly harsh context.

If one puts any stock in the value of busy hands and minds, it is easy to see that that too conspires against us at this time of year when business generally grinds to a halt. Aside from the decline of production, the consumer is equally blighted. No one in their right mind wants to spend money on anything. If nothing else we’re saturated! We are left to survey - usually from indoors - a frozen landscape upon which the sun sets shortly after four o’clock in the afternoon, plunging us into another dark, long night. The improving effects of exercise also take a nose-dive in January.

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