Thursday, January 19, 2012

Those January Blahs!

To speak plainly I have had a vexing time of late. I find it remarkable how changeable is my January temperament (predominantly on the decline, but apparently now recovering), how the first weeks of the year seem to drag interminably, how generally wary I am of being able to get through another year of “this”, how starkly cold and miserable the weather is even on a sunny day (I despise the salt and sand which is everywhere), how unpromising the future appears. In short I am suffering a full-blown case of the January blahs aided by that pseudo-science of Blue Monday. Yet it must be that I have turned a corner for otherwise I would be entirely immobilized, unable even to communicate my despondency.
Admittedly I have been playing with fire. In response to the lack of activity on my personal and professional agenda, and succumbing to my inertia and desire to forebear anything out-of-doors, I dabbled once again in that alluring but treacherous realm of cozy drawing room antics, sitting by the fire, reading an improving book of classic English literature by someone like Jane Austen while sipping a frozen martini. On the surface it paints an exquisite picture, providing a view of the snow-covered deck which is best kept on the other side of the heavy burgundy curtains. In reality it is fraught with disappointment, eventually revealing itself as nothing more than a forgery of gratification. If one is intent upon diversion it is far safer to leave the theatre to the British actors in any number of their series of melodramas.

It is a common accident of Canadian winter that one temporarily loses touch with one’s friends and family. There are so few occasions upon which to mingle especially in the early part of the year after December has sucked every possible source of holiday from the calendar. In addition the disposition to entertainment is lacking; we’re all licking our wounds, silently suffering the blight of the season. There is neither joy nor health in the air. For the elderly the time can be especially confining.

Recovering from the sense of inutility which succeeds the first empty commercial days of January requires more than a little patience. The entire world is seemingly frozen in its tracks. As a businessman I readily recognize the superfluity of anything approaching marketing which in short is a waste of time and money. People need time to exhaust their sad recollections and doubtful prospects. Mining any motivation from the depths of one’s spirit is equally daunting. Everything contrives towards resignation.

It would be pleasant to imagine that by strength of one’s own desire, one could rise above the gloom. Easier said than done, unfortunately. For some the collection of causes for grief and disappointment are simply overwhelming, creating knots and tangles which arrest all possibility of improvement. There really is so little than can be done to contest this state of being. Perhaps the only relieving feature of the landscape is that we all suffer the consequences equally. There is no one to my knowledge who is currently effervescent, quite the contrary.

Nonetheless, as I say, I sense the loosening of the grip of apprehension upon me. Granted the advances are small and barely measureable, but when one’s nature is so raw and exposed to the harsh winds of January, any ointment is welcome relief.

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