January is to the year what Monday is to the week. January is the first month of the New Year following a month-long, or longer, binge of fun, food and frivolity which is just a larger and longer version of a Monday following a good weekend.
A start is a start whether it’s starting a new year or a new week. The tendencies, not for everyone mind you, but for a large majority of the people, are to start the new week or New Year fresh with some renewed vim and vigor but the best laid plans have a tendency to fall flat come alarm time on Monday morning or the flipping of the calendar page on January 1st. Depending, of course, on how wild the weekend or the last month and its final day of the year was.
Taking a look inside your empty wallet on a Monday morning or your chequing account on January 2nd is probably depressing enough let alone realizing that you’ve still got the remaining days of the week to get through or another eleven months before you will recover enough to blow those kinds of funds all over again.
Even the most bubbly, optimistic, happy, happy, happy person goes, “Monday? Already?…grrrrr” How often have you heard, “Thank God It’s Monday”? Hmmm? Me too. That kind of thinking explains why they make the Monday the holiday on the long weekends instead of the Friday, don’t you think? We want Fridays. We love Fridays. Mondays…not so much.
January is named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, coming from the Latin word for door, (janua), since January is the door to the New Year. Odd to me, though, is that January is considered new and when I think of new I think of something that makes you feel good like a new car or a new outfit or a cuddly new puppy or a new baby, or something, but a Canadian January is cold and dry and off-putting; it doesn’t really have the feeling of new to me at all. Definitely not a warm and fuzzy-type feeling, that’s for sure.
So now you take your depressing Monday and you combine it with your depressing January and you know what you’ve got? BLUE MONDAY! That’s right, Blue Monday, which has been calculated to be the most depressing day of the year.
Using factors such as weather conditions, debt level, time elapsed since Christmas, time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and assorted other pseudoscientific data, a mathematics tutor created an equation that pinpointed the most depressing day of the year as the third Monday in January. 2016’s version is the 18th of January.
The good news is that once that’s over with there’s nowhere to go but up. Let’s get our lowest day of the year out of the way before the first month’s done. That way we only have to put up with the depressing Mondays for the rest of the year. The non-long-weekend Mondays, that is.
There are usually some redeeming qualities in anything, regardless of their ability to depress us or not, but I’m writing this on a January Monday a week before Blue Monday so I don’t think I’ll even bother looking. I think I’ll just hunker down and ride this one out. Wallow in your Blue Monday everyone. Get it out of the way. It’ll get better.
“Feeling a little blue in January is normal,”- Marilu Henner (1952-).