Darn. I was so busy being happy and filled with gratitude yesterday that it wasn’t until collecting Jake at 8.15 last night I discovered Monday 21st January – more accurately the third Monday of the year – is officially the bleakest day of the year.
Blue Monday, they call it and it’s when six misery factors commingle and erupt in a veritable explosion of melancholy. The factors are:
- The weather
- Christmas debt
- Monotony setting in because the newness of the year has all but disappeared
- Broken or forgotten resolutions
- Low motivation
- Feeling desperately that you need to take action to improve your wretched life
So how come I’m so annoyingly chirpy? The good things in my life completely overshadow the crap, that’s how come.
For a start, I hadn’t noticed the weather was bad. It’s not a cold winter. True, we’ve had downpours and floods. I even got caught up in a severely flooded road where the Suir had burst its banks. It was dark and there was no warning sign on my side of the flood. By the time I saw what I’d driven into I didn’t dare stop and reverse so just kept ploughing ahead. The car made it through and juddered along for 2 or 3 miles until I came to a T junction and had to stop. It staggered into the middle of the road and died. Lights went out. Dangerous bends in both directions. Child waiting to be picked up from school, 8 o’clock at night.
Flagging down strange men on isolated country roads never felt so good and safe. They pushed me into a lay-by, got me to the school (one just happened to be a parent) and delivered us safely home.
But I can only see the good side of this story. A neighbour got me back to the car the next day. The AA responded swiftly. The car started up as if nothing had happened and when I took it for a check-up, my car-man told me all the mechanical disasters I’d managed to avoid.
The cold damp days simply mean that as I work, the cats and dog snooze happily beside me in the warmth and remind me to slow down, chill out and get a life.
Going back to those misery factors, I don’t do debt at all these days and even the bigger things like Christmas and holidays are paid for with money I’ve already earnt. I don’t have to worry about Gerry the postman bringing me anything as painful as a credit card bill with a mountainous balance.
Monotony because the new year is no longer new? Nonsense; it still feels sparkly and full of promise for me. I’m still greeting people I’ve not seen since before Christmas with ‘happy new years’ and my sitting room is still full of tinsel and Christmas candles.
And even if the year no longer felt new, then surely your week would still be new, or even your day? Besides, you don’t stop loving something just because it’s shiny newness has dulled a bit, do you?
Broken resolutions? Not in my house. Jake elected a religious one, going to mass every week which he’s already finding tough going, but despite the wind and rain on Saturday night we felt the chill and did it anyway. And my health and fitness resolutions are stronger than ever. 5lbs down and 5 trips to the gym in the last seven days.
Low motivation? I can’t tick this box either. I’m highly motivated because I’ve worked out my powerful intentions for the year, with me old mate, Judith, and we’re swapping weekly progress reports every Sunday. My intentions are all things I want and value rather than ‘musterbating’ about what I should have, do or be.
Is my life wretched? From where you’re standing, maybe, but not from mine. I feel deeply entrenched in the habit of focussing on everything that is good in my life. Electric blankets, people who love me, those amazing navel oranges, Cadburys Highlights, contact lenses, open fires, rich coffee when I wake, Curves for Birds, new diaries, the Galtee mountains, clients, blogs, holidays, tomatoes on the vine, tinsel, abundant coaches, baked beans, laughing cows, books, laughter, electricity, bottled water, abundance, The Secret, my pens, my typing fingers, winter birthdays, Ryanair, not drinking, the birds at Curves, Bart Simpson, dressing gowns, my pipe, no not really, just checking if you’re still reading, sisters, porridge, kitchen roll, telephones…
Everything that is good in my life because everything in my life is good.