Friday, January 19, 2007

The most depressing time of the year?

APPARANTLY THIS coming Wednesday, January 24, is offically the most depressing day of the year. Some boffin,somewhere has calculated a due to it’s distance from Christmas, and until payday- combined with the cold weather, dark nights and general bleurgh feeling that seeps into your very pores in January this Wednesday is going to be pretty damn miserable.
Suicides will increase, as will marriage breakdowns. Diets will be broken like never before as we reach for king size chocolate bars to release some endorphins and ease the bleakness- only to have the bleakness come back like a good ‘un once we step on the scales and see the Christmas damage. (Only 3lbs here- something I shall be proud of until the day I die, as it beats my usual 5-7lbs hands down.)
On Wednesday we can expect roadrage to be on the increase and for people to walk around with their brows more furrowed than ever before. Don’t expect any kind greetings or for anyone to hold the door open for you when you are laden down with bags from the January sales.
Don’t expect anyone to let you nip in before them at the check out- even if you only have a carton of milk and they have their week’s groceries to put through. Kindness won’t exist on Wednesday. The world, according to this (probably hugely overpaid) boffin is going to be a cold and lonely place this week. It’s tempting, therefore, to go into hibernation for the day.
Surely the powers that be- those responsible for the business world- could give us all the day off so we could slide under our duvets with a good book, daytime telly and a hot chocolate (one of the low fat ones) for company. Surely they must realise that a happy workforce is a productive workforce? And at the end of the day, who wants to be staring out a sea of depressed faces anyway?
I love that in America duvet days are allowed- and in fact encouraged- by some forward thinking companies. This gives employees permission to take a certain amount of days off each year just because the thought of work that morning is a little too much to take. You know what I mean- days when you’ve been kept awake for three hours the previous night listening to an almost-three-year-old rhyme off the names of all the trains from ‘Thomas and Friends’, or days when your eyes refuse to open no matter how loud the alarm clock beeps. Days when you don’t exactly feel sick as such, but you don’t feel full of the joys of life either. Days when only your bed and a cup of tea will do the trick. Days exactly like January 24.
Much has been written about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and it seems almost everyone you chat to these days has a wee touch of it to be going on with. While i’m not convinced I’m a complete SAD-o, I have to say I do generally find the winter months- and January and February in particular- damn hard work. It’s a common complaint but I hate leaving for work in the dark and returning once again under cover of darkness with my only glimpse at daylight being the dash to the shop through the pouring rain at one o’clock.
Because of this I start to obsess quite dramatically about the length of the days. When I left work shortly after five on Tuesday there was a wee glint of light in the evening sky and my heart lifted just that little. It’s a long time coming until the nights are shorter than the days, but I’ll take my jollies where I can them especially with Wednesday’s doomsday prophecy looming. Then again, the upside of this all is that come Thursday we’ll all know the worst of the winter blues are gone for another year and we can start to think that little bit more positively.
Already I’m thinking of the summer months which lie ahead. I’ve started talking to the wee man about all the days we will spend down at Benone or Lisfannon and I’ve even ordered him one of those UVA protective all in one swimsuit efforts so he doesn’t get burned to a crisp when the good weather hits.
I’m considering planning a break in the sun, something which won’t cost the earth but which will top up my natural seratonin levels all the same. In fact I’ll probably spend at least half an hour on Wednesday browsing the holiday brochure which has arrived on my desk even though there isn’t a chance in heaven or hell I could afford the plush resorts featured. A girl can dream, can’t she?

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