Congratulations, friends, we made it through Blue Monday! What, you didn’t realize that yesterday was Blue Monday? Me neither, until there were a scant few hours left. Ah, well.
Blue Monday (the third Monday of January) is reported as the most depressing day of the year. Or the saddest day of the year. It’s also a reallyReally great New Order song. It was a reallyReally great New Order song long before some holiday company ran some (maybe legit, maybe bogus – marketing is a dirty business) algorithms having to do with holiday hangover and weather and assorted other mood-related things. The Blue Monday campaign apparently wasn’t intended to sound negative (because “the saddest day of the year” sounds chipper?) It was just supposed to inspire you to muse about the chasm between Blue Monday and the golden joy of Yay!Cation. Then you’d write a cheque for a vacation in a normally austere January. If no one’s spending money because they’re still smarting from the credit card bill from a splurge-y December, you gotta do something, right? So you lean into the pointy part of someone’s unhappiness and how a getaway can help that. Everyone wins.
I mean, I get it. My workday starts in the dark at 7am and when my Gentleman Associate and I get home just before 4, the house already has the dusky gloom of twilight – especially if it’s overcast, as it is for many days in a run in my part of Canada. Spring feels impossibly far away. These are unquestionably the winter blues days of the year where I live. So yeah, I get that a tour company would want something to bolster people’s moods (even if the cynical me doesn’t dwell on the idea that elevating someone’s moods also bolster’s the corporate coffers).
I’m not here to wag my finger at capitalism. I bought lovely tangerine suede sandals just last week in anticipation of vacation/summer. If I could afford the vacation days or the dollabills, There would be a Scooby-Doo style puff of dust behind me and a SwearyMissMary shaped hole in the office wall. So yeah, Blue Monday is all pseudoscience – it sounds like it could be true, so, yaknow, maybe there’s a kernel of something there.. But there’s no real research behind it (except the reallyReally good New Order song part. That’s indesputable).
OK, by show of hands, who has enough fun in their lives? Anyone? Is that even a thing? I feel like I often get so bogged down in the gots-to-dos that I can make excuses for missing the fun happening around me. I’m like a grizzly bear standing in the middle of a river on a rock, trying to catch a salmon while hundreds of salmon are flinging themselves out of the water around me. Opportunities abound, I just have to catch something.
But days are long and workdays are tiring and weekends are full of needful things, and then, somehow, I can’t remember the last fun thing I did.
Celebrating is important, and I’m happy to jump on every bandwagon that comes along. Sometimes those are more frivolous than others. Especially considering that so many of us struggle with the overwhelming nature of major holidays, it’s good to spread out the fun rather than cramming all your fun expectations in one stocking (sorry, Santa!)
So, It’s January. We’re just a few weeks into a new calendar year. Opportunities spread out in front of me in the hundreds.
Spending a bit of time handing out cards with goofy puns to your friends and eating more cinnamon hearts than you probably should is fun. And if you use that as a springboard to a better appreciation of relationships in your life, even better. Wear green because it’s St Patrick’s day? OK! You don’t need to drink the green beer. For other frivolous fun days like Talk Like a Pirate day (September 19) or National Chocolate Cake day (January 27). Have cake. Don’t. Whatever. Wait for National Hot Dog day instead if you’re on Keto. If you don’t want to contribute to the Hallmark Overlords monopoly on a holiday, don’t buy a card. Easypeasy.
But if you want to have a Star Wars movie Marathon on May 4th and 6th, do. If you want to have raspberry pie with your work peeps and make pasta pie for dinner on March 14th (Pi Day), do. Fly your extra nerdy science flag on Mole Day. Turn out your lights and play cards by candlelight on Earth Day (April 22) and plan your wardrobe appropriately on Wear a Sweater day (Feb 6). Maybe that will inspire better stewardship of the earth more often. If not, you did a good thing on one day. Good is still good. Make some brownies on April 20. There’s the November trifecta of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. There’s Taco Tuesday and Pancake Tuesday and Meatless Monday and Soup on Sunday and YayReportCardDay. So many reasons to have a little celebration (and some of them even aren’t about food).
February 1 is the start of the new fiscal year in DayJobLand, and I’ve already been flipping the pages of the calendar to decide when to schedule the year’s Yay!Cation. This year, when there’s a chance to do something novel, I’m going to do it. Watching the news even once a week gives me enough reason to want to go hide somewhere and wait for the doomsday clock to finally tick over. I’m going to look for reasons to feel amused and joyful. And dogpile on that like it’s my job.
According to the Internets, today is Museum Selfie day, National Banana Bread Day, National Squirrel Appreciation Day, and National Hugging Day. Surely there’s some good times hiding in there somewhere, right? If that doesn’t inspire you, it’s also Mariachi Band day.