Tomorrow is the saddest day of the year.
It’s a fact: the third Monday in January is considered the most depressing day of the year, and that’s backed by professionals–I didn’t make it up.
I hate to be the bearer of crappy, discouraging news—but you’d almost have to be a hermit to not have heard this before.
And there are a few reasons for this.
- It’s a Monday. Now for you SoBs (now before you go and get angry at me or shut down your internet, that’s South of the Border, not the other) there’s a little ray of sunshine on the day as it’s Martin Luther King Day (a holiday), so you can just peek out from under the covers for 30 seconds and then just pull them back over your heads (but before you do, take a moment to remember Dr. King and the life he lived, the things he did, the change he brought about, and the sacrifices he made). So having the day away from work isn’t the worst thing that could happen.
- This is about the time the credit card bills roll in from December. Now you’ve got to pay for all that stuff you bought, ate, drank, or did. Mine was due last Friday, and boy, did it hurt paying that one (but I did have fun spending it!).
- Did you make a resolution for the new year? Probably failed at that right about now—you and a lot of other people. I have a friend who is a psychologist (specializing in body image) and she has said that one reason we fail is that we seem to think making up our minds to stop smoking or to lose weight or to exercise more are as simple as just tossing out the cigarettes, starting a diet or buying a gym membership. But, Shelly says, if you don’t make a plan to actually shift your thinking and your lifestyle for the long-term to fit in with these resolutions, you’re more than likely gong to fail. So…if you’re going to make a resolution and you truly hope to stick with it—give some serious thought to the longer term and figure out what you have to do to get there. And don’t be down if you’ve already broken your resolution(s)—you are not alone! Just start again. But give yourself till Tuesday.
- It’s the middle of the damn winter in the Northern Hemisphere (don’t want to hear anything from your Aussies and Kiwis). Sometimes it feels as though there’s no end in sight to the short days, too cold nights and general bleakness of this time of the year. And for friends on the eastern side of North America, it’s been particularly bad. Even we in Canada feel sorry for you.
- We’re all going to get another year older—hell, some of us may have already done that. In Suriname (a very cool place, I must say), birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions that are marked with a 0 or a 5—such as 25th anniversary or 40th birthday—are called “bigi yaris”, loosely translated into “big years”, where your party is supposed to be a little bigger and extra special. Well guess what? It’s a bigi yari birthday year for me—and for a lot of my friends too. I think how we decide to mark the year will determine our attitudes until the next milestone…and I, for one, think we should make it a celebratory year to remember.
So now that I’ve generally been Debbie Downer and brought you all this bad news, I’m going to tell you something that is about to happen to me.
Tomorrow, I start a new job. And I think it may be the one I’ve waited for most of my life.
I have to admit, I’ve been nervous about the future (I’m nervous about this new twist too, but in an entirely different and positive way). I think many of us know the feeling—we’ve been working a long time, we make decent money, we’re close to retirement (hopefully)….and they can probably get two 20-somethings for the price of one of us. Or less.
But they won’t get the experience or the expertise, they won’t get the commitment or the knowledge that comes with time.
Sometimes that doesn’t matter. I watched my mom get pushed out a job she had for 20+ years when she was in her early 60’s. Took her only a little while before she ended up in a small library, where she worked for the next two decades. I think she may have enjoyed that even more than the career for which she trained. But I still remember watching her deal with it, and can only imagine how it felt. And I’ve seen it happen to friends too.
Finding myself in that place—too young to retire but old enough to be priced out of the job market—I’ll admit I’ve been passively conscious of where I am in life. So for this to happen (a promotion into a job I’m pretty sure I’m going to love), and for it to start on Blue Monday, tells me all I need to know about what kind of year it’s going to be.
It’s going to be a bigi yari, all right.
Hang in there—spring’s only 65 days away!
Next week: The longest night of the year….