Thursday, January 20, 2011

In Defence of January

So, how was so-called 'Blue Monday' for you? Did you find last Monday the most depressing day of the year? I can't say that I did. Which isn't really surprising, as the whole 'Blue Monday' thing is a load of bollocks. Indeed, according to Micheal White in The Guardian the other day, the whole thing was an advertising stunt devised a few years ago by a firm trying to sell holidays in the traditionally slow month of January. Like many such things, it has since taken on a life of its own and is now presented by various media outlets as 'scientific fact'. Mind you, January gets a bad press in general. Only yesterday I read an article in the paper describing it as 'bleak' and the 'worst month of the year'. All this because it has the misfortune to follow December, which gets to be all decked out in tinsel and have glamourous celebrations like Christmas and New Year's Eve. For a while I fell for this image of January, and would spend the entire month feeling miserable. Then I remembered that, previously, I'd never had any problem with the month. Let's face it, if December didn't have Christmas and New Year's Eve, we'd think of it as being a truly dreadful month - invariably cold, damp and dark. It is only the promise of those celebrations toward the end of the month that makes us think of December with a rosy, warm glow. The truth is that, weather wise, January isn't that much different to December. In fact, it is, more often than not, slightly milder, not to mention lighter.

That's not to say that I don't sometimes get down and depressed in January. Last year, for instance, the snow really got to me. But that was just the weather - the fact that it was January, was purely coincidental. You can get snow in any Winter month. Just look at last December. The truth is that January really isn't that bad. In fact, in many ways, I think I prefer it to December. For all the glitz and glamour of the twelfth month, the fact is that it represents the year drawing to a close. It's all about endings. January, on the other hand, is the beginning of the year. Whilst some might find the prospect of another twelve months stretching ahead of them, I find the prospect invigorating. Who knows what might happen in those months? January, to me, represents hope and possibility, the opportunity to make new beginnings. And that's the bottom line for me: I've always preferred beginnings to endings. Beginnings are where you have all the joys still exploring a new situation, still learning. They're full of expectation. Which is wonderful. In my opinion, at least. So here's to January - unloved by many, but not me.



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