The January blues

First part of year most depressing part of year

New Year’s Eve has come and gone once more, leaving in its wake a brand new calendar year - along with plenty of confetti and other, less pleasant things to sweep up off of the floor.

It’s a time for new beginnings - for life-improving promises to oneself and fresh perspectives on this big thing that we call life.

It is also time for a sickening over-saturation of “January blues” articles strewn across every medium imaginable - a trend that is my duty as an aspiring writer to propagate.

To me, the very existence of New Year’s resolutions is a testament to the depressing nature of this time of the year.

Think about it: why does a person suddenly resolve, consciously (or even publicly), to make a change of some kind to his or her life?

The answer, of course, is that said person has been confronted with the presence of some dissatisfactory element.

Right now, the circumstance causing so many people to confront the dissatisfactory aspects of their respective lives is the ushering in of a new calendar year.

I tend to experience it, too - that melancholy moment of epiphany which comes somewhere between the champagne toast and Auld Lang Syne, where it feels as if an entire year has flashed by in the blink of an eye; where all of the missed opportunities and regrets come bubbling up into view.

Mind you, I tend to earn the label of “downer” fairly often.

Now, there’s absolutely nothing negative about the concept of folks all around the world taking a good look at their lives and making an effort to change for the better.

The problem, which has evolved into one of the most popular January blues tropes, is that the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions are completely abandoned within a week or two of their inceptions.

This fact is actually supremely depressing in and of itself because it illustrates how, despite our tendency as human beings to notice the flaws in our behaviours and attitudes when directly confronted with the passage of a calendar year, we are almost all just too damn lazy to ever commit to a new course.

Now that your reader’s mind has been invaded with dark thoughts of a tragically predictable human race (as you prepare to crumple this paper in disgust, departing for a dark basement in which to spend the rest of your futile days watching Diff’rent Strokes reruns and munching on Bugles), I must remind you of all of the other reasons why you should be sad right now.

You’re broke from all the Christmas shopping you did over the past month - and also from the purchase of all of those flasks of booze that you snuck into the mall in order to calm your anxiety while you did it.

Your nerves are shot from the inevitable increase in arguments between you and your significant other that has taken place in recent weeks, further contributing to the libation expense.

The winter weather suddenly seems much less bearable now that the anticipation of holiday festivities and good cheer has been replaced by the knowledge that the next couple of months will be spent in a frigid, brown-grey wasteland.

Come to think of it, listing off all of these depressing things has gotten me too down to even properly conclude this article. Oh well, maybe I’ll just go see if there’s any recently expired eggnog left in the fridge.

Carson Hammond is a second year English student at the University of Winnipeg.

Published in Volume 66, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 11, 2012)

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