I’m wondering whether you are feeling like me right now? Christmas seems like it was months ago and New Year (with all it’s resolutions) a distant memory. This weekend the decorations were packed away for another year leaving behind a bareness that didn’t seem to be there before they arrived. Perhaps it’s leaving you wondering what is January all about?
January is a peculiar month, on the one hand I celebrate that Winter is over, we have passed the Winter solstice and I can start to convince myself that the days are getting longer, I notice the bright, sunny days and my faith that Summer is returning is restored! There is so much to look forward to in the year ahead, it truly is a new start!
However, there is the alternate reality, that I am being bombarded with at every turn, of it still being extremely cold, the nights are still fairly long and the sun, whilst is present at times, is often still missing! Christmas has vanished into the past along with all the good intentions of the New Year. It seems that January should feel like limbo month, maybe even a dip in our year, when the excitement is over but the next bout of excitement has yet to begin (if it ever does!).
Apparently I am not the only person who has ever felt like this, Dr Cliff Arnall, in 2005, concluded that the third Monday in January was the ‘Bluest’ Monday of all! His formula for arriving at this included low motivation levels, failed New Year resolutions, the end of Christmas and associated credit card bills arriving on the doormat, all culminating on the third Monday of January when depression reached its peak. You may think what a depressing thing to come up with, but actually he has since been quoted as saying that his intention was never meant to contribute to the negative stigma associated with the day, in fact, it was quite the opposite.
The difficulty is that as soon as it is suggested that we label a day as bad it’s so much easier to find things about the time to support that label, it’s like we put on ‘Blue Monday’ glasses that filter out all the good stuff so that all we see is the gloom and doom. I know this first hand as my father passed away in January 2005 and it was suggested to me that this time of year would be ‘bad’ for me and that I would struggle. For a number of years that followed, this happened and I would find myself dreading January, I could find nothing that I liked about it, it was filled with darkness and gloom. That was until I realised that January had simply become a trigger for remembering my Father the ‘badness’ that I had been told would happen every January was merely a suggestion and I could actually choose what I remembered about him, and therefore I could choose what I noticed about this time of year too. In essence I had changed my glasses, I didn’t have to follow the pattern that had been suggested to me that this was a ‘bad time’ of year for me, I was the creator of my own experience.
So this year as we approach Blue Monday, I invite you to change your glasses (or clean them) and see the day for what it is, simply another day that you can create whatever experience you want to create and go into the year ahead filled with excitement, curiosity and wonder about what it will bring.
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