Monday, 3 January 2011

On January

Hello Darkness, my old friend.

I'm not sure how much of this bad mood is due to my impending return to work tomorrow morning. I'd be tempted to lay all of the blame at my office door, but I know better. It's the new year, that's what's making me miserable.

I've never been one to make resolutions - or even plans. I'm not much of an optimist and I don't see the point in struggling to look to the future when I've perfected living in the past. Typically, once the clock strikes midnight on 31st December, I'm struck with the realisation that a new, uncharted set of 365 days lays before me. A hazy, unknown expanse full of hidden treasure and wicked monsters, wild seas and cozy fireplaces. I'm very much of the mindset that planning ahead is difficult in any sense but the most abstract - as I'm completely unsure of the treasure-to-monster ratio and so can't predict which opportunities will present themselves, which obstacles will block my path. I do, however, allow myself a moment after the fireworks, kisses and mumbling of Auld Lang Syne to hope for the best, to consider what it is I'd like to happen.

At the New Year's Eve parties I attend, it's almost unheard of that the night should pass without incident. There is usually a fight, an argument or flood of tears from somebody to distract me from my flight of fancy and reacquaint me with reality. [It's been two or three years since I was at the centre of one of these incidents - that's progress for you. There was a time that I was odds-on favourite to be the cause of any aggravation.]

And really, that's what January is, isn't it? A painful and undignified crash back into real life. A sad and nervous return to the big city, which looks so much greyer and unattractive without its fairy lights and festive decorations. A bleak midwinter to wade through, with little merriment or joy (due to length of time between pay days and the notorious VAT hike). Oh my God, it's grim - and made worse by the fact that it sits stubbornly straight after one of the most exciting, friendly months of the year. It's such a comedown - a 31 day hangover.

January; have you taken note of May's daffodils, July's long days, October's falling leaves and December's festivity? Do you see what other months provide to keep us entertained? Can you not even try to offer us something to cheer us up? There are no parties because there's no money, there are no flowers because there's no sun. If I had to sum you up in three words, they would be drizzle, debt and despair. And no, I don't think despair is going too far. For once, this year, I would like to have a fun January. Can you please arrange this for me?

I'll let you know how it goes. I'm not holding out much hope.

PS Sorry if anyone reading this celebrates their birthday in January. If this is the case, then you are a rare and sought-after example of January making an effort to improve its reputation.


  1. I know exactly what you're talking about here. I myself was very excited to start 2011 but now that it's here I'm remembering all the challenges I'll have to face and I'm getting anxious. It doesn't help that January is a cold, bitter month with no festive holidays (although we in US get off for MLK Day).
    Chin up, you'll get through it. :)

  2. I celebrate my birthday in January! But it's towards the second part of the month when no one has any money to do anything. So it's pretty rubbish actually :(

  3. I couldn't agree more. January reminds me that the fun is over and we must start thinking about the future - and the future is scary.

    January doesn't have much to offer, now does it? Urgh.

  4. I was just thinking about how much I hate January! I don't know. I hate January as much as I hate Mondays.


  5. January is always so bleak for me. It reminds me even more of the things I dislike about life, because everything is so dark and dungy about it to begin with.

    With each house that unplugs their twinkling Christmas lights, it's just another reminder that we have three months of total grossness, snow, and lack of sunlight to look forward too.

    My psychiatrist was telling me at my last visit that there has been a report released which found that all Canadians have extreme vitamin d deficiencies in the winter, because of how little sun we get.


  6. @ Lena - I shall keep my chin up and struggle through. 2011 looks daunting now. Its first 5 days have not been pleasant.

    @ London Girl - my birthday's in December; everyone's either broke or at Christmas parties. I feel your pain.

    @ Allison - no. Not much at all. Except London Girl's birthday, which is a wonderful thing. I wish I could live like a goldfish sometimes, thinking of nothing but the present, no past and no future to worry about. BLISS.

    @ Gnetch - what about Mondays in January? OMFG. The horror.

    @ Tabs - I know! I changed the photo on this post - it now shows a Christmas tree discarded on the pavement outside Aldgate station. It broke my heart.

    ('Broke my heart' is a bit dramatic, perhaps)

  7. Completely agree, although I often feel a bit concerned that I seem to spend most of my hours essentially wishing my life away (e.g. I wish it was 17:30 so I could go home, I wish it was the weekend, I wish it was Spring).

    This is why I don't make resolutions. Come January, I'd just look back at the previous year and be so utterly disappointed. Considering spending the rest of January drunk just to get through it... lol :)

  8. I am never excited to start a new year.IT somehow depresses me.I neither like the year ending..nor do I like the beginning of another.I am one confused soul.