Sunday, December 26, 2010

S.A.D., much?

The thing about January is, it's such an anticlimax. Seriously, way to kick off a newly minted year with a gigantic letdown. The past five weeks or so have been such an amazing whirl of gaiety, I could hardly catch my breath, let alone cadge a decent night's sleep. Now? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing but merciless January, leaving me pondering my shortcomings, moping over what I did NOT accomplish in the year just completed. Did I lose the weight? A few pounds, perhaps, but not nearly enough to make a dent. Did I travel? Sure: all the way to Orange County. Did I write? Lamentably little.

January is what I imagine the next day feels like to a runner who has just completed their first marathon. Wow, I just did what I set out to do, and, I even have the t-shirt to prove it. Now what? Keep in shape for the next one? I already know I can do it, but I'll never really be a contender, so what's the point?

Don't get me wrong; I'm not normally a dismal person. "A Cockeyed Optimist" could've been written about me. But, faced with sodden January, I'd just as soon roll over and play dead. Winter has only just begun; spring, my favorite time of year, seems an age away. I'm grateful to whomever it was that introduced the mid-80s legislation that made MLK Day a national holiday; I think of it rather as a recovering heroin addict might look at a dose of methadone: an oasis in the desert of misery, whose sole purpose is to boost you from one place to the next.

January is so blah, even the Super Bowl abandoned it, in favor of the blessedly truncated February. (By the way, I'm convinced that February is so short because Pope Gregory knew that we'd all turn suicidal if we had to endure it for even one day more.) By the end of February, I've thrown my traditional Oscar-watching party. Spring seems mere moments from announcing its arrival. Why can't the New Year begin in March? Doesn't it seem more apropos to begin a New Year with the promise of renewed life that spring delivers, rather than the dreariness that is January?

So as this week, this month, this year draws to it close, I shall be dreading the miasma about to envelop me. See it? There it is, skulking in the background...

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