Oh c'mon now!!! For a couple weeks now, I've noticed something unusual in my blog stats. People, primarily from the UK, have been searching phrases such as "first monday of the new year," and "old name for first monday of new year" and "what is the first monday of the new year called" and landing on my site.
They're here because on the first literal Monday of 2006 I wrote a blog entry entitled "The first Monday of a new year," and my post shows up pretty high in the search results. ('Cause I have Squarespace and my magnificent host of choice helps me get ranked kinda' high sometimes - most especially for the random, miscellaneous pieces in which I ramble about whatever's on my mind. Tra la la...love me some Squarespace. But you already knew that, didn't you?)
Let's get back to the point of Why This Is My Unequivocal Rejection Of "Blue Monday" - especially this year that's just around the corner: 2008. After seeing a remarkable number of searchers' numbers that brought random UK visitors to my site, (Hello. I feel I should welcome you specifically, there seem to be so many of you landing here, no doubt disappointed to find I wrote about something other than what you had in mind, I'm sorry to say, but I welcome you, nonetheless!) my curiosity was piqued and I took a spin around the 'net. Only to have discovered that, according to Wikipedia:
Blue Monday is a name given to a date calculated to be the most depressing day of the year.
This date was calculated by Dr Cliff Arnall, a researcher/tutor at the University of Cardiff's Center for Lifelong learning, and has been quoted in the press.
The date was calculated by using many factors, plugged into a formula. The factors include: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action. This date typically falls on the Monday of the last full week of January. This would make Jan 21st the Blue Monday of 2008.
I should say not!!!
It's that last sentence with which I take particular issue. January 21st is my birthday, thank you very much! Has been for just under 39 years, and shall continue to be for...well, as long as I draw breath. And we shall most certainly not be having an actual named date running around on my birthday being called The Most Depressing Day Of The Year. I mean, seriously! Here are a handful of reasons, then, that I am calling off Blue Monday in January of 2008:
- Why on earth would we allow someone else tell us when to be depressed? I mean, what if I want to feel depressed on a Tuesday in March? Am I expected to throw my hands in the air and declare, "Pity. I missed Blue Monday...can't be blue today!"
- I have no doubt that Dr. Cliff Arnall is a lovely man, and highly respected within his field. He is, I am certain, highly accomplished in many arenas. He can't however, be running around all willy-nilly, calculating criteria for people's likeliness to be happy or depressed on specific days of the year. Can he???
- 'Course there's also a bunch of other stuff written about the fine doctor, such as this, which offer up some suggestion that the handy formulas he's concocted may be driven by something slightly more compelling than a search for humble truth.
- You're an over-achiever who defies statistical likelihood. You, dear reader, are going to wake up on Monday, January 21, 2008, and feel not only pleased to be alive and well, but you'll actually feel rejuvenated and energetic. (How's that for some not-so-subliminal suggestions?)
- No, really. It's just ludicrous to suggest that everyone in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter, is equally affected by a single set of factors and that they all feel, as a result, exceedingly happy or depressed on a single day.
So, lovely ones. What have we learned today? Say it with me: We will not be declaring Most Depressing Day on January 21, 2008. Period. We will be happy when we are happy and sad when we are sad, and we will find as many reasons as we can think of to milk every drop of joy out of every day of life because otherwise things really are a little depressing, and it's no fun being depressed. Trust me: I know. The alternative is much superior.
PS: If you really are depressed, I am not making light of your situation. I have been treated for depression and it's nothing whatsoever to take lightly. Heather B. Armstrong recently wrote one of the most thought-provoking posts about depression, over at dooce.com. If you or someone you love are or feel clinically depressed, and not depressed because some dude said you should be because of factors that led you to some random Monday in a certain winter month, then I'll point you over here to her site along with genuine wishes that you find the help you need.
That will be all. No! One more thing. Instead of being sad on my birthday, you should offer me smiles and hugs and offers of cocktails or chocolate. Now that's the way to handle so-called Blue Monday. Hmph. Blue Monday indeed...