Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Even on Jan. 17, there's something to be positive about

I woke up on a somewhat gloomy, cold-but-not-too-cold Monday morning to be informed by my friends on WCCO television that it was the most depressing day of the year. Well, if that isn’t a great way to start the week!

What is wrong with Jan. 17? Its offenses are many, it seems.

Christmas is over, and any warm fuzzies left over from that most splendid holiday have worn off. The next holiday is what, Valentine’s Day? The holiday invented by the greeting card companies to make a significant portion of the population feel bad for not having a Valentine? Oh, joy.

Christmas debt apparently also has something to do with it. People go stir-crazy during the holiday season and rack up credit card bills, which they then receive in January and wonder what on Earth they were thinking.

Then there’s the fact that winter is obviously never going to end. The groundhog is going to take one look and say, “No way! I’m not coming out of here!” and winter is going to last forever. Or so it would seem from the perspective of someone who just woke up to be faced with the third Monday in January.

January starts off as an optimistic month. It’s a new year, filled with promise. People make resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, be more organized, and such. By the third Monday in January, apparently, everyone has given up. This is why I do not make New Year’s resolutions. Why set myself up to fail?

It is also no surprise that the worst day of the year is a Monday. Who really likes Mondays, anyway? Here we all are, enjoying pleasant Sundays, when all of a sudden it hits you: Monday. I’m reminded of the movie “Office Space,” in which one of the characters says to the other, “Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays!” This week, it was a case of the statistically saddest day of the year Mondays.

Top all of this off with the news that apparently high-waisted jeans are coming back in style, and it’s a recipe for sadness, for sure.

On the flip side, the happiest day of the year is the third Friday in June, which this year falls on the 17th. Let’s all imagine it now. The sun is shining. It’s a lovely 72 degrees. The grass and trees are green. The birds are singing. It’s a beautiful day as you cruise home without having to peer around four-foot-high snowbanks. Ah, doesn’t that sound wonderful? It’s almost worth putting up with Jan. 17 for.

In all seriousness, this Jan. 17 did have one good thing going for it. And no, I don’t mean that plans have begun for the Fourth Annual Brett Favre Retirement Party. It was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I always feel a little more hopeful on this day, as I reflect on Dr. King’s life, and his abiding influence on us today.

A little hope goes a long way on a day when you would rather have stayed in bed.

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