Mielke: Be happy any day of the week

Blue Monday.

There actually is one.

I did not know that Jan. 16 was earmarked as the most depressing day of the year, and, appropriately named Blue Monday until I heard this factual tidbit broadcast on CBC radio.

Apparently, Cliff Arnall, a former lecturer at Cardiff University, was commissioned by a U.K. based travel agency in 2005 to find the most depressing day of the year as a way to market winter vacations.

And so he did.

He combined weather, debt, time since Christmas, motivation levels, the need to take action and time since New Year’s resolutions were made and put them all together and that’s what he came up with.

Blue Monday. The most depressing day of the year.

Before I learned that this Monday ranked, in the scale of all the Mondays out there, as a blue Monday, I was actually quite happy.

But after I heard the news I seriously thought “what is wrong with me. This is no time to be happy.”

It’s winter.

That fact alone seems to send many people into a tailspin of gloom and doom that can only be dispelled by a jet stream from some plane taking them to somewhere.

And then there are all the bills from Christmas.

More gloom and doom.

And then of course there are the New Year’s resolutions.

Easily made. Easily broken.

I thought about it some more and before I knew it, the power of suggestion, namely, Blue Monday, worked.

I was positively glum.

But then I remembered I had company coming for supper. Of course, I had invited them all before I realized it was Blue Monday and it probably wasn’t a good time.

Getting together with family and friends is certainly not a way to encourage depression and not in keeping with a ‘Blue Monday’ type day.

But, apparently my friends had no idea it was Blue Monday either, or if they did, they opted to ignore it.

In fact, they all seemed relatively happy.

So here we all were, a group of friends, residents living in Alberta, not the province of milk and honey at the moment, in the middle of winter with lots of snow outside, all gathered around my kitchen table.

None of us were rich. We probably all had spent too much at Christmas. And, I could be wrong, but I’m thinking all of us faced our own private struggles about the challenges we already faced and were yet to face in 2017.

But for the moment, none of that mattered.

As my old oil lamp lent a soft, gentle glow to the faces around the table and the light from the flickering fireplace played hide and seek with the shadows on the wall, we defied the concept of Blue Monday.

We laughed. We chatted. We shared stories. And, of course, we consumed a delicious, if rather hastily made fare.

And as I look around at all these dear and familiar faces I couldn’t help but think it doesn’t get much better than this.

Family, friends, a warm and cozy kitchen, a whole lot of laughter and, even a few tears.

And really! Who cares what day it is!

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review.

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