Monday, 17 January 2011

Reasons to be cheerful on Blue Monday

Two of my favourite songs in one title - not bad!

Apparently, today has been named the most miserable day of the year, triggered by bad weather, money worries and failed resolutions. I can't really say that I feel any worse, or any better, than I normally do - am I doing something wrong?

Bad weather isn't really something we can do much about, other than by fleeing the country. Having said that, the weather in Sheffield today is quite bright and sunny, and even if it was dark and miserable it's probably a sight better than in Queensland or Brazil at the moment, so we can be grateful for that (without of course down-playing the tragedy that those people are facing at the moment.) I am certainly rejoicing that the weather is dry enough for my son to offer to clean my car!

Which leads me to money worries. It's about now when the credit card bills from Christmas begin to drop onto doormats, and the financial extent of our demonstrations of love and affection, and our seasonal over-indulgence begins to hit home. Why it is that so many feel it necessary to spend so much over the festive season I have yet to discover, but in these times of austerity, as the cuts begin to pinch, as people face the prospects of redundancy or loss of hours, let's remember those whose financial problems are not self-inflicted - and those who seem oblivious to these problems as huge bonuses are paid out within the banking sector and elsewhere.

All of us hope to do better in a new year, and the resolutions we make - promises to ourselves to be a better person, to eat less, exercise more, whatever it is - seek to provide a spur to us to improve ourselves. But we are but human, and our best-laid plans so often come to nothing. Every year I resolve to lose some of my excess weight, and every year end there's more of me to love than there was at the start of the year. One way to deal with this, of course, is to become a politician, then we can always claim that we didn't really mean it when we made a promise, or that circumstances have changed, or...

There are things in life that we can change, and there are things in life we can't change. One of the things we can change is the effect that life's circumstances have on us. We can choose to be blue - and sometimes, from my experience, that's often the easier option - or we can deliberately decide to make the best of what we have and say 'Hang it! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!'

Even if it's Blue Monday.