Welcome to my blog. I am not a very regular blogger, but I try to keep this site updated with news and information. If there's none of the above I may just share my random ruminations.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hooray. It's February!

At last, thank heaven, February has arrived.

Every year, to a greater or lesser extent, I am afflicted by the January blues. But if SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder - caused by the reduction in natural light) was the only reason I become fed-up and sluggish, why am I cheerful, energetic and happy in November and December? No doubt my mood is influenced by a variety of causes, of which SAD is only one. It seems that if I am happily busy, have plans and projects, feel that my life is on an upward trajectory, I am fine. I still don’t like the grey dismal days, I still get an instant surge of wellbeing if the sun comes out, but I can get along quite well without retreating into a shell.

Before Christmas most of us are very busy. We make endless lists. We have presents to buy and wrap, food to cook, people to see and a home to clean and decorate. And then, after all that work, there’s the reward - a week or two of enforced self-indulgence. Perhaps I’m lucky, but I’ve never understood the people who moan about Christmas, who don’t want to get together and feast with family and friends, who don’t want to give and be given presents, who don’t want to play silly games and pull crackers, who don't want an excuse to be lazy. Yes, it’s artificial and, if you don’t believe in the Christmas Story, it’s meaningless unless you approach it, as we do in our family, as a pagan midwinter festival celebrated simply for the fun of it, to lift the spirits. It’s only once a year!

But what goes up must come down. A cliché I know, but it springs from the truth, as all clichés do. The aftermath of Christmas is inescapably dreary. The presents are put away, the decorations come down, the tree is consigned to the garden for disposal (or in our case - skinflints that we are - for nurturing through the year, in the hope we can use it again next December) and the house looks bare and dusty. We’ve eaten and drunk too much and we need to go back on a diet; it’s not surprising that a low-level depression kicks in. I sometimes I wish I was a dormouse and could just hide away, somewhere snug and comfortable, and sleep from January 6th till February 1st. When this mood hits me and I become aware that even when the opportunity arises, I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything, that I am beginning to get slightly agoraphobic, even about going to the supermarket, that I am only wearing my most shapeless and scruffy clothes, I know I must start taking St John’s Wort!

Some Januarys I don’t need to self-medicate. If my life is going with a swing, if I’m busy on a project or have outings to plan and events to look forward to, I can survive the awful, grey, dreary, dragging weeks. And 2012 should have had one of those positive, upbeat beginnings. This year I did have something to look forward to - the imminent publication of my book, LIFE CLASS, by the epublisher who launched in the Autumn of last year, Lysandra Press. But in the second week of January I received the news that its chief had suffered a convergence of personal and domestic problems which threatened to overwhelm her if she didn’t simplify her life. Her new enterprise was the casualty. Lysandra Press has folded.

There was almost a sense of the inevitable about it. Why wouldn’t they fold? This is what always happens to me. It would be nice if for once, in this cosmic game of Snakes and Ladders which I appear to be playing, I could climb more than one ladder before slithering down a snake back to square one.

11 comments:

Unknown said...

I hope the next roll of the dice sends you up and up and up those ladders!I won't be sorry to see the back of January either. Happy February!

Angela Britnell

Sandy N. said...

So sorry to hear about your bad news from Lysandra Press. That would be enough to depress anybody--winter or summer! Hang in there. I'm sure it won't be long until another publisher says "yes" to Life Class.

The Pocketeers said...

Hi Gilli, January is very grim isn't it but at least the days are getting longer now. I hope you try your book that went to Lysandra with lots of other publishers. I'm sure it will find a home. Best wishes.

Cara Cooper

Sheryl said...

If it was good enough for LP, it's good! Don't despair, Gilli. I've been there. I think most writers have. The freezing cold doesn't help the winter blues much. Keep warm and keep going! Best of luck! :) xx

Gilli Allan said...

Thanks for kind comments everyone. Feel a bit of a fraud. After a zillion years of marriage, OH has finally picked up on my state of mind at this time of year and today, he suggested we go out for lunch. It's a beautiful day, cold but sunny; the sky an unblemished blue. We found a lovely pub we'd not been to before, lunch was scrummy and I feel blessed to be living in a such a beautiful area of the country.

Lindsay Townsend said...

I'm sorry about Lysandra Press, Gilli. Have you tried Whiskey Creek press, or Crooked Cat Presses? I'm sure you'll find a new home for your work.

Stephanie Keyes said...

I'm sorry about what happened with Lysandra. However, I believe things happen for a reason. I know it sounds cliche but it will work out, I'm sure of it.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

No wonder you're down this year, Gill, after your disappointment. But spring is around the next corner and, as Lindsay says, you should try one of the other e-publishers with your new novel. Wishing you better days soon!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I'm so glad to have read this because I suffer with the January blues, too. I'm not sure whether SAD does actually exist or whether it's a case of people not coping with the highs and lows of the winter season, but it's certainly been a difficult January for me this year!

Hope February is much better for you.
CJ x

Miriam Wakerly said...

Gilli I enjoyed reading this and can but empathise. The dreariness of January is quite bad. For sure the secret is to have something specific and positive to look forward to in the spring - a holiday or something; so very sorry to hear about Lysandra. Maybe we all need a plan B (C and D)up our sleeves! Easier said than done though.

Linda Mitchelmore said...

Just one comment.....your clothes are never baggy and shapeless! Remember what Sarah said? - 'God, but that Gilli's got style!'You have - how you put yourself together and how you write - onwards!!!