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!
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.