BBC said that today is the year’s most depressing day. I never knew there was such a thing until a few years back, when I first came across an article on BBC News Online talking of Gloomy Monday, apparently a day that falls towards the end of January when the Christmas hangover is finally dissipated and worry, depression of various degrees and winter blues set in. These may be dictated by a number of concurrent factors, stupid things such as short days or having over-spent at Christmas. It’s no wonder Gloomy Monday never quite registered with me; I love winter in all of its manifestations and find that a slow January is the best way to ease oneself into new doings, even when the fog may have set in. Navigate through it baby, there’s always light on the other side.
Today has been a gloomy day though, weather-wise. I woke up in darkness, exercised in darkness and went out in semi-darkness, the sky a never-ending cement slate stretched low above my head, with near-incessant rain and razor-like wind to boot. Blimey, what’s not to like, right? You’d think this could be the perfect scenario for a Gloomy Monday, except I’ve been very efficient in many ways, biking it until I hit 800 spent calories, cutting net time to a mere quarter of an hour worth of email checking (three seconds, no emails) and news reading (if you can call Vogue the purveyor of news, and I do) and setting off at lunchtime to run errands, including a reading/writing stop at Starbee, of which you’ve got proof right here.
Yet, yet, yet, I cannot deny to have spared more than just a fleeting thought to where I was a year ago, life-wise and especially place-wise. So I flicked through iPhoto and looked at some of the pics I took in Chicago on this day. Was that Gloomy Monday? I think it was a Saturday if I am not mistaken, perfectly placed as a Gloomy Day anyway, for it too was a 19 January, even though I cannot imagine anyone on earth to feel depressed, worried, stressed or narky when the landscape offers so much cobalt blue and icy stillness.
And now it's like I am trying to go all doom and gloom on myself. The first two months of last year were so exciting and promising from a travel perspective that the draught ahead appears even more painful to live through. If 2008 was indeed my life-changing year, 2009 sets out to be one of consolidation and consolidation, everyone knows this really, is another word for limbo. When you consolidate you don’t really feel like you are leaping ahead; you’re just still here, clearing decks, sorting out the old, physically shredding the past, spring-cleaning life for a whole twelve months or thereabouts.
To consolidate means to re-group and re-grouping has never filled me with shivering expectation somehow. I leapt into the unknown last year; this year I am due to land in it and I cannot say to be excessively thrilled by the flight, especially when I haven't got a set of new blue pictures to show. Still, not going anywhere at this time (or indeed not planning to go anywhere) does not mean that I will never go again. However, try as I may to brainwash myself into New Age positive thinking, all that remains is that a year ago I was having a fabulous time and today... well, not so much. But few places compare to Chicago in winter anyway.