No More January Blues!
Here’s Your Happiness Booster!
I love January! It’s my favourite month of the year, providing me with endless hours of joy and happiness, without even having a drink. Although I do drink. I leave ‘Dry January’ in the Sahara Dessert where it belongs.
And no, I have not relocated to sunny Australia (where it’s summer and everyone is hot). I live in miserable London, where January resembles a bowl of old porridge; cold and grey, with a thick skin of despair forming over it.
I wasn’t always this jubilant. In the past I too, believed in the sanctity of the ‘January blues’. Its arrival would have me moaning, head spinning (a la Linda Blair in the EXORCIST) and green projectile vomiting, after being possessed by the ‘excessive food and non-stop alcohol consumption’ demons of the festive season.
Everything changed when my German grandmother (Oma) took pity on me and disclosed the secret of transforming January into a Danish Hygge (concept of joy and cosines), with a tiny Teutonic touch.
All one has to do is follow three simple steps during this long winter month:
1. Eat Apple Strudel
2. Read the German classics (OK, maybe skip this one)
3. Avoid comparisons. Unless they bring you joy.
Whatever you may think of the Germans (I think they’re terrific), no other nation has taken so much time and energy exploring the nature of human spirit. (*) Hence my Oma’s advice.
Feeling guilty because you’ve drunk too much? In fact, it’s January 15th and you’re still drinking? Don’t fret! I wait for recycling day and take a peek at my neighbour’s empty bottles and count: prosciutto (12), wine (10), vodka (2) plus so many beer cans I lose track. Yuppie!! Some people really have a drinking problem! Better open that Rioja bottle to celebrate.
Does your body look like something out of ‘SWAMP THING’ the movie? Mine does. I’m wearing loungewear (a.k.a. old baggy sweats worn out in unsightly places) because nothing else fits! Do I panic and go on one of those stupid detox diets? Of course not. Instead, I google the adorably successful ‘MICHELIN MAN’ and think, ‘Curves are Cool’! As for my cellulite? Well, I always wanted dimples.
You’re broke. Skint, wiped, ruined, in the red, NO DINERO. Even the ‘Save the Dolphin’ credit card refused your application.
This situation used to drive me into a frenzied shopping spree that would leave me even more in debt and feeling terribly guilty. Thanks to my Oma’s advice I now shop like I have millions! Because guess what? It’s not MY PROBLEM anymore! As bankers say (and trust me I know, as I WAS a banker):
‘If you owe a small amount of money – you worry about the bank.’
‘If you owe a copious amount of money – the bank worries about you.’
As the old saying goes: ‘You can’t take it with you’ – and that includes debt.
Over Christmas you realize everyone else is better off? Hear hear! My older sister has bought her second home, little sister is in the Bahamas on vacation and my brother’s third book on surfing has just been published. I was the one that told him he should write the first one! Does he remember? So I can get some royalties? Nope. Not even a ‘THANK YOU SISTER I OWE YOU MY LIFE’.
Do I mope, blame it on January and fall into deep depression? No I do not. What I do is drive to ‘Welcome Break’ (the one on junction 15th off the M1 is my favourite) and watch the world go by. Parents fighting, children screaming, grandparents wishing they were in the hole rather than face what they have created. It’s a glorious reminder that compared to many a soul in the human race – I’m winning!
Finally – are you freezing cold? Call someone in Scotland and you will feel delightfully euphoric and radiantly warm!
This January, follow my Oma’s advice. Because you’re a winner.
(*) For almost 300 years, the German novel has used everything from history to philosophy to war to explore the nature of the human spirit.
Sonia Aste is an engineer, writer and comedian who loves January.
Published by Toastmasters International UK & Ireland
Published by Riverside Communicators Club