I’m getting over my January funk. There are days when I still feel down for the count, like I got punched really hard, but on more and more days, I feel ready for the new year, ready to go on. I can now say "Happy New Year" and mean it - most of the time.
I’m sorry if this sounds dramatic and over the top. It is just something that happens with me every year. I end up feeling hung over when the new year begins.
It’s not that I have gotten sloshed. I don’t get drunk on New Year’s Eve. The fact that I don’t drink and am not a big partyer is likely a factor in why I’m not crazy about the New Year’s holiday.
There’s a bigger issue and that is that I don’t like thinking about the whole 12 months ahead. It makes me feel small and overwhelmed. Although, again, drinking has never been a problem with me and I’ve never attended an AA meeting, I’m much better with one day at a time.
The holidays ending is also a part of my feeling run over in January. This is more than being sad about having to take out the Christmas tree and having to go back to work and business as usual. I am like Charlie Brown always landing flat on his back after Lucy snatches the football from him.
In my case, the football is Christmas or, more precisely, “the holidays.” I don’t really like the holidays, but I really don’t like it when they are over. Like Charlie Brown with the football, every year, I try to make the holidays the best, and every year, I end up exhausted and feeling like I’ve failed. The holidays are way over-hyped and, at least for me, are (or can) never be what they’re supposed to be.
Yes, I realize this sounds horribly shallow and materialistic, but I find that I can’t help feeling this way. And, of course, my friend John hit the nail on the head when I saw him shortly after New Year’s Day. He said that New Year’s Eve/Day (and the holidays) makes people like me even lonelier without a partner or our own families.
This year, I find myself asking why people take down all their lights. They go away so quickly – okay, party’s over, everyone out of the pool. Yes, it’s time for the Christmas carols to stop, and the lighted Santa and tree figures in the front yards look stupid after New Year’s Day. But why don’t people leave a string of lights on the roof or, better yet, in their trees for the winter? They look so lovely and warm in the cold, dark evenings.
One thing I do like about January is that it’s movie award season, with a nice bevy of good films to see.