The Day After Blue Monday
“Today is the worst day of the year. Blue Monday, the third Monday in January,” a man announced on the bus yesterday morning. He was wearing a safety vest. He went on to tell us that Blue Monday was a marketing angle cooked up by the British travel industry to sell more vacation packages to the Caribbean.
“Today is blue for me because the liquor store I like doesn’t open for another two hours,” he chuckled. “I never really get drunk. I just like a little something to make the day go faster,” he explained, maybe anticipating the silent judgment around him.
There was no reason for me to be having a Blue Monday, but I was. Someone told me recently that I always seem dissatisfied and I can’t really argue. It’s not a dissatisfaction born of having my sky-high expectations dashed by subpar restaurant meals or rude customer service people. It’s not even a dissatisfaction with myself. I’m not fretting about dry skin or vanity pounds. It’s an elemental sort of uneasiness with how I’m traveling through the world.
If you don’t know what you truly want, nothing will satisfy you.
Right now, I’m getting paid a lot of money to do what it is I do best (aside from making pizza). I’m living in a great city. I have a stable personal life and I can walk out my door and, in seven minutes, be eating gluten-free waffles. It’s not that I take these good things for granted, it’s that my mind seems hellbent on not giving itself a break and instead drifts to the non-good or less-good thing (my biological clock, my-soon-to-expire passport) and stalls out there. And I don’t know how to stop it from doing that or stop the guilt that comes from scanning for danger instead of basking in appreciation.
I do know that I suffer from a nagging feeling that there is always something left undone. I can write a piece I’m proud of that gets lauded and then go to the gym and then eat a lemon tart, but as I fall asleep, I’ll remind myself that I forgot to do laundry or pluck my eyebrows. There is always the anxious hostess part of my brain who won’t sit down at the table with everyone else and just keeps flitting around checking on how people are doing and asking them if they need a refill or another napkin. That part never relaxes or puts her feet up.
“When I find out what I want, I’m gonna let you know.”
– Breakfast at Tiffany’s
This is a tiring way to be. This is a feeling that dogs you when you wake up and when you fall asleep, as you’re working, or eating an aforementioned lemon tart. It makes a lot of days feel like Blue Mondays. Even when you know the concept has no substance behind it, you still let it bring you down and you get frustrated at yourself for falling into that marketing trap.