‘Adieu, adieu’ to a grey and unloved first month of year

Even the sun is a reluctant friend in January.
Even the sun is a reluctant friend in January.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

If, by chance, you’re reading this, you should now have survived our most depressing day of the year, namely last Monday, when the follies of your Christmas spending splurges came home to roost and the realisation finally dawned, that you’re flat broke.

For some of us, Blue Monday, that fell on January 21 this year also happensed to coincide with a monthly injection of pay for our monthly toils but alas that little window of riches offered only a very transient period of financial liquidity.

By the time the sun had set on the evening of pay-day the dreaded credit monster had made his monthly plunder on my bank account, and so the cycle has started again for another four weeks or so. The credit card  has come back into full swing with another inevitable cash wipe-out to follow in a month’s time.

Now, whether Blue Monday is something real, or another clever ploy by the marketing gurus of the world to sell us products that will supposedly improve our health and lift our moods, still has the jury out.

For all those mathematical and scientific geeks out there, back in 2005, someone from the world of television and PR, persuaded a renowned psychologist, Dr. Cliff Arnall, to devise a scientific formula, aimed at establishing empirically a definition of the year’s most depressing day.

The key letters in the formula were W for weather; D for debt; d for monthly salary; T for time since Christmas; Q for time since failure to try and give something up; M for low motivational level and NA for the need to take action. Now bring yourself back to your days of doing Leaving Cert maths and the sight of complicated formulae on the blackboard and it reads like this:

[W+(D-d)]xTQ÷MxNA

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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