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helen-louise
baratron
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bara-no-celebra-tron
Please don't be offended if I don't wish you happy new year. It's not something I celebrate.

January is a horrible time of year. It's grey, drizzly and cold. The holidays are over, and there's nothing to look forward to until the summer. Frankly, I don't understand why people would want to celebrate its arrival.

It's not surprising that I'm depressed: I've been depressed every January since my teens. However much I say I don't get excited by Christmas these days, I still get over-excited and go through the Christmas week up and down like a yoyo. I dread New Year's Day, because it signals the end of the holiday season. Everyone goes back to work on January 2nd, and people even start taking their decorations down before the 12 days of Christmas are up. I hate it. We're only just past the shortest day of the year, and without brightly-coloured fairy lights and tinsel, it's too dark. Is it any wonder my mood goes dark too?

Plus there is the problem of the "new start" and "New Year's resolutions" that people insist on giving themselves. I haven't made any new year's resolutions in a few years. Already suffering from post-holiday comedown and not enough daylight, it seems pointless trying to make changes in myself that I won't be able to keep because I'm too unhappy: swearing I'll go to the gym when it's too dark at night for me to want to leave the house, or declaring I'll eat more healthily when the only thing I can face is sugar. It would make far more sense for me to make birthday resolutions: in the middle of June with 15 hours of sunlight, I usually feel quite well.

Bleurgh. I was hoping to be spared January depression this year. I'd been planning to not do very much over Christmas, and concentrate on writing my thesis. But then I was struck down with flu which, more than two weeks later, I still have symptoms from. It's not surprising if I'm still ill now to learn that I was too ill over Christmas to get any work done. So I ended up on holiday despite my best efforts. And so now, even though I managed to resolve the main source of my depression in the autumn, I'm suffering from post-holiday comedown again.

I'm just sleeping so much. Plagued by vivid dreams -not even necessarily bad dreams, but ones that are so vivid I wake up exhausted, with my knees and back hurting as if I've been running, and the bedclothes in a tangle around me. It's a cliche to wake up more tired than you went to bed, but it describes what's happening at the moment. I keep crying for no particular reason, and my concentration is shot again. My body just wants to hibernate. I know I'm going to feel like this for at least the next month. What's to celebrate?

I don't want to take my Christmas tree down this year. I think we should buy up a load of fairy lights in the sales, and decorate the house with them until springtime comes.

Current Mood: depressed depressed

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Comments
lilairen From: lilairen Date: 2nd January 2003 16:09 (UTC) (Link)
I'd almost suggest, if you wanted to do some sort of new-year-recognition thing, that you do so at the Vernal Equinox rather than in January; it'd be the point at which it tics over into having more light than not, and improvement still coming on that account.

I don't get seasonal-affective depression so much, but I do develop a pretty strong tendency to hibernate. I wonder if my motivational ability is sunlight-linked. Hmm. That'll be something to keep an eye on in the next year, I think.

When I was in college with keshwyn (who you don't know), our dorm room was perpetually lit with fairy lights. And her bedroom was too, afterwards; I helped her move this past summer and I had to take them all down and put them in a box. :)
the_siobhan From: the_siobhan Date: 2nd January 2003 16:55 (UTC) (Link)
January is a horrible time of year. It's grey, drizzly and cold. The holidays are over, and there's nothing to look forward to until the summer. Frankly, I don't understand why people would want to celebrate its arrival.

One of the reasons I never "got" NYE is because to me it was never about celebration at all. The end of the year should be a time for introspection and reflection. And the parties always struck me as having a background air of desparation, we are enjoying ourselves look look look at how much fun we are all having aren't we just having so much fun.

In taht way having Oct 31 as the end of the year works better for me. No resolutions, just reflection on the year past.

Of course I'm undermined by the fact that my birthday is right around New Year's, so I have a milestone to address whether I would or no. :-)

Already suffering from post-holiday comedown and not enough daylight, it seems pointless trying to make changes in myself that I won't be able to keep because I'm too unhappy: swearing I'll go to the gym when it's too dark at night for me to want to leave the house, or declaring I'll eat more healthily when the only thing I can face is sugar.

The desire to go inside and be quiet is strictly biological as far as I am concerned. No sensible mammal goes out splurging gratuitous calories when food and warmth are in such short supply.
sashajwolf From: sashajwolf Date: 3rd January 2003 00:18 (UTC) (Link)
The end of the year should be a time for introspection and reflection.

That's pretty much how I celebrate it now that I'm Asatru. I spend the twelve nights between Mothernight (20th December) and New Year thinking about and writing down my wishes for the New Year, and do some simple rituals on the evening of 31st December and morning of 1st January, and inbetween I try to spend some relaxed time with people I care about, which for me means avoiding big parties. Smaller, chattier ones are okay.

The branch of Asatru I took my rituals from doesn't do New Year's resolutions as such, but some people make oaths at midnight, which is much more formal and not something you do if you don't think you're going to be able to keep them. I never have so far. The reason for doing it at this time of year is that we believe the spirit world is particularly close to us during Yuletide, so it's a good time for the gods to witness the oath (especially Odin and Frey).
sashajwolf From: sashajwolf Date: 3rd January 2003 00:21 (UTC) (Link)
I think this is why Asatru has late winter holidays as well as midwinter ones - the names vary, but in Scandinavia they're called Thorriblot (January) and Goiblot (February, possibly related to the Celtic Imbolc and Anglo-Saxon Ewemeolc).
hiddenpaw From: hiddenpaw Date: 3rd January 2003 02:19 (UTC) (Link)
January is a horrible time of year. It's grey, drizzly and cold. Indeed it's so depressing I'll take any excuse for a celebration/gathering/anything to breake the monotany and rais a smile I can find.

The worst is over and the spring advances.

I used to have fairy lights round my book case once I ditched the tree for the season. It can really perk a place up.
ailbhe From: ailbhe Date: 3rd January 2003 03:01 (UTC) (Link)
I once had fairy lights on the ceiling over my bed. And Rob has them on his machine rack. A fairy is not just for Christmas.
jhaelan From: jhaelan Date: 4th January 2003 00:20 (UTC) (Link)
Plus there is the problem of the "new start" and "New Year's resolutions" that people insist on giving themselves

Agreed.. Kind of. I've had a One Year Plan™ for the past nine months and I'm cheating a little by revisiting what should be on it right now... Because it seems to be the right time rather than because it's a new year. I've found it has been far more helpful to me - and much more of it get's done - then when I ever did do resolutions. Might be because I put concrete goals and deadlines on it rather than vague "improvements" to my attitude or behaviour but..
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