STATIONBREAK.CA

Devion's Views #261

JANUARY MUSINGS (posted Jan. 24, 2023)

READERS' QUESTION DU JOUR.

Bet you've never stopped to think about this...until now.

What?

Why does January, the very first month of the year, SUCK?

Pardon?

January! It SUCKS, it really, really does! It has for decades.

Monsieur Ronald, what a strange thing to say. Are you off your meds?

Non, non, Mon Ami. And I'm not delusional or senile (yet). Still faithfully taking the prescribed dosages recommended by my GP; 11 pills in the morning with breakfast, one with lunch, two following dinner, two eye-drops at bedtime and one tiny blue one that's supposed to help me sleep.

Geez, that's a lot. You're a walking/talking pharmacy. That chemical stew must affect you, yes?

Been taking them so long I'm no longer sure.

Sorry, monsieur, I distracted you by being critical of your doctor's efforts to keep you shuffling along life's potholed highway, courtesy of chemistry.

Apology accepted.

Let me bring you back to your 'strange' observation about January. I profoundly disagree for the following reasons:

January is when 'Gregorians' and 'Lunars' celebrate New Year. There's no happier, more positive, upbeat or fun celebration to welcome another new year. And, at the perfect moment, when revellers' have a renewed spirit of optimism and hopefulness about the future beating in their hearts. What could possibly be wrong, weird or strange with that?

What are you smoking, friend? You're spouting New Year's Eve propaganda from the Chamber of commerce. Delusional malarkey, myth, bull-crap. Never happens.

Have you already forgotten we've just come through one of the shittiest years of our lives; filled with chaos, fear, trepidation and anxiety? The reality is the new year celebrants are pissed, just desperately trying to have a good time for a few hours. That's all there is to it.

Well, umm, now that you put it that way. But who wants to be reminded of last year? It's gone, over, past, finished.

Please don't get me wrong. Of course everyone would prefer entering any new year wearing rose-coloured glasses, thinking polyannish thoughts and hoping the future won't be a repeat of the past.

BUT, sadly (pun intended) 'the system' won't even allow a few hours one month of the year, to relieve built up stress by acting a little differently. 

Which brings me to my rational observations about January:

It's the month when all of our electronic devices bring an avalanche of news reports headlined "According to the psychiatric community"...

And it's always Breaking news: Approx. 10% of the population will suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that causes symptoms similar to depression...in January.

Breaking news: January is the gloomiest month of the year.

Breaking news: Anxiety is the most common mental illness affecting some 300 million people around the world.

And the follow up, i.e. 'The Coup de Grace' of downers:

*Breaking news: Back in 2004, UK psychiatrist, Dr. Cliff Arnall, dreamed up 'Blue Monday'. He created a bizarre formula to rationalize his claim that the third Monday in January is the 'bleakest day' of the year. Oh joy.

Did this "news" help cheer anybody up on a gloomy winter morning? Is anyone having fun? Do these messages of doom make you want to stick your head in a bucket of ice cubes or hide under the bed?

*(Turns out this is/was pure unadulterated scientific bunkum. Perpetrated on the public by an unscrupulous shrink...as a marketing stunt to help a local travel company sell holidays.)

Therefore, dear readers, I rest my case...January 'SUCKS'.

Wouldn't it be better for everyone's mental health to just relax, not worry, try to be happy and face reality as it really is:

A) Everything is moving at warp-speed, beyond the capabilities of most of us to keep up or comprehend.

B) Accept that we are just 'innocent bystanders' in a world of accelerating change, with nobody (really) in control of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and algorithms that will continue to significantly impact every facet of human life in ways we can't even imagine.

And despite all the advisories/cautions/advice from health researchers; booze, pot, mushrooms, antidepressants et al, will continue to skyrocket, because governments are as addicted to the tax revenue as people who seek temporary relief from their pain are to the drugs.

Monsieur Ronald's 'handy-dandy' remedies to fend off the blues:

1) It's hard to stay gloomy when you're laughing.

Laughter in response to sadness is a terrific coping mechanism.

Laughter releases endorphins similar to exercise, reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and increases dopamine (aka -'The feel-good hormone).

2) Believe it or not, taking a shower can be the most therapeutic and healthy way to combat feeling blue.

3) Turn off all electronic devices. Place them in a drawer for an entire weekend. Spend the time talking to people you really like. Monday morning you'll feel relaxed and refreshed.

                       A BRILLIANT FUTURIST YOU MAY NOT HAVE HEARD OF - JOHN SEELY BROWN

If you seek an insightful peek into the future, check him out @ https://www.johnseelybrown.com/

"We've invented artificial intelligence machines to help us solve problems quicker but in the process have created something so frightening to many that the machines may well replace us." - JSB

"Anything that can be automated, will be automated." - JSB

                                           NOW FOR SOMETHING TO HELP US ALL COPE IN 2023

Some wisdom dispensed by the wisest Tibetan monk of all time...

"The path to inner peace begins with four words. Not my f...ing problem!"

P.S. As we await the outcome of the billion-dollar+ brouhaha between Canada's giant integrated media conglomerates (Rogers/Shaw/Quebecor) and the government watchdog agencies, remember this: Canada is one of the most profitable countries in the world in which to run a wireless telecommunications company.

And Canadians pay the highest rates. Why?

The newly appointed CRTC chair, Vicky Eatrides, (the agency that regulates telecommunications in Canada) said last week, "I want to make it clear that lower cellphone and internet bills is a top priority."

Translation: Pursuing this priority during my 5-year term is unachievable. What I just said is CRTC flapdoodle propaganda to distract taxpayers from what's really going on.

Ron Devion, No Guts, No Glory.