Not So Blue Monday...


This post actually started out as a facebook status update... But it got so ridiculously long that I thought I'd write it up here instead...
According to those who know about such things (like producers of daytime chatshows on TV and radio) this is "blue Monday"... the unhappiest day of the year, thanks to weather, bills from Christmas, family tensions that have been boiling up over the holiday incarceration with the family etc. According to Ben Goldacre, the author of Bad Science, back in 2006, it's all a piece of spurious maths prompted by Sky Travel, but the story still keeps rolling out year after year regardless.
I, however, am quite happy to buck the supposed trend towards doom, misery, hopelessness and despair today... Despite some sad news from a friend yesterday, this is the best day of the year so far for me... After weeks of physical ailments, including a chest infection and more recently food poisoning, I'm feeling relatively healthy this morning (despite the worst tasting cup of coffee in history)... I'm still carrying a couple of physical injuries that I'll have to work on, but that's a function of being a fat 45 year old diabetic, and I can live with that...
But I'm also feeling more like myself mentally than I have in nearly 9 months, and for that I am profoundly thankful... I'm not back on par yet, and I'm not rushing to take on all that I have been forced to set down over the past few months, but it is a relief to feel good about myself again...
And the main point of this post is simply to say thank you... to colleagues, professionals, family, friends, members of the congregation (in no particular order and no names, no pack drill), who have stuck by me, helped and are helping me through it...
But as I was writing this post, my thoughts were drawn to the phrase "Blue Monday" itself... the title of New Order's most famous track and the soundtrack to my last year at school thanks to it being played on a constant loop in the 6th form centre.
A lot of my melancholy over the past year has involved nostalgia about school and university days, addressing issues about my upbringing, and unachieved goals (typical middle-aged stuff), but also issues concerning my vocation as a Methodist Minister. In "Blue Monday" it says:


Those who came before me
Lived through their vocations
From the past until completion
They'll turn away no more



I doubt they were referring to the vocations of Methodist ministers when they wrote that... but certainly the myth of vocation in the past has been one of a single motivating vocation for the whole of life... And I look with awe and admiration on the lives of those who have lived out such vocations... But at the moment I'm trying to work out whether the call that drew me into ministry and which has shaped my life over the past 20 years is what will determine the direction of the next 20 (or hopefully more)? Before anyone panics, that doesn't mean I'm about to throw everything up in the air... but because of the help of those mentioned above, I'm now in a better place to listen to what God is actually calling me to do, rather than everything I have been doing for a long time...
I hope you'll keep me company as I explore what that is... and that today isn't too blue for you.
ps. No sooner had I posted this than WhyNotSmile posted another of her Guides to life the universe and everything, including some very helpful tips on coping with being down...

Comments

pps Ben Goldacre subsequently wrote an article further refuting the "Blue Monday" hoax. http://www.badscience.net/2011/01/tell-me-now-how-do-i-feel/

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