Today I would like to introduce you to another of our slightly strange family traditions, which was originally invented by my sister:
Celebrating New Year's Day on February 1st!
Why that you may ask or not ask (I know that lots of you feel the same) do you celebrate the new year one month late and the answer is easy:
January SUCKS BIG TIME, year after year after year.
Believe it or not - there are even scientific studies out there to explain why January sucks so badly. The main explanations are, that people have trouble to get back to daily life after all the excitement of the Christmas time. Removing all the decorations and putting down the lights is just too depressing. Also lots of people are physically and emotionally exhausted because preparing Christmas costs lots of energy, expectations are (too) high and so are costs for food and gifts. Lots of families are also not used to be together so closely for a longer time and often lots of fighting happens over Christmas. And finally the shitty weather, the lack of sunlight and the short days kill the rest of hope in us. January 15 was even officially marked as the most depressing day of the year. The good news - we already survived this one.
But that is only the statistics and long before bashing January became popular my sister and I started celebrating the new year on February 1st because the first weeks of the year were always such a nightmare that we decided not allow them to overshadow the whole brand new year - and this year was no exception.
Let me tell you how this year started for me.
Right after Christmas my work notebook broke BEFORE I could backup with the brand new external hard drive my sister gave me for my birthday (Christmas day). Thank god with lots of luck and patience I could revive it a couple of times until it died completely - enough to save most of my data and most importantly that part which was not saved via my company online backup.
Then - still at the end of the old year - I caught a cold that first of all almost ruined the wonderful New Year's Eve with my friends, which we spent cooking and watching DVDs at my place. It was still very nice, but I felt awfully sick. Usually I would have stayed in bed the next couple of days but after being off from work over Christmas work piled up HIGH and I still had a broken computer. So I went back to the office in January 2nd to get a new computer and trying to keep my head over water work wise - exactly what I did NOT need after an incredibly exhausting Christmas business.
When the new computer arrived I lost another work day (work now piling up over head) by setting it up and I still felt like shit with fighting the worst cold in years. And then .... right before the weekend on Friday the 6th - a public holiday which I had planned to stay in bed to finally recover (haha!) - the new computer broke. Not kidding you. The keyboard stopped working and I could not even log in anymore because I could not type. I had to have the keyboard replaced the next week. At that point I kind of gave up on ever catching up with work.
The recommendation how to deal with this additional blow was mostly: Stay in bed, relax, recover and watch some hockey to cheer up. Would have been a good idea if my beloved Pens would have not dropped like flies ... injury after injury after injury until we had about 30 million $ in player salary sidelined. And although these boys know how to deal with injuries this time it was too much and lead into a depressing 6 games losing streak.
That was not exactly the medicine I needed and so when I just had stopped sniffing like hell I started coughing and felt terribly sick AGAIN. I went to see my doc who put me 3 days on sick leave (work backlog keeps growing) and gave me cough meds and some stuff to recover my immune system, because it was obviously not working properly anymore. Very obviously ... because the coughing just got a bit better mid week when I started snoozing again. I feel like in the "Groundhog Day" version of a bad cold. Right now after another weekend the sinuses calmed down a bit, but I am again back to coughing badly - especially when I say more than three words in a row. It sucks.
There was not a single day yet in 2012 when I felt just well and healthy. Not a single one. I cannot wait for this January to be over.
And I am not the only one. So many people around me are sick (not seriously - thank god) and have trouble to get rid of the shit just I like me. Nothing seems to work out easily.
My sister has to fight lots and lots of challenges with balancing her triple existence as mom, wife and full time worker with a big household to manage and all seems to happen at the same time and weight twice in this dark January.
I also see lots of my friends struggling with negative developments in their life coming mostly unexpectedly out of nothing. Just take the fact that two of them had bad car-flips-over accidents on black ice although both are careful, experienced and well equipped winter drivers. Thankfully nobody got injured, but the shock sits deep and of course nobody had a big car repair / replacement put in the budgets.
And while thankfully the humans are mostly alright two friends lost their dogs lately and with them much loved family members. Definitely nothing to lift the depression.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel.
On a positive note ... starting with hockey ... James Neal's food was not so badly hurt in the end and he can play and BOY ... he does. Kris Letang, my very favorite player, is back in the line up and seriously kicks ass. The whole team and the fans decided to get their shit together, stand side by side and stopped the losing streak. The Pens just won the sixth game in a row today and turned it all around.
I also booked and planned two vacations to give me something to look forward to. I will go back to the US with a quick stop in New York and a full week in Pittsburgh by the end of March / early April and will spend some lovely days in Stockholm in May.
Now only this damn cold needs to GO AWAY and this months needs to end and make it all new and better.
I wish you all love, light and laughter and a HAPPY NEW YEAR at ...
FEBRUARY 1st 2012