A few more hours and we’re nearly there. The week that started with Blue Monday is almost over. According to a mar dhea scientific formula that looks at a number of factors, This year 18th of January – the start of the third full week of the year, is the worst day of all.
I knew something was wrong with me. On Sunday night I went to bed with the vim and optimism of a Billie Barry kid on Prozac, but on Monday morning it took me two and a half hours to get out of bed.
For those who wonder how that’s possible it works a little like this:
– Firstly, set the alarm to go off far too early in the morning because your Evening You wants to teach your Morning You a lesson in discipline and hard work. Then when you wake up, your insolent and vaguely teenagerish Morning You is furious at the patronising attitude of Evening You. Thus begins a series of internal dialogues where Morning You, like a sat-nav on a roundabout, constantly recalibrates time, distance and whether a shower is necessary. Sure, didn’t I shower yesterday? anyway they say that too much washing removes the protective layer from your skin.
Press the snooze button.
– The second phase is one of multiple snooze-cycles. My Nokia phone is my alarm clock and because Finland is a country with a work ethic, after five snoozes the phone becomes annoyed and merely presents you with an option to Stop. Or, reset the alarm for another time. This time is calculated by Morning You on the basis of removing all contingency from your morning routine like putting on shoes.
– Phase Three is where you are woken at the second appointed time and because it was your ‘Morning You’ that set it, you are fresh out of people to blame. So you launch a general attack against the tyranny of the working system. We are all just drones in a faceless military-industrial complex, working just to make money for The Man. What better way to strike a blow for the little people than to give yourself another 12 minutes of principled dozing.
– The Fourth and Final Phase – HALF PAST?! F*&^%$£££^^&sticks!!!!!!! I’m DEAD! Who turned off the alarm anyway? Where’s my underpants? Why can I never find anything in this house?
And thus it was for much of this week as Blue Monday continued to cast its shadow. This is also the week that obliterates New Years resolutions. The Office doorway is once again haunted by shivering smokers. The last time they stood there, they were giggling about “Kev shifting yer wan from HR” at the Christmas party the night before. Now they are bitter and relapsed. Differentiated from other smokers because they are very clearly hor sing into the fags to make up for lost nico-time.
As the doorways become more crowded, so the gyms grow quiet.
This is the first year I joined a gym. There comes a time in every man’s life where he needs to try to change his body and then there comes a time three weeks later where he needs to change is mind and learn to accept his own weakness. I’m working off an exercise plan which is scientifically calibrated based on the questionnaire I filled out about my previous exercising habits and a discussion with a fitness
instructor. Unfortunately these were a farrago of complete lies. At one point during the ‘consultation’ I had an out of body experience where I could actually hear my Evening Me tell the gym man that I was mainly looking for somewhere to continue my winter training schedule. This would only have had any truth in it if each machine in the gym was, in fact, made of biscuit.
Now I am a hoist by my own petard as I have to try and carry out the programme I’ve fibbed my way into. (I’m supposed to be hoisting the petard myself but it’s too heavy) It’s not all misery. The running machines have a TV on top of them so one can get lost in the moment and rack up quite a few yards. Every athlete has their own concentration techniques. When it’s on, I watch the All Ireland Talent Show and get into a rhythm of directing obscenities Paul Gogarty-style at the judges. And on the weights machines you can reduce the weights to such an extent that you are exerting no more power than if you were folding a jumper. As long as you make sure to reset them to some sort of manly level before the next person comes along.
But out on the floor, there’s no hiding. The sit-up is surely the cruellest exposé of meagreness of muscle. On either side of me people of all shapes are able raise themselves up, turn to the left, turn to the right, make a cup of tea, all using their stomach muscles. I remain on the floor struggling to raise an eyebrow.
Everyone has a niche though. I’ve found that I am more than able to hold my own in the jacuzzi. (perhaps I should rephase that). So I’m going to start my winter training schedule there and slowly work my way up from that. It could take years, who knows?
So if you want to keep you New Year’s Resolution going strong past Blue Monday, start
in the jacuzzi, and just snooze.