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Dear Diary, Memoir of a Blue Monday

Eighteen days into the New Year, let’s hope not all New Year’s Resolutions have been broken.

“Some feel quite depressed and it’s an important point of conversation around mental health in the winter time.”

- Psychologist Dr. Stacy Thomas, CBC News, Jan 20, 2020


What were you doing one year ago today? Going skiing with friends? Meeting with a study group? Enjoying a warm Beaver Tail? It’s hard not to compare what we were doing last year to our current lives with pandemic restrictions. Parts of Canada have returned to normal, whereas others are seeing lockdowns as strict as last spring. The vaccine rollout promises an unconfined summer for all of us, but until then, we need to sit tight for the last stretch of COVID-19. But whether you are catching up via video call or allowed to meet your loved ones face to face, the snow is still falling and winter has just begun.


This month, Cara, Max, Marie and Advik are writing about the troubles and trials they face in their everyday lives, but there is a twist: each of them has something hopeful coming their way. They don’t know it yet, but the future has something cheerful in store for them. See if you can figure out what their surprises are, and try to find an unexpected amazement in your own life.


Image is courtesy of Unsplash


The following diary entries are works of fiction. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


Dear Diary,

Today is January Monday 18 and the radio person said it is the saddest day of the year. I think today is sad, but not the most saddest. Today at school we got to play in the snow! It snowed yesterday a lot. Mom said it was only 15 cenimeters but the snow was to my knees! Lucy’s grandmother had a cough so Lucy did not come to school today so we do not get infectid… But me and Leo and Marc made snow angles and covered each other in snow! It was fun. But Mom is sad. She went to see Gramma Gramma (that’s Mom’s Gramma) at the old people home but they did not let her see her because of infection. I hope Gramma Gramma is ok… Mom is worried… So I am going to make hot coco to cheer her up! Bye diary!


- Cara Weir, Grade 3


Dear Diary,

I haven’t seen the blue sky in ten days. If it’s not raining, it’s snowing. If it’s not snowing, it’s cloudy. And if it’s not cloudy, it’s raining. This weather is making the whole apartment shake and all I want to do is sleep. Baba is making me walk everyday for some exercise because apparently “Kids need to play outside, all this screen time is going to make your prescription number go up!”. Whatever that means…

Miss. Young (our neighbour who is actually kind of old) has a slinky dog (like the one from ToyStory except without the spring) that keeps trying to inhale my shoe everytime I go for a walk. Miss. Young told me the dog’s name is Sausage (very appropriate) and she’s a Dachshund which means “badger dog” in German. I asked Joshua about it (his mom is German) but he doesn’t know much German.

Mr. Ellis is taking our math conversions unit very seriously. He’s making us memorise international currency conversions and bringing in actual money for us to practice with. At least I think it’s actual money… How much do teachers get paid? Anyways, he suggested that we start a business to better understand transactions and I told Baba who said that I should focus on learning, not earning. But I was thinking about it when I went for a walk. I could sell stuff? Or make something? I’m really good at making those woven friendship bracelet things. When I was walking I was so preoccupied with my thoughts that I didn’t even notice the four dogs that swarmed me. Their owners look exhausted, I didn’t know walking a dog was so hard? And how many animals are there in this apartment complex?


- Max Zhou, Grade 7


Dear Diary,

Maya Angelou once said “Nothing will work unless you do.” but I am working, and still nothing is working! I just barely got my university application in on time (I literally submitted it at 11:53 p.m. when the deadline was 11:59 p.m.) and it seems that the rest of my school work is following suit. I finished my biology project at 11:56 p.m., my english paper at 11:51 p.m. and I had three minutes to finish my online calculus exam with one question left and I still wasn’t able to finish it! I’m starting to think that time hates me… And to top if off, once again I am writing my stress relieving journal on a very stressful Monday at midnight. UGHH! I really can’t wait till spring break…

Papa made me, Elijah and Daniel shovel the snow. It was sticky snow. I hate sticky snow. I used to love it in fifth grade when we’d make life sized snowmen, but now it just hurts my arms to shovel it because it’s so heavy. I hate the snow, I hate the time. I… my clock is frozen. It’s been 12:04 for at least five minutes. Just great. I hate time and now time hates me back.


- Marie Musa, Grade 12


Dear Diary,

Monday January 18 is known as Blue Monday. One of my profs said that Blue Monday is a marketing scam to get people to buy expensive vacations and get out of the cold weather. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind ditching the snow storms for sunny beaches and sangrias but there is no chance of that happening any time soon. Bhai is luckier on that front than I am… he’s in Halifax where it basically never snows and he’s allowed to go out whenever he wants.

When I searched up Blue Monday, a website also said that it is the day people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions. I really hope that’s not true. How can your plans that are supposed to set the course of the year be dissolved in less than three weeks! I don’t think I broke my resolutions yet. School hasn’t really started back up full fledged yet so I can’t do much to improve my grades dramatically. I did get an online planner to be more organized. I’ve started a Spanish course on Duolingo, borrowed some Spanish for dummies audio books and have tried talking to Maya over the phone in Spanish. She laughed at my horrible pronunciation but it was nice to hear her laugh. This lockdown is really making it hard to plan any nice dates, but I’ll do my best with what I have (which is phone calls and cheesie emails). My mental health is better, I think. I asked Amma about meditation which she then took as an invitation to tell me about everything from Surya Namaskar to some kind of breathing technique that can change your body temperature. I’ve decided that mental health improvement is going to be a solo activity for me from now on. The only thing I’ve really slacked on is calling Vithun bhai. I don’t have much to do now so I might as well call him, I hope he is less under the weather than I am.


- Advik Shah, second-year undergrad



Sources


Sasitharan, K. (2020, January 20). Blue Monday isn't real but the winter blues are, experts say. Here are some tips to beat them. CBC News. Retrieved from: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/blue-monday-winter-blues-1.5432664


Article Author : Ria Patel

Article Editors : Edie Whittington, Victoria Huang