Returning to my routine for the first time after New Year's Day is by far the most disheartening reoccurring experience of my many years. As wretched as my life has been during a few sporadic periods along the way, somehow I have always been able to put my worries and troubles on the back burner for the three or four weeks spanning the Christmas and New Year season. That first bite of reality after New Year's Day, however, always brought the negatives screaming back with a crash and a bang.
I suppose it's the long stretch from January 2nd until, well, summer's portal, Memorial Day, that creates such an intense sense of dejection in me. It's a long, dry spell of holiday-free weeks that rapidly turn a routine into a rut. Yep, I despise that first weekday after January 1. Can you tell? I'm not particularly happy today.
Adding to my cheerlessness is the inevitable end to the NFL season. Even in those more recent dark years when the Steelers underperformed -- let's call them the Mike Tomczak/Kordell Stewart/Tommy Maddox/Bill Cowher-lost-grip-on-reality years -- I was saddened to see the season draw to a close. Years when the Steelers made it to the playoffs, prolonged the season for me and therefore thankfully postponed my discontent.
Here I am once again sitting at my keyboard on the first official workday after New Year's Day and the regular NFL season has ended. I am buoyed by the Steelers effortless beat-down of the Browns yesterday. It was the best the offense played all year. That they get to sit out next week's clashes, providing an extra week to prepare, lifts my heart.
I am glad to have the distraction of the playoffs to divert my attention away from the fact that it is winter and a damn long haul to Memorial Day. I am hoping for a brief respite from the ho-hum with a St. Paddy's Day trip to South Florida, but too soon to tell.
Who knows, the Steelers may cause me to put off the worst of my winter blahs until February 7th. Now wouldn't that be something?