Friday, February 19, 2010

The happiest day of the year

Last Monday was the happiest day of the year for me. At least the happiest day so far.

Maybe Tuesday was happier, but I can’t know for sure until it happens.

Although you’re probably reading this column on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, it was actually written on Monday. In the world of weekly newspapers, we observe “deadlines” a few days before the newspaper is actually printed and put on the street.

And I use the word “deadlines” very loosely.

In the world of weekly newspapers, deadlines are actually just guidelines. We hope to have everything in place by the deadline, but if a big story occurs afterwards, or an advertiser really needs to get an extra ad in this week’s newspaper, the deadline goes out the window.

And I use the words “big story” very loosely.

In the world of weekly newspapers, a “big story” usually isn’t that big: the garden club holds a bake sale; the school crossing guard writes somebody a ticket; or Old Lady Griswold’s cat gets rescued out of a tree by Deputy Fife.

I digress.

The point is, this column is being written on a Monday, as is my custom, for the newspaper that you’re reading now, which was published for a Thursday.

Earlier this morning, we gathered at the local Lizard’s Thicket for our regular Monday newspaper staff meeting, and Annette, our veteran Account Executive observed that Monday, January 25th, had been designated as the most depressing day of the year!

We talked about it.

We decided that experts who make such distinctions probably took a number of factors into consideration:

First, it’s January, and it’s cold and dreary.

Next, the bills are all due now from Christmas, which was exactly a month earlier.

Also, it’s the last week of the month, which means everybody is running out of money.

And on top of that, it’s a Monday.

So, it was easy to see why the experts – psychologists, psychiatrics, sociologists, and the like – had figured that Monday, January 25, 2010, was likely to be the most depressing day of the year.

Except for one thing: None of us felt the least bit depressed!

I asked around the table, and nobody was depressed. We were all in pretty good spirits, except for one case of the sniffles.

So I got to thinking: If the rest of the world is depressed today, but we’re all happy, then we really have a big advantage over the rest of the world. We should be, not just happy, but SUPER-happy!

So, we decided that the Most Depressing Day of the Year for everybody else should be the Happiest Day of the Year for us!

This incidentally, is not unlike the Rainy Day rule that we’ve adhered to for years.

Long ago, I observed that rain actually doesn’t hurt. It may dampen you for a bit, but it doesn’t hurt you. So, back in the days when I was a door-to-door salesman, of sorts, I kept my appointed rounds on rainy days in spite of the drizzle. And I realized that I did real well selling on those days because: a) lotsa folks were impressed that I was dedicated enough to be slogging through the rain; and b) nobody else was, so I didn’t have any competition on rainy days.

Upon that realization, I came to view rainy days as special gifts: days when I would have a competitive advantage because I understood that you don’t actually melt if you get rained on. Other people may have woken up to rainy days in a dreary mood; but rainy days always made me happy!

So, for years, our entire staff has subscribed to the theory that rainy days are GREAT! (Although occasionally, when it’s coming down in buckets, I do hear them quietly whispering that perhaps Rod-Boy has gone off the optimistic deep-end.)

And now – YIPPEE -- we’ve discovered we have the final Monday of January each year to add to our collection of special happy days.

That’s why it’s Monday, January 25th, 2010, and I’m having my happiest day of the year.

At least until Tuesday.

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