Turning the blahs away

It’s about this time of year when one’s New Year resolutions tend to have worn so thin that breakage is a foregone conclusion.

Grant McKenzie

Grant McKenzie

It’s about this time of year when one’s New Year resolutions tend to have worn so thin that breakage, if it hasn’t already happened, is a foregone conclusion.

The mornings are dark, the evenings are dark, and our motivation remains snuggled in bed with the cats (who were smart enough to secure a free and comfortable ride through life) while our physical bodies are trudging off to work.

And, believe it or not, there is actually a scientific explanation for this. Well, kinda. Cliff Arnal, a former professor at Cardiff University in the UK, has developed a formula that calculates the saddest and most depressing day of the year. In 2013, that day was Monday, Jan. 21. So if you’re reading this, congratulations, you survived. According to Arnal, Monday was the perfect storm of everything rotten in post-Christmas blahs: weather, motivation, debt worry, etc. To get us out of this funk, Monday talked to author Gabrielle Bernstein (who is a guest speaker at the upcoming Victoria Yoga Conference) about manifesting your own miracles. You can read her interview on Page 7.

And for those who are clinging onto their resolutions by the edge of their fingernails, I hereby present a wee poem I wrote recently that helped motivate my cousin in his quest to shed over 100 pounds and enter his very first marathon.

Last to Finish

When you are last to finish

have you failed?

Not last place,

for that is reserved for those who

gave up,

dropped out,

decided it was just too hard.

Last to finish is the


or the oldest,

or the one whose intelligence

is taxed the most,

but also the one who

didn’t give up,

despite the obstacles,

despite the odds,

who broke through the wall

of physical pain,

of intellectual struggle,

of breath

caught in burning lungs,

of whispers of doubt

burning into every thought,

repeating how easy

it is to give up.

Last to finish is not losing,

not even close.

It is overcoming,

it is stubbornness and


it is sweat and pain and suffering.

It is defeating the voices

that say you can’t.

It is replacing them with

words of your own making:

I bloody well did. M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
Vancouver Island children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

This image released by SYFY shows Meredith Garretson, left, and Alan Tudyk in the new series "Resident Alien." (James Dittinger/SYFY via AP)
B.C.-shot ‘Resident Alien’ invader gets lift-off with viewers

New Syfy series catching on, proving TV doesn’t have to come from premium cable

West Coast-themed metal art by Nanaimo artists Hayley Willoughby (pictured), her father Jack and partner Blair LeFebvre is on display in the window of Lululemon at Woodgrove Centre from now until March 13 as part of the store’s monthly local artist program. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Metal artists present cross-generational show at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Work by Hayley Willoughby, her partner and father on display in Lululemon window

Vancouver Island Symphony principal violinist and concertmaster Calvin Dyck is among the musicians performing in the upcoming Salmon and Trout concert. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Vancouver Island Symphony will make a splash with fish-themed quintets concert

Performance was to take place in November but was rescheduled due to COVID-19

Nico Rhodes, Lucas Smart, James McRae and Kosma Busheikin (from left) recorded their set for the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival’s online video series at the Harbour City Theatre in December. (Photo courtesy François Savard)
Music starts next week at online Nanaimo International Jazz Festival

Ten free, virtual performances to occur over three weeks in March

The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
 The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
Victoria calls for artists to fill Commercial Alley gallery

Competition open to artists in the Capital Regional District

Cowichan Valley author Teresa Schapansky’s books for young readers have become a phenomenon on Amazon. (Submitted)
Cowichan author tops Amazon charts

Award-winning author Teresa Schapansky learned of a need for low-level readers in the classroom

Nadia Rieger restocks some of the art supplies at the Crows Nest Artist Collective. Their move to stocking more art supplies over the course of the pandemic was a response to increased demand, which she thinks shows people have been turning to creating art to cope with mental health struggles due to lockdowns and restrictions on other activities. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Vancouver Islanders using art to conquer COVID blues

It seems people have been turning to their creative sides to stay mentally and emotionally healthy

Chris Bullock, Parksville artist, stands next to his ‘Mermother’ series, on display at the McMillan Arts Centre until Feb. 29. Bullock himself will be at the MAC from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. every Saturday until the end of the month. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville artist Chris Bullock’s unique illustrations on display

‘I’m heavily influenced by old comic book styles from the 1950s’

VIU music instructors Hans Verhoeven, Ben Henriques and Ken Lister (from left) are presenting a weekly jazz performance series with pianist James Darling (not pictured). (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
VIU music instructors presenting online jazz concert series

Musicians getting ‘back in shape’ performing American Songbook standards

Most Read