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NAX: A slow time of year seems to give your mind time to spoil - Odessa American: Ken Brodnax

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NAX: A slow time of year seems to give your mind time to spoil

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Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 12:00 am

You’d think we’d all be ready for this time of year. After all, bleak always arrives and settles in for a nice long stay once the new wears off the newest year.

Mid-January is undoubtedly the lowest of low times for many folks. We’re coming off an extended festive season full of holidays and all the excess associated with them. The new has worn off our presents. The flab that came with all the gluttony hasn’t worn off.

For sports fans, football is fading away. The orgy of college bowl games is over. We’re down to a precious few pro contests, and we’re trying to look forward to the bittersweet event that will be the Super Bowl.

Half of us are suffering from a cold, flu, allergies or a combination of all three. The other half is waiting to come down with the aforementioned afflictions. And then we’ll all switch places and keep going through that depressing cycle of recurring illness until the spring thaw arrives.

The things that go wrong in life always seem to rear their ugly heads about now. You have problems with the heating unit at home. The garage door opener goes on the fritz.

Through the Nyquil haze and between nasal spray treatments, you dream about climbing in bed and hibernating until the trees start budding.

Well, let’s just see what is happening right now. Ah, the Texas Legislature is going back into session. You know that will provide some entertaining moments at some point, but as a whole, Austin politics doesn’t give you much of a lift out of the doldrums.

Nor do the doings in Washington, D.C. Yeah, it’s all historic for sure. But changing the cast of characters doesn’t mean the plot will change significantly. No help there.

To salvage some semblance of sanity, you start grasping at straws to find something to pick up your spirits. It might be as simple as marveling at the efficiency of the guys who came to repair the garage door opener. In a day when so much work is done shoddily, these two guys are amazing. The problem is diagnosed, the unit is disassembled, a part is replaced and everything is back in working order in less than a half hour. While one works on the machinery, the other is cleaning and lubricating the rollers and joints on the door. Too bad you can’t bottle this kind of customer service and use it to infuse others you deal with on a daily basis.

Somewhere along the way, you always arrive at the answer to the blahs. This is the time when you start looking beyond the prevailing gloom.

OK, the Super Bowl is Feb. 1. That’s always a fun day, even if it does signal the end of another great season.

Two weeks after that, NASCAR begins another campaign with the Daytona 500. Then it won’t be long until March madness, which then will give way to another baseball season.

Before we know it, the grass will be greening up. It’ll be time for a trip to Central Texas to check out the wildflowers. Bluebonnets are a great tonic for the soul.

We almost always dig out of the depression by realizing that you have to get past the immediate moments and find some solid reasons to be optimistic.

We’ll endure the rest of January and suffer the consequences of early February. We’ll get past the chill, both physically and emotionally.

Yeah, we got our minds headed in the right direction. At least until that last shot of Nyquil wears off.

Odessa, TX

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