5 Reasons to Cheer Up This January

01/21/2011 10:07 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

So in case you didn't hear, Monday, Jan. 17th was allegedly the saddest day of the year. Based on a mathematical formula, sadness is predicted to peak on the third Monday of each new year. This is usually a result of post-holiday blues/failed new year's resolutions/bad weather and the like. Some even refer to it as Blue Monday.

If you found yourself inordinately down on Monday -- or any day this month -- here are five reasons to cheer up:

  1. You're not Sarah Palin. Although she can seem sometimes like America's Princess Diana, former Alaskan Governor and former Vice Presidential running mate Sarah Palin is having a bad month. In the aftermath of the tragic shootings in Arizona, Palin failed to adopt a sufficiently conciliatory and empathic response. Instead, she went on a tear, aggressively defending herself from insinuations that she was to blame for the massacre and painting herself as the victim, rather than the six people who died and 13 who were injured. (The press also played a hand in this, mind you.) A post-Tucson Gallup Poll commissioned by USA Today found that Palin's rating is at its lowest level since she burst onto the national political scene in September 2008. She is seen in a favourable light by 38 percent of US voters, while 53 percent have an unfavorable view.
  2. You're not Amy Chua. Amy Chua -- a.k.a. Tiger Mother -- wrote a chilling oped in The Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks back about the draconian tactics she uses to exact perfection from her two daughters. And the blogosphere hasn't ceased talking about it since. (Initial WSJ article has 6,800 comments and counting...) As someone who wrestles with having high expectations for her children -- albeit without denying them food, drink or bathroom breaks as Chua claims to -- I'm not entirely immune to Tiger Mother-like tendencies. But, boy, is she in the dog house this month, especially among Mommy Bloggers. My colleague Joanne Bamberger likened Chua's child-rearing tactics to child abuse. Ouch.
  3. You're not Ricky Gervais. British comedian Ricky Gervais hosted this year's Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood and the consensus in the American press, at least, seems to be that he bombed. I actually thought that with one or two exceptions, Gervais was pretty funny. (Watch his opening monologue and judge for yourself.) But the rumor is that he is persona non grata at the awards ceremony next year, which -- not that you asked -- he has no interest in hosting anyway.
  4. You're not Robert DeNiro. If you think Gervais stunk the place up at the Golden Globes, then Robert DeNiro really tanked. As a huge fan of award shows, I was totally befuddled by his acceptance speech for the Cecil B. De Mille Lifetime Achievement Award. This man needs to stop working in the "Focker" franchise and go back to real acting so that he remembers how to properly thank people for recognizing his amazing career.
  5. You're not Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Not a household name? This is the now-exiled former president of Tunisia who was just tossed out as leader of his country after ruling for -- oh -- about 25 years. We won't feel too sorry for Mr. Ben Ali, who fled the country with 1.5 tons of gold worth more than 60 million. Still, it's fair to say that it wasn't a great month for him, either.