2011 is starting and I want to wish everybody a happy blue year. I’d love a year free from pressure to be happy. I notice the quest for happiness is becoming a relentless push. If you’re not happy apparently you should make yourself happy. I couldn’t help noticing a row of ‘happiness’ books in a local store. A row of them? Pressure. The pursuit of happiness, the happiness project/workbook/trap, stumbling on happiness, the art of happiness, the how of happiness, the blah blah blah of happiness…

On Amazon books a search on ‘happiness’ returns 20,375 results. Me thinks that is too much self-help. ‘Sadness’, by the way, returns 979 results – an emotional state that is much less understood, less valued, less desired…

I am as happy as the next person, I think I am happy enough. Full. I’m blue too from time to time.

It’s a natural state not a fault that needs to be be happied over or happied up. Generally we think that happy = good and blue = bad, and that’s not really true, blue is not bad. Where one state is present the other must be too. Blue is rich for quiet, for contemplation and reflection and for feeling. It’s not that happiness is over-rated, happiness is fabulous but blue is fabulous too.

Blue is a state that’s under-rated, and in the words of Lennon/McCartney “Let it be”. That’s why I am wishing you a Happy Blue year in 2011. Instead of trying to change how you feel, just allow yourself to feel how you feel. Happy Blue Year.

Perhaps the most indispensable thing we can do as human beings, everyday of our lives, is remind ourselves and others of our complexity, fragility, finiteness, and uniqueness.”

Damasio, A. (1994) Descartes’ Error : Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, London: Vintage.