Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's Officially Winter

The trees are bare, there's snow on the ground. Frost on the grass in the mornings. The heat is officially on all the time. It's pitch black in the mornings when we wake up. Yep, it's officially winter. And here comes the SAD, seasonal affective disorder. I don't really know if I have this officially, I've never been diagnosed and really don't care to be, but somehow every single year around this time of year I just get more upset than usual.

There's something about the angle of the sun and the darkness that makes me feel trapped. It never gets really bright these days, the sun is always at a weird angle, and then it sets before 5pm. The day seems so short, and for someone who likes to do a lot of stuff, it seems way, way to short to live in.  The eternal darkness makes me phobic.

I don't know why I feel this way. I guess maybe from growing up in a warm, sunny climate? I grew up in Dallas where summer started in March and ended in November. But that was so long ago, it doesn't seem possible that it could still affect me. It could be that I just get cold easier than most people. I get teeth chattering, hands shivering cold really easily. I mean, if it's 40 degrees I'm freezing.

I'm really good at "yoga-ing" my way out of most things. Give me any ordinary trauma and I can find a way to meditate to a place of peace about it. I'm good at that. But I've never been able to yoga my way out of SAD. I refuse to take anything for it, that's no good. I think I'd rather be depressed than on drugs.

But I hate that feeling every year. And around here it lasts for a while. I wasn't sure I'd make it last year with how tough the winter was, I came so close to packing up and taking the family to California. This early fall snowstorm that's left half of New England without power and all the trees bare early isn't a good sign for this year.

Ok enough of the negative. Here's my list of things I do like about winter, and about living in a place that has defined seasons (usually, when winter doesn't show up in October). I'll break this out mid winter when my bags are packed and I'm heading for the airport to catch a plane anywhere warm.

1. Wine and cheese by the fireplace on a cold night.
2. Running in the snow and then coming in to a cup of hot chocolate.
3. Any kind of exercise outside that warms you up despite the cold. Running outside in the winter is great, if you can motivate to do it.
4. Good sleeping weather - I sleep better in the winter than in the summer for sure.
5. An excuse to not do anything for a while, other than lay around and watch TV. If it was sunny all the time I think I'd never take a break. Winter is a good forced break.
6. Sledding, snowball fights, and snowmen.
7. Sweatshirts and jeans, and a bowl of chili on Football Sundays.
8. The first signs of spring after the winter. Life doesn't get any better than those first few days of warmth.
9. My birthday - smack dab in the middle of the month with the shortest days and one of the coldest months of the year.
10. Babies in snowsuits. There's nothing cuter than a baby shoved into a gigantic snowsuit, looking at you like "are you kidding me mom?"
11. Boots. I have a new found obsession with boots of all kinds. 

Happy Winter

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