It’s five o’clock, and there’s still a hint of daylight to the west. We’ve turned the corner on winter, I hope. Meterologically, we’re not quite there yet, and yesterday the windchill dropped to 21 below zero as frost froze on my windows and the cat burrowed under the down comforter. My garage door froze shut, too.
This is always the toughest part of the year, when I start to believe the hype about Seasonal Affective Disorder (aptly acronymed SAD). The days are short and dark, and we see stats tossed around about getting only 6% of the possible sunshine over a week’s period. All the Christmas cheer has been boxed up (well, except my tree, since I couldn’t get it back into the box, but it’s in the basement awaiting purchase of a giant Rubbermaid tote). The next holiday off work isn’t until Memorial Day. This past Monday was what some term “Blue Monday,” for the most depressing day of the year, as the pre-Christmas credit card bills come due, resolutions are being abandoned, and people are beginning to tire of the darkness.
The cold and dark drain you, indeed, and I’ve considered buying a wake-up light (which is inexplicably sold by the ounce on Amazon) to combat the hardest part of the season: waking up – and leaving the house – before dawn. I’m sleepy and crabby, as is everyone else. I just want to hibernate and curl up on the couch under a blanket, drinking mug after mug of tea. And sleep. I really want to sleep.
But there’s hope in the form of a few weak rays of sunshine. Heck, not even sunshine, though that has magic restorative powers that we could all really use right now. Daylight would suffice. Daylight during non-work hours is huge. I’m lucky this year in that I’m working from home more, which means I get to see my house by daylight. In previous years, entire weeks have gone by where I’ve done all my coming and going before dawn and after sunset, marveling on Saturday mornings at the accumulated dust.
Hang in there, fellow Elginites and Chicagoans. February is usually the hardest, grayest month, but it’s also the shortest. We’ll make it, I promise.