This time of year is rough. I’ve written previously about my annual struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It starts hurting somewhere in mid-September, though it really ramps up after the time change. Specifically, from the time change through the next 3 weeks or so until Thanksgiving. Then, the holidays are in full swing and I’m excited about Christmas so the ache eases a bit.
I was SO THANKFUL, several years ago, when they changed the date clocks fall back to the first Sunday in November instead of the last in October (yes, that week MATTERS). It meant the staving off of the worst of the SAD ache for a few more weeks.
Individual people experience varying degrees of severity and symptoms. For me, they’re mostly classified by irritability, emotional sensitivity (I burst into tears easily), the desire to lash out at those around me for daring to engage in the most ghastly of behaviors (such as chewing loudly) 🤯 or…breathing (must people do it CONSTANTLY?!) 😉 For me it isn’t so much a sense of hopelessness or of impending doom, it feels more like incessant PMS (this descriptor won’t be much help to the members of my audience with a Y chromosome). 😂 I just don’t feel good! I want to curl up in sweatpants, in the dark, and eat a pound of Doritos with a 2-pound bar of Hershey’s, Special Edition, Dark Chocolate as a chaser…all washed down with a Big Gulp of Cherry Coke! I’m a midwestern girl so, naturally, I think all emotional pain should be solved with food, preferably something of the casserole variety (with main ingredients of cheese or cream of mushroom soup)! 🤤
*I don’t mean to make light of this–admittedly difficult–condition. I just try not to take myself too seriously. A little good-natured jesting helps me to keep things in perspective, plus they claim it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, and I’m lazy so…* 😉
In my previous post regarding my disorder, I discussed ways I try to mitigate the “ouch factor” by embracing the darkness. I wanted to encourage people to seek out the peace and tranquility present in sizeable amounts of dark hours. There’s a peace that settles over the chilly nights, when stars speckle across the dark blanket of sky that drapes over you. The Trekkers are fortunate to live in an area of–fairly minimal–light pollution–we can actually see the Milky Way from our backyard on clear nights! This is even more true if we head out of town to the true darkness the Hills proffers.
You never know what you’ll observe when enjoying the quiet peace of the dark evening. Owls hooting in the distance, a shooting star, the lost Dominos driver cruising past your house multiple times searching for the correct address…😂 Also, I’ve learned, Mother Nature provides natural refrigeration for your wine on those colds nights! 😁
I find the rush to Christmas also increases my stress. Now, don’t get me wrong folks, I’m no Grinch, I LOVE Christmas. There’s no “bah humbugs!” coming from the Trekker household! Mr. Trekker’s ears are bleeding from the excess of Christmas music by January 1st. 😂 I LOVE the sparkling decorations; the music and movies (here’s looking at you Clark Griswald!); the food, the parties and the time spent with family. I even LOVE the snow (if you’re actually lucky enough to have a white Christmas these days!) 😝 I just think there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. Since when does Christmas start November 1st? There’s a whole other holiday between us and “the Jolly Old Elf” people! 😜 November is still Fall! Leaves are still falling, the deer haven’t finished gorging on the pumpkins on our front stoop yet. As Sally from Charlie Brown would say, “I haven’t even finished all my Halloween candy!” Why are we always in such a hurry to rush through life? Why can’t we learn to take each day, week, month (and holiday!) as it comes? There’s a lot of busyness and stress that comes with the Christmas season. Can we have a little time to ramp up to it? And seriously ya’ll, do we really want to rush to January?! REALLY?!
STOP RUSHING ME!!! 😜
I don’t know about where the rest of you live, but in western, South Dakota, it’s DARK dark by 5:30 for the next 3 months, and the sun is down by 4:30. 😜 (If anyone is reading this post in even more extreme latitudes, you have my MOST SINCERE sympathy). BUT, at least for the next few weeks, it’ll be light by 6 am. That makes dragging my sorry butt out of bed a little easier!
The good news is, there is a light at the end of our tunnel. We’ve reached the time change. While that SUCKS!, it means the countdown has started. In just a few weeks–not till the day AFTER Thanksgiving!–the sparkling lights and festive music of the Christmas season will be here to raise spirits. So, for the time being, get outside as much as you can (or at least sit by a window and enjoy some sun and daylight whenever possible), and don’t forget the Vitamin D! I’m also a fan of fun movies, this is when you pull out the good stuff. My personal favorites are those with car chases or anything that makes me laugh (they say it’s the best medicine!) There is absolutely nothing wrong with 12-hour Star Wars or House of Cards marathons on cold, dreary days (just open the curtains so you get some daylight!) I’ll just be hunkering down here the next few weeks with my temporary best friends, dreaming of bright sunshine! A little “woosah!” doesn’t hurt either (and if you haven’t seen Bad Boys 2, I strongly recommend it for a little distraction during these dark days!)
Heads up ya’ll, the countdown to daylight has begun!