Time for the obligatory early winter post about light, sun and lack thereof - we're now full-on into the darkest time of the year, where the street lights are switched off when I'm dropping Tiss off to school at 8.30 (meaning that dawn is only breaking then), and it is pitch black night again by the time I am leaving work after 4pm to pick up Tiss from school. Other years I have had a more positive take on this period - see Let there be light, - but this year its hitting me hard. Perhaps it is because it is also relatively warm for December - hovering around 5 degrees. In some ways this is good, because its not freezing when you go out. In other ways,it sucks: the warmer weather means the skies are constantly covered in thick cloud cover, and everything looks dull and veiled, the precious few hours of daylight you do have are murky, dusk-like affairs. If it dropped down under zero, at least it may snow, leaving the world bright and light, and if it dropped down another five degrees, we might even have blue skies, those crisp, bright, clear days with sun sparkling on crunchy snow.
I think I realised that I had the propensity to suffer from "SADS" (Seasonal Affective Disorder - depression stemming from lack of sunlight) way back when we were living in Melbourne, when the constant drizzle and grey of Melbourne winter had me vegetating in our unheated St Kilda apartment, curled on the sofa under the doona not doing much. Then the sun would come out, and I would be dancing around the flat, making the bed, flinging the dirty washing into a basket, singing as I wrote my Uni assigments and waiting for Jem to get home from work. Kinda psycho-pschizo stuff that seemed to be brought on by cloud cover and the lack thereof. (a quick aside: an audio memory that comes back from that time in St Kilda is the screeching of our first-ever modem as I logged in to my email - h, that was so 1996).
This year, however, unlike other years, I am feeling the looming SADS much earlier - normally the Christmas lights and excitement off the festive season manage to stave off the winter blues until late January, or February, when all I can think about is selling everything I own and buying the first ticket to Egypt or the Seychelles, or Ibiza... or Queensland, I don't care, anywhere, as long as I can get to see some sun. This year I've been googling plane flights already!! Air Baltic had a sale on flights to Dubai yesterday, and I had to stop myself from getting out my credit card.
The idleness and depression seem to have sprung up from nowhere - well I suppose it could be a combination of factors that are making me feel so desperate and hopeless lately: watching any chance of that sun-drenched holiday be whittled away by every-increasing building expenses on our legendary "renovators delight", for a start. They have almost finished putting the tin on the roof today; yesterday I signed my life (and bank balance) away to the plumber who is doing all of our pipes and heating - radiators, boilers, thermostats etc; I have been getting quotes this week from window making companies who are making ambit claims because obviously no one has told them WE'RE IN A CRISIS, goddamit! This stress combined with my current work situation which is lonely, frustrating and quite disheartening(I won't go into detail), Mikus not coping very well with kindergarten and Matīss talking non-stop have made me a bit fragile: add two months of NO SUNLIGHT into the mix and I find myself crying whenever I am alone, wallowing in the depths of despair and snot and running mascara.
A few years ago we invested in a "Daylight therapy lamp" - multitudes of megawatts of fluorescent light covered in a toilet-lid shaped piece of white opaque plastic - which, if switched on daily, is meant to dissipate the worst of SADS after a few weeks. Its worked for me before, needless to say I've had it cranked up recently and am hoping the effects kick in soon. Who knows, it may already be working, because I actually have the energy and motivation to write something today, and the effort to care what you, dear internet, would have to say about the matter.


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