Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Winter Blahs

Our stacked coat rack, February, 2013.  Photo by Jeno Bera

Greetings All:

It's February, that is the good news.  January is dead.  Here's the bad news- February is turning out to be just as nasty.

This quote was in my local paper yesterday- "Every mile is two in winter."  George Herbert said it.  Mr. H was a smart man.

Speaking for myself, I find it harder to do the "extra stuff," such as doing a blog post.  I do my writing either at night, on weekends or on (rare occasions) early in the morning.  It's something I enjoy doing but this past week it has been a challenge to do more than sit on the couch by the electric fireplace (please see below) and just hang out.  Dawn and the girls got me a Kindle for Christmas and I've done a bit of reading but precious little writing.  Simply put, just haven't been able to get motivated to write.

It ain't real wood but damn if it ain't real heat! Photo by Jeno Berta
I like to think that winter is just a state of mind, that the cold is just something to deal with, an inconvenience.  Sort of like TSA with wind chill.  Alas, even this winter has gotten to me.  Granted, this one has been particularly vicious.    One might be tempted to ask?  So how cold is it?  Well, how's this for an answer from our friends at CNN a few weeks' back:  "It's so cold, even polar bears and penguins were being kept indoors Monday."  Yup, that's cold.

There is something more to this winter, any winter, for that matter.  It is brutal and it's starting to drag on the way a summer drags on in Phoenix.  I think that after this many days of below freezing/below zero days, it's natural to want to hole up, semi-hibernate.

In my informally polling of my friends and colleagues, I am not alone in being less than motivated to do the "extra stuff."   For most of us, this too will pass.  However, for others, the winter blahs is more than a lack of motivation.  It is a legitimate medical condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.  I was curious as to what percentage of the population suffers from it.  It's not an insignificant number.  From Psychology Today, I found this stat- "Seasonal affective disorder is estimated to affect 10 million Americans. Another 10 percent to 20 percent may have mild SAD. SAD is more common in women than in men."

I am not a mental health professional so I do not have the expertise to comment on this subject.  However, there is a link to an article on CNN from a mental health professional who lays out some of the differences between the winter blues (or blahs) and SAD.  If anyone reading this thinks they may have SAD, please, go talk to a professional.  We turn to professionals to keep our cars running well, we should do the same for ourselves.

Sooner or later the cold will end.  The wind will cease to bite and (eventually) become a gentle, welcoming breeze.  The days of boots and heavy socks will give way to flip flops and bare feet.  It may seem a ways off, but we'll get there.  In the meantime, I'll try to write some the fire.

Be well my friends,


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