I have friends who have been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). In a very small nutshell, it’s a depression that comes from lack of sunlight. It’s usually prevalent in winter when the days are shorter. While I’ve not been diagnosed, I can say that winter wreaks havoc on my motivation and mood. I consider myself an outdoorsy type of person. I love the smell of grass and the breeze on my face and the dirt under my nails. Even in the heat of summer, I’d prefer to have my windows open because it makes me feel more connected to outside. Something as benign as sitting and reading a magazine seems more interesting and enjoyable to me if I’m doing it in a chair on the deck. Or on a swing in the back yard. Being cooped up inside all winter is wearisome.
For several years I commuted almost an hour to work. In the winter I would leave my house in the dark of dawn and head back home in the evening just after sunset. It was as if I didn’t actually HAVE a day at all since I didn’t have a window in my office either. However, winter in the Midwest is often overcast and dull even during the day, so the entire season seems rather gray. I find it hard to come home in the dark and want to do much of anything productive, so in those years winter was especially difficult for me.
After a week of bitter cold ending in freezing rain, I’m happy to say that today was a bright day. The sun was out early, and I spent part of my morning sitting at the kitchen island in front of the sliding doors reading a little and drinking coffee. Two things I love. The temperatures rose, the ice on my driveway thawed off, and my mailbox is almost uncovered from the melted snow. It was a welcome respite, and today I’m grateful for that.