Well, we’re really, truly nearing winter now. I watched darkness fall just before 5:00 pm last evening, and I knew with a sinking heart that I could deny it no longer.
Why do I dread it so? It’s not that bad, really, hunkering down earlier for the evening, shutting the curtains before dinner instead of after, turning on more lights a little sooner in the afternoon. It’s not as if we’ve been playing outside in the afternoon lately—it’s been pretty chilly—so the early darkness hasn’t brought about any big change in our schedule. And yet, I’m suddenly filled with apathy and ennui. I know there are exciting times to come, lots of fun fall events, Christmas preparation. I just can’t put my finger on the real reason for the mood shift.
I don’t really think I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. In truth, I’m not sure I completely believe in it. There are some relatively recent, popular disorders that I just haven’t made up my mind about—SAD, and Epstein Barr, and the innumerable forms of ADD and ADHD… Anyway, I don’t recall this listless feeling when I was a child. Perhaps I was too distracted by the anticipation of things to come, but I don’t know; we’re turning back the clocks much later this year, and I can’t imagine that I got too worked up about Christmas way back in October, which is when we used to make the time adjustment.
So what gives? Is it the knowledge of winter approaching, the upcoming snows and ices and shoveling marathons? Is it my horror at the thought of dressing myself and a 2-year-old in winter gear each time we venture out the door? Perhaps it is the vision of little old me, traversing a messy, filthy, snow-covered parking lot with a loaded grocery cart and child in tow.
I don’t know for sure. I only know that I feel a tad heavier, a tiny bit less hopeful, slightly cranky. I think about naps more and walks less. I have inexplicable snacking urges, less stringent rules about the state of the house, fewer inclinations to do chores and more interest in pointless, stupid TV shows.
I think I have officially made the transition to pre-hibernation mode.