I suppose we’re already heading toward the time of year known as the winter doldrums. I can understand completely how this might be so already. I don’t know about the rest of you but it seemed to me we barreled into Christmas at the speed of light, hit it full force, and then landed on our butts shaking our heads in an effort to stop seeing stars.
I’m still trying to recover from the impact.
This particular holiday time is for most of us, when you think about it, far more than the two or three actual “holidays” celebrated. In the Ashbury household, as you know, the “break” lasted 19 days. For many of you with school aged children, the break would have lasted around two weeks or so.
I think this is one of the reasons we hit the “doldrums”. No, not because there are children afoot; but because our daily routines come grinding to a halt. You’ve probably heard of that old saying that states: a body in motion stays in motion. Actually it’s a common way of expressing Newton’s First Law of motion, and man, did Sir Isaac ever know what he was talking about!
We have our routines which, whether we are aware of it or not, we have refined down to an exact science. Hell, some of us who drive the same route to work every day even know where not to take a sip from our take-out coffee cups, because if we do we’ll slop, and that knowledge is for the most part subconscious.
So we’re fine and going along, tickety-boo, and then everything comes to a screeching halt for the holidays. Suddenly we have time on our hands and a question we never have to ask any other time of the year: now what the hell do I do?
See, we prepare for Christmas, buy the gifts, make the plans, etc., for one or two of those 14 or 16 days we have at our disposal, but we sure don’t plan ahead for the rest of them.
So there we are, stuck in the midst of winter, children home, and nothing structured to do.
The second reason we tend to fall into the doldrums, of course, is the reduction in sunlight we experience from November through to March. We forget that the human body needs sunlight as much as do the plants and flowers in our world. Not only are the daylight hours restricted this time of year, but we seem to have way more cloudy days in the late fall and winter than we do in the other seasons. Where it is cold (like here in Canada) and we do get a sunny day, we tend to stay indoors because—well, because it is cold.
I am particularly affected by this lack of sunlight, and was surprised a few years ago when I heard it actually had a name: Seasonal Affective Disorder. It happens to me every year and every year I say to myself, oh yeah, I meant to look into getting one of those special lights that are supposed to help. But then, of course, the SAD season goes away and I forget all about that light, until I need it again the next year.
For any of you who’ve wondered, yes, procrastination is indeed my middle name.
I keep meaning to get more organized, too, so that when the Christmas break arrives, I’m ready for it. I often think it would be nice to have everything arranged ahead—and then, as Christmas and New Years become a dim memory, I could slip into a brand new schedule, I could know with confidence that I can put my best foot forward every day, in a perfect balance of nutrition, and exercise, and with a schedule that would assure me that my every moment will count for something.
Now you know why I never make New Year’s resolutions.