Has it really been over a month since I last posted? Well, of course it has. I know it has, because my dear friend Meg called me on it. She knew, through the silence, that something wasn't right. That something has been the winter blues.
Last year was my first year in many that I had to face winter weather, and I think the novelty of it kept me smiling or at least prevented me from feeling the worst of it. Pittsburgh winter is very grey, very grey indeed. Did you know that technically Seattle gets more sunny days per year than Pittsburgh does? Seattle is famous for its grey! Pittsburgh doesn't warn you about its weather. Oh my. Combine the grey with the darkness of winter, and man. I was feeling so flat, so worn down, so unmotivated, uncreative, unexcited about prospects…so much so that a few weeks ago, Hubby ran an intervention. He knew I stopped being myself right around the time winter weather set in for real. These days, sunrise is around 7:40am and sunset is close to 5pm. In between those hours, the sun doesn't grace us with her glory very often (but when she does, what a difference!). I so clearly struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (appropriately S.A.D.). I always joked that I run on solar power. Now I know it's true!
So, what to do? Well, Hubby's intervention was the start. It was a relief to realize my problem was lack of sunlight rather than some more serious depressive streak. We can't change the weather, but we can get me moving. I now try to get exercise every single day. With unpredictable and often very wet and cold weather, exercise means the gym. I hate the gym--so lame--but how I was feeling was far more lame than that, so off to the gym I go! It works best when I go before school, which makes the days start early but start strong. Getting the blood flowing helps a lot. I also take Vitamin D supplements now, as well as probiotic (unrelated to S.A.D. but still helps me feel good!). A greater help has been the school holidays for Christmas, which allowed us all to go blessedly off-schedule. Whew. I have felt snowed under for months, but just being able to wake up in the morning when it isn't pitch black outside has been a gift.
The Farmers' Almanac has predicted a particularly gruelling winter ahead, and it has certainly been colder than last year thus far. I just have to take it one day at a time and know to soak up the sunlight whenever I can. Today, it rained all day and the temperature hovered around 42F. Tomorrow, the high is 24F with snow in the forecast (again). Yesterday was bizarrely wonderful--sunny and warmish. I was out all day in it and had a glorious time. I grabbed the sun when I could!
I'm not sure these days how I want to use this space, but please don't give up on me! I have faith the creative juices will return, and I will want to write and share here once more. Day by day, I'll get there. I have big writing dreams that I'm not planning to let go. Returning here will be a good start on that path. In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful holiday season and hope you make the most of your sunny days!