Monday, January 19, 2009

winter blues/SMAES

Yeah, well, winter is starting to get to me. Not because I don't think it's beautiful. (You know I think it is.) But I get feeling like less than me. See, my brain cells run on solar power and without the sun spending its days shining on me, it is hard for me to think! They call it SADDS. I don't like that name, because one of those Ds stands for disorder, and almost everyone I talk to (north of the mason-dixon, where we have real, bone-numbing winters) is affected by this season in similar ways: depression, low energy, suppressed immune system, foggy brain, etc. So if it's universal, it's not a disorder, it's normal. Obviously.

I think a better name might be... SMAES. Yeah. Seasonal Mood And Energy Slump. Now doesn't that fit better? Let's call it that instead. It's just a slump, you'll get over it, sounds way better than a depressive disorder. That right there is enough to send you into a depression by itself!

Still, I don't like feeling depressed, not even if it's just a little bit. And so I got to thinking, either I can just give up and feel miserable for the rest of the winter, or I can at least try to do something to make it better. But what? Well, the truth is I do realize that I am always surrounded by beauty and it is my choice whether to see it or not. When my energy is low, it can be hard to find the beauty. It can be hard to choose thankfulness and joy. So that means it is going to take some extra work. But I can do it. It may be harder, but I can at least try, right? So that's what I am going to do.

I have been working on that today - being thankful, ... and what do you know, I am starting to feel better. I also have been drinking more water and increased my vita D a bit, and went to the chiro today. So, yeah, a multi-pronged approach.

So here is what I am thankful for today, some of the things that bring delight to my days. I am continuing my "Joys and Thank Yous" list from before and starting here where I left off there. (You will recognize some of these favorite things from last Wednesday's post.)

16. Home made cocoa from scratch: You put cocoa powder in a cup and stir in about an equal amount of honey till smooth. (Takes a lot of stirring.) Then add milk (cow or soy) and microwave till hot. Stir and enjoy! Wow! Amazing hot chocolate!

17. Going on a date with Husband! (-: Yeah, he's cool that way. Every Friday.

18. The cool architecture downtown, with the old buildings contrasting the new.

19. The ice skating rink downtown! What a great city!

20. Walking the sidewalks downtown and remembering walks there with my mom when I was little. Especially Mr. Peanut in the store front, and the Christmas windows with moving statues of Santa and his friends.

21. Mocha.

22. Chai, plenty spicy and sweet. So good on a cold day!

23. Taking pictures of anything that piques my interest.

24. Ice sculptures! So incredibly pretty, sparkling in the sun.

25. The warmth of candles flickering on stovetop and table, in a warm home when deep white snow blankets everything outside.

26. Loving the man I married.

27. Having children who love me.

28. Playing games together as a family.

29. Cell phones with games on them.

30. Fresh, clean water to drink. (I appreciate this much more since our pump quit, once in the dead of winter.)

31. Strong, handsome sons.

32. Beautiful daughters.

33. Having children who, as they grow, become the kind of people who I would want to choose for friends even if we weren't related.

34. Holiday times, when the children all come over with their own families and we have a full, happy house!

35. Random twinkle Christmas lights. (Really! I just love them!)

36. Gingerbread people.

37. Baking Christmas cookies with my children.

38. Going out with a daughter - for lunch, movie, shopping, whatever, and just enjoying the time together.

39. Craft nights! Getting together with some great friends who make me a better person. I am so thankful for them.

40. Blizzards - staying inside feeling safe and protected while the winds howl and the snow blows outside.

41. Snow days! Everything canceled and us here together relaxing.

42. Home made soup. Bean soup, potato soup, vegetable soup, whatever. There's something good about home made soup. (Except maybe pumpkin soup. That recipe, while saying something about my resourcefulness in using what we have on hand, did not win kudos from my fans here. Nope, not so much.)

43. Friends who love me no matter what. Wow!

44. That delicious feeling of cool, smooth sheets against my skin when I go to bed at the end of a long day, tired and so ready to rest.

45. The way the very air seems to sparkle on an extremely cold day (close to zero degrees F), but only when the sun is shining brightly and is at a low angle in the sky. (a phenomenon explained here at It looks so magical, it's hard to believe, as if the air is filled with invisible glitter. Wow!

Well, that's all for now. Thankfulness rocks! If laughter is the best medicine, thankfulness is a good tonic. Remember tonics? Neither do I. But I guess they were supposed to make you healthy and strong. Mammy Yokum swore by them. Remember Mammy Yokum? OK, never mind.

(pics: Our Downtown; one of my offspring and I decorating Christmas Cookies together.)

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