Every fall, when the days start to get short and dark, so do I. My dear husband calls it my “hibernation,” and dreads my mood swings, chronically irritable state, and sluggish demeanor. From my perspective, if it’s okay for bears, what’s the problem? So what if we go through twice as much coffee in a week and my nightly sleeping requirements increase by two or more hours? Does it really matter if my sweats are working double duty and I have to be bribed into leaving the house again once I’ve returned to the safety (and light) of home at the end of the day? But apparently my winter needs wreak havoc on our family dynamic, and so each year we suffer through while trying photosensitvity lamps, new vitamins, morning workouts, cold showers, whatever we think may help my “condition.”
So it stands to reason that DH loves this time of year, at least for a few weeks. He receives a brief respite, between the longer days of “springing forward” and my birthday in April, during which I still dread leaving my toasty bed in the morning but at least am much more joyful when I arrive home from work. It’s not until after my birthday that my husband once again begins to complain of my “seasonal illness.” By that point I’m wide awake at first light with energy to spare, and it’s not uncommon for me to trick DH or my stepson to think it’s later so they will get up to go to the farmers’ market with me. Why they continue to fall for this is, of course, a different issue.
The short reprieve from one seasonal affliction to the next is one of my own making. My husband may hate what the fall time change and dark days do to me, but I it’s nothing compared to the apprehension I hold each year as my birthday approaches. I’m not sure when this started, but at some point I began to recount my age versus my accomplishments of the previous year. As holidays wind down and the calendar slowly moves closer to the anniversary of my debut to the world, I become increasingly panicked by the number of things on my life’s To Do List compared to the years left in my life. Or worse, compare my achievements of the previous year to those of friends, acquaintenaces, fellow professionals, and in split second determination confirm I am squarely behind the rest of the pack. It’s only after my birthday that I begin to breathe easy, comforting myself with promises that I will take full advantage of the many days before the next one in which to make some headway.
We are now in the epicenter between longer days and birthday. My husband is breathing a bit easier, but I’m still pulling the covers over my head. Maybe next year I’ll give my self an early gift to celebrate my life. Consider that To Do list a Life list – because once everything is crossed off, really, what’s left? Capture that extra month or so and make it mine. Poor DH – he won’t know what hit him.