Tuesday, December 05, 2006
This has to be a short post. Work is calling. . . .
Shortly after I wrote on the Sunday Scribbling entitled "A passenger in my own life", I stumbled across one of Diane Ackerman's books at my favorite used book store (we are blessed with two good used bookstores and several new ones within a few blocks of my home). This book is Cultivating Delight, A Natural History of My Garden. Since I like gardening books, this was a sure thing. I'm only on chapter 3 but ran into a paragraph that seemed appropriate for the day and season.
"We may feel cozy and safe in our homes, protected from both blast and predatory, but we pay the price with slack muscles, weak hearts and glum spirits. Deprived of fresh daylight, we sink low during winter months. And yet when we search for remedies to those distresses, only the artificial springs to mind: gyms, pills, lightboxes." So true. As I sit here in front of my space heater and light box, I find myself craving light and warmth. So do many of my patients. This is depression season, especially for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder. I wish I could give all of us a prescription for a trip to the Bahamas for a week. Someone told me recently that the Norwegian government gives grants to its citizens for travel south in the winter if they need more light. I'll have to check if that is true. Since most of us in Chicago cannot run away into the light, we are stuck with pills, lightboxes and so forth.
I am on the thin side, so the cold really hits me hard. My hands are cold, even indoors, especially while writing or typing. I feel every draft in my 1880's house despite new insulated windows. I hate leaving the house on days like today when the highs are in the 20's. My energy levels plummet and I want to sleep until noon. I fantasize about summer in Italy, winter in Fiji (although not this week, I gather bad things are happening in Fiji). Perhaps I should move to Arizona, Texas, California or Florida, but I have roots here in Chicago. Besides I'm not sure if I'd like to live in most of those places, I'm picky.
Well, dreary depressing December and merry manic March, keep shrinks like me in business. Speaking of which, time to pack up laptop and get to the office.
P.S. I will add a picture and revise post in my next break.