Yes, I know the world is supposed to end today or something like that, but I have bigger things on my mind. While you’ve all been talking about the apocalypse, I’ve been pondering what the winter solstice means to me: the arrival of the shortest day of the year! Unlike the supposed apocalypse, this happens every December without fail, and I do a little happy dance.
I can explain.
The past few years, it’s occurred to me (and my therapist) that maybe I suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I’ve told you guys before how it’s like I’m a different person come spring–happier, more energetic, less negative, the whole works. Part of having SAD, for me, means feeling anxious that it’s dark out by 4:30 when I’m leaving work. I don’t know why I feel so anxious about it being so dark all night long, but I do. Makes sense, though, given that SAD is affected by lack of light.
I spend September, October, November, and December days watching the sun go down earlier than the day before. But come December 21 (or whatever day the solstice falls on in a given year), I am ecstatic because it means that finally the shortest day has arrived and we can get on with the business of lengthening days until June!
I’m weird, maybe. I own that. Hell, I even like it! But the way my mind works is that I look forward to this day every fall/winter. I think about December 22 and how daylight lasts seconds (or minutes?) longer that daylight on December 21, and I get a smidge happier. I feel like I can get through the winter a little easier simply by focusing on the fact that we’re now working toward the long spring and summer days, when we have light for 15-16 hours!
Do me a favor and remind me about the days being longer in January, when I am in that post-holiday funk and it’s gray and cold outside, will ya?