Posted in Thoughts

S.A.D. or just circumstantial?

The sun and I have a weird relationship. I think I’m codependent on him.

I’ve started keeping weird hours. I get up at 5:30am everyday (yes even on weekends) because now the cats are conditioned for morning food. Hopefully, we can break them of this habit after the Rudi finishes the bag of kitten food and both cats are eating the same stuff. But for now, this is my normal.

The problem is not the hour I wake. I have become an early morning person by both choice and habit. I am fully awake the moment the alarm goes off. Mornings are energy-filled for me. 5:30am does not feel early and I’ve done much earlier without drama. The problem is daylight savings and winter.

When it’s fully pitch black dark at 6pm, my body feels like it’s 9pm. Last night, I ate dinner at 6:30 and by 7, I could feel my body physically winding down. My eyelids were getting heavy and my brain was just mush. This severely hinders any connecting with other humans going on in evening time hours. Which is a problem, since my husband is a night owl.

Last night, I was in bed at 8pm. I actually wanted to be ASLEEP at 8pm, but felt like that would be extremely ridiculous, so I puttered on my phone for an hour. This has become my pattern. Joking about my transition to senior citizen aside, I don’t want to lose time with my husband and others because “it’s dark out” and my body thinks I need more sleep cause it’s winter. That is super lame. My most alert time is now spent with two cats. I’m alright with being a cat lady, but I also need human contact!

Next month, Half Price Books starts staying open until 10pm during the week. We don’t actually have a lot of customers in the 9-10 hour, so it feels really pointless for us to be there later. But this is especially hard for me when my body has transitioned to “winter Jes” hours. 10pm is at least an hour after my body is thinking I should be in REM. That’s just sad.

And speaking of S.A.D. …

Nayt would argue that I struggle with Seasonal Affect Disorder. But I’m unsure there is conclusive evidence. The past three winters have had unusual circumstances that have contributed to lethargic Jes symptoms. For example, upon moving to Minnesota in January of 2013, I had no job and no friends, an extrovert’s nightmare that didn’t get fully resolved until 4-5 MONTHS later when my friend Ann started working with me at Archiver’s.

But I do have to admit, in the winter, I feel like I lose a great deal of my energy and focus. It’s like all I can do is work, cook a little dinner and sleep. Those are the only things my winter brain will allow. I can fake it through December when there are lots of Christmasy things to do: presents to make and wrap, markets to visit, carols to listen to, joy to spread… 🙂

Maybe the sun affects me more than I want to admit. Do you struggle with what I’m talking about? How do you power through to the Spring Equinox, when daylight is more than half the day again?

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2 thoughts on “S.A.D. or just circumstantial?

  1. Yeah, I feel ya, Jes. I wake up at 4:30a daily (when the sun awakes here in Mozambique) and struggle to keep my eyes open much past 7:30p. The sun sets at 5:30p here so it feels CRAZY late at 7:30p. It doesn’t help that the kids go to bed by 7p daily and Eden wants me to lay with her. Yeah, lay with her in the cool, dark, quiet room = Zzzzzz. Many times I wake up some hours later and creep to my bed, collapsing there. I feel like I need more sleep here and I think it has a lot to do with the sun’s hours. I’ve never felt like such a granny in my life. LOL. Matt’s a night person too, but I also think we both just need different amounts of sleep. I wonder if the cold weather contributes to your hibernation mode too? 😉 Maybe you could try to stay up every other night or on specific nights in the week to spend time with Nayt. Maybe if they are written into your world on a routine your body will get used to the concept. But honestly, I have no idea how to fight this cause I’m in the same boat here. Hehe. As for waking at 4:40a, I decided to just go with it and I use my time to go to the gym and do Bible study without kid interruptions. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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