Thursday, February 5, 2009


There is a psychological malady called Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD), in which one experiences persistent depression-like symptoms during the winter, and interestingly enough, craves carbohydrate-rich foods. Notwithstanding the carbohydrate stuff, which I love, be it winter or summer, I can see the relevance of SAD. These long winter nights, the oppressive cloudiness, breed in me a feeling of hopelessness, a distinct sense that this winter will never end. All of this, in turn, causes me to reach for that third helping of pancakes.

The hopelessness breeds inactivity. This inactivity starts as a notion, and then expands to encompass my entire being. Should I go for a run? Naw, I'll sit on the couch and play Madden, while eating my pancakes. Should I go to the climbing gym? I better not. I feel sick from eating too many pancakes. I think that SAD could be more properly defined as SED: Seasonal Effectiveness Disorder. In the winter, it seems like I just can't get anything done. That is, unless you count singlehandedly keeping Mrs. Butterworth out of Chapter 11.

This brings me to my second bleak point. I am an unabashed news junkie; however, I can't seem to open the Times without seeing words like "Recession," or "Depression," splashed in bold letters across the page. I might add that the word "Crisis" has lost its meaning with me. We've had The Mortgage Crisis, The Credit Crisis (which may be the same thing, but I'm not sure because in economics class all I learned was how to write checks), The Consumer Confidence Crisis, (I know I've been feeling a bit self-conscious lately), and more recently, The Peanut Butter Crisis. Why don't they cut to the chase and get it over with? Lets just name it The Apocalypse and call it good.

So the optimistic person, who I categorically despise, may mention that it's important to find happiness in the little things. The light glinting off individual crystals of snow. A really good orange. These things are inexpensive. I prefer, however, to look at the big things that I have a tendency, during this time of year, to forget. I have the wonderful, loving family. I'm married to a the bride of my dreams. I'm trying to be conscious of the atmospherics. I can tell my grandkids of what it was like during "The Crisis Years." I am an inspired citizen of a country that finally got itself right again. Maybe, my SAD Crisis will eventually subside.