Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Descent into Darkness

That's what Roomy calls it, and any Canadian out there knows exactly what I'm talking about. Its suddenness takes me by surprise each year, somehow. One day I'm getting up and light is gently streaming into my room, and then the next day the sun seems to wait until I'm well into my writing morning before showing up.

This time of the year is when energies start to fizzle out. The desire to socialize puffs up into smoke. The call for the comfort of home and couch resonates with every step.

I'm not a winter hater, I'm really not. I think it's a pretty season and offers many fine moments. I love the crunch of snow under my boots and its echo into the still world; exhales turning into clouds of fog and ice and inhales so fresh it hurts the lungs. It's not the snow or winter that I dislike. It's the darkness I have a hard time with. My mother is the exact same way. I can't live in an apartment without lots of windows, and I barely ever shut the curtains (I'd be doomed in the zombie/vampire/leprechaun apocalypse). Last year was tough and I deflated into a big ooze on my couch.  Well, as much as I ever deflate, I suppose. But still, I felt it and it bugged me.

I worked hard at finding remedies for my deflation (truly). I don't intend on moving anywhere, so I'd best deal with the darkness as best I can, especially for those days of deep winter when I arrive at work when it's dark, and I leave when it's dark. Best deflation time ever.

So last year, I found a bunch of things that helped cope with the darkness and I set myself an Outlook reminder for this fall, listing all of my solutions.  It just popped up this morning and I thought I'd share with all of you. We all, after all, have to deal with some darkness in our lives, no matter where we live.

Marie's List of Darkness Happies:
  • Fuzzy socks. Good fuzzy socks, with stripes or polka dots, for wearing at home only. Slip on as soon as you come home. I even keep an emergency pair on my couch. It drives Roomy insane, and that makes me happy, too.
  • Warm drinks.  Herbal or caffeinated teas, cider, coffee, specialty coffees... who cares. Warmth fights darkness.
  • Comfy couch. If you're going to deflate onto it, might as well be comfy.
  • Baths. The ultimate remedy for fighting bone-chill. Recommend reading cheap magazine while in there. I read Archie Comics myself (and only drop them in about half the time).
  • Cats.  Or whatever fuzzy you prefer. Pets don't judge, just cuddle. That can help, too.
  • Friends. Aside from creature comforts, going out at least once every two weeks with your bestests can change everything.  Totally!
  • Books. A good book. One that you've been looking forward to for a while, or something that'll keep you engaged. If your book is boring, drop it. You need escape right now, not boredom!
  • Goals. Think about what you'll do in spring, once the ground thaws.  Garden? Paint? Run around? Prepare for it and look forward to it - that ground will thaw, after all.
  • Nest. This isn't just for pregnant women! Arrange your house to be all comfy. You'll be in there a lot.  I'm planning on cleaning out the basement this winter. I think that marks me as a sucker for punishment, but at least I'll have been somewhat productive.
  • Light. You know, one of those cool lights that give you vitamin D. We all need more of that. I don't have one, but I keep saying I'll buy one. We'll see what happens!
  • Mood. Get lanterns, candles, whatever. Cast away the darkness with some awesome, inspiring lighting options (I'm starting to sound like I should be on HGTV).
  • Laugh. Well, really, if you don't do that all year long, I suggest you re-evaluate your life.
This was much less elaborate in my Outlook reminder, where just the bolded stuff was listed.   I can't for the life of me figure out why "cupboard" is on the list, so I'll let you think about that, nor does "napkins" ring a bell. Perhaps I confused my Descent into Darkness list with my shopping or cleaning list at some point. Very possible.

There's also a lot of hockey in my house during this time (on TV, to be clear). Not because I watch it, but because Roomy loves hockey. She even made herself a custom hockey pony.  See?

Between living with me and being a Leafs fan, I think it's safe to say that Roomy is paying off karma at a vastly accelerated rate. She was either a mass murderer in a past life or is planning on being one in her next incarnation. Good for Roomy, planning ahead and all that good stuff.

So winter, for all its darkness, is an extremely productive time for me. I go to my writing room, light a lantern, and I'm having a grand time slaying darkness in another land. Ooh. Totally adding that to the list.

  • Slaying.

... I hope I don't misinterpret that next year...