Friday, December 15, 2006

Long Dark Days

This is our first winter in Olympia, WA. When we said we were moving here, a lot of people warned us about the weather and the lack of sunlight. Well, in general, we weren't too concerned. None of us are sun worshippers. In fact, our toddler, Zane, will complain and say "bright" when the sun shines on him. We found when we moved here it was sunnier than we had wanted! However, one of the funnier things to me was that it really isn't that sunny in Wisconsin in winter either.

It hasn't been too big of a difference. In general, I like it. But I did notice the other day that a vacation to the desert sounded more appealing than it ever has in my life. So, maybe I do have just a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D., as it is sometimes called. (That acronym just cracks me up. I wonder if the acronym makers reworked the name of the disorder so they could call it S.A.D.)

My mom, who lives with us, seems to be a little bit more prone to the winter depression than the rest of us. I'm wondering if one of those S.A.D. Lamps might benefit her. Just yesterday she was really out of sorts, and couldn't quite explain why. I'm curious if the extra light would help. And I'm even wondering if it would help me. It sounds kind of nice. The idea is that you buy these high intensity lights that you use to increase the light in your surroundings to alleviate the signs of SAD depression. It would probably be less expensive than a house or even a vacation in the desert.

I could see having one that she might keep in her room or bathroom for little doses of "fake sun". It could be primarily hers and the rest of us could go in there for "shots" of light. That's a funny idea. I could prescribe it to family members when they get cranky. I'm sure that wouldn't be annoying to anyone. Perhaps it would be best left to individuals to decide on their own when they'd like help with their winter blues.


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