I don’t know about you, but come mid February all of my enthusiasm for projects, goals, achievements or anything mascarading as ‘effort required’ blows out the window. My February ‘sad’ arrives in a fog of weariness and lethargy and sets up shop for a few weeks.
I steam through January, feeling as though anything is possible, jumping out of bed at 5.30am and cranking out hours of work, miles of running and god damn it, even my laundry basket is empty. But come mid February, I am a sofa bound sloth of a thing, armed with elasticated waistband, food strained sweaters and thermal socks. The thought of running makes me nauseous, going outside to walk the dog involves herculean effort and the only foodstuff I desire features the words ‘creamy’ or ‘crispy’. I swear that my body saves up throughout the year for a month long bout of PMS as my jeans struggle to contain my muffin top and I promise to stop with the candy every Sunday night like a Weight Watchers lifetime member. Mmmm sexy stuff. Thank god I’m single.
Last night I knew that my February blues had arrived as I cooked while on the phone with a friend. Well I say cooked.. more like standing in front of the fridge holding an onion and looking for inspiration;
‘sorry I’m distracted, I’m cooking’
‘ooh what are you making?’
‘well right now its onion’
‘it involves an onion and I can’t quite figure out what else’
‘well… I’m sure it will be delicious’
Sorry to say that it wasn’t and no, a boiled onion does not make a meal, no matter how much soy sauce you add. I probably could have whipped something up but frankly, I’d much rather eat cereal and think about how much I need a pedicure (because getting one right now seems just too much of an effort.. taking off socks?… ugh). Dating? Forget about it.. I can’t be bothered in anything which doesn’t involve 12 hours of sleeping. Narcoleptic? Step right up!
Now I’m sure that there are folks out there reading this and rolling their eyes at the indulgence of a single woman without kids who can’t be bothered to feed herself and definitely isn’t shaving her legs this month but here’s the thing. Its partially because we’re single and childless that we find ourselves in this state. Nobody is looking and nobody cares. If my jeans are into their 3rd week and I’ve been wearing the same sweater since last Thursday.. so what? All year round we motivate ourselves, keep pushing on, keep driving and striving to make life meaningful and enjoyable, fun and exciting.. but come February every year, its as though my psyche hits the snooze button, takes another hit on the metaphorical bong and says ‘why bother?’
At the age of 30-something I worried that maybe I’d caught a case of the clinical depressions and envisioned myself taking a long nap in a nice white hospital for a few weeks.. and met with a Eastern European doctor who seemed even more depressed than me. As I unburdened by concern about my lack of energy, interest in food, need for sleep and overall glumness, she signed and bemoaned in her heavily accented English;
‘ it is the SAD….You have the SAD. I have the SAD. You be ok. But is sad…’
Well with that diagnosis I wasn’t sure which of us was going to be reaching for the noose first, but after her prescription for huge doses of Vitamin D and a UV lamp, I found myself slightly appeased.
Ah seasonal affective disorder… what joy you bring!More pills and now I own ‘equipment’ for my aliments!!
Armed with my special lamp and my economy size bottle of vitamin D pills, I brace myself for February. And every year without fail, I drag my butt out of bed, drag myself through the work day (adding to my ever increasing ‘to do’ pile without any desire to ‘do’ any of it), and look forward to a 7pm bedtime. And I repeat to myself in a heavily accented Slavic accent ‘my SAD.. is sad’. It doesn’t change anything but it reminds me that its temporary and no, I’m not dying.
As sure as eggs is eggs, come March 1st I know I’ll be back to my bouncy, overly energetic self and this period of glum February will disappear without trace until 2014. But today, I’ll defrost another quinoa burger, line up my Downton Abby and consider it a good effort.