How it works
This how seasonal affective disorder works. It keeps you in the house, makes you regret every bad decision you ever made, bashes you over the head with your personal shortcomings, and then teases you with all the things you could have done but didn’t.
Here I sit in my little apartment, looking out at a grey sky, and thinking that I may have to forgo my usual Friday night glasses of wine if it means actually going outside to buy a bottle. Similarly, my soul is desperately in need of California sunshine but my mind can’t fathom the thought of driving on treacherous roads to get to it.
Making a decision
Last year I flew down to California for my winter snowbird travels and I was going to buy or lease or rent a car while there, but in the end I did none of those things and the trip was not as fulfilling as it could have been. Consequently, this year I decided I would drive down, tough out the long four days on the road in each direction, and enjoy as much visiting and sight-seeing as I wanted.
My plan was to start my drive south on December 1. I have put some plans in place, arranged for my travel insurance, was all set to get winter tires on my car, and was about to get my medications prescribed for six months when it snowed. It snowed really, really, early. It’s only October 14 and we have already had as much snow has we had in January last year. That’s ten weeks earlier, folks. Ten weeks! We hadn’t even finished raking all the leaves yet.
So, now I’m backtracking on the decision I thought I had made. As I look out my window and watch the snow fall, I feel trapped and a bit depressed.
Yesterday I was supposed to drive to Red Deer, a couple of hours away, to meet with my writing group but the weather reports stopped me from going. They were predicting freezing rain and snow and I didn’t want to take the chance. The thought of driving home for two hours or more at night in that weather was enough to terrify me. I’ve driven in freezing rain before and, believe me, it’s not something you would willingly do twice.
As it turned out, the storm didn’t hit until later in the night, but by then I had already cancelled and we Skyped our meeting instead. Skyping is better than nothing, but it’s not like actually meeting your friends. This is not the first time I’ve had to do this, so I’m starting to feel like a burden on the group. Maybe I should leave and let them invite someone who can actually make it to meetings. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think they’d be better off without me.
My ongoing memory loss issues mean that I have trouble keeping track of all the characters in a novel, and I also seem to have completely missed the request to write 5,000 words for this meeting. I absolutely have no idea when that was agreed upon, and so of course I was the only one who had not done so. Yes, I have become that person.
Compounding the problem
The real significance of all this, though, is that it is way too early in the year for me to be Skyping a meeting, no matter how well or how badly I participate. And, it’s ridiculously early to be getting cabin fever. That isn’t supposed to kick in until February. And, I can’t believe I’m revisiting my decision to drive south.
So, of course, I head to the Internet where I read about wars, and refugees, and political wrangling, and plane crashes. Then I check my Twitter feed and realize how many accidents there have already been in the city this morning and I wonder why I even have Edmonton Traffic on my Twitter feed when I hardly ever drive anywhere anyway.
Finally, I think “Well, the heck with it. I’m going back to bed,” but it’s only noon so I write this blog post instead.