6:15 on November 5:
As any American, I want to know who is to blame for my woes. Erroneously, I thought it was Ben Franklin who first thought of this yearly torture. But no, the first to have this idea was William Willett, a Brit. He was never taken seriously, though, and died without seeing his dream become reality. Nope, it was WWI where the time change started first in Germany, then Great Britain, then the US.
So we fight against the Germans, but adopt their shitty time schedule? WTF?
And, no, the shift wasn’t for the benefit of farmers either (another lie). They actually protested it.
I get the idea of extra daylight in the evening. I love that I can go for a run or work outside after dinner. But why take it away as winter begins to cast its ugly shadow? Is someone trying to make me depressed? There’s even a special name for this depression– SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
And yeah, it’s lighter in the morning. So the fuck what? Blinding me while driving east. Then mocking me through my classroom windows. Thanks.
But is it really lighter in the morning????? This is Michigan where the clouds descend and stick around for 7 months. With rain. And sleet. And freezing rain. And snow. And 40 mph winds. So it’s often dark when I get to work and dark enough for street lights to come on at 3 in the afternoon.
And this isn’t just some crazy-mentally-ill-irrational-by-a-woman-hitting-menopause-argument. Two articles came out in the last few days PROVING that there is a direct correlation between turning the clocks back and new diagnoses of depression. (See link Here).
It doesn’t matter that I know it’s coming. I can prepare for it and try and do things that might make it more tolerable. I go to yoga at least once a week. I make sure never to skip a massage appointment. I get outside every opportunity I can while the sun is out.
Yet that darkness is always lurking.
The urge to sleep all the time. The irritability of dragging myself through day after day. The impatience of dealing with happy, cheerful people singing Christmas carols from October through February. The hopelessness that the sun will never appear again and the temperatures will never rise above freezing. The hatred towards people who talk about global warming when my car doesn’t warm up after 30 minutes. The self-loathing from not being active, positive, and normal.
Some people use this time of year to count down to Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s. And they are blissful and grateful and full of joy. I’m jealous.
My countdown is always to December 21– the winter solstice. If I can make it to that day, then each day after brings longer daylight and the hope of hanging on until spring.
Until then, I just have to work at keeping the demons at bay.
May your sun always rise.