SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. Two of the main symptoms are a low mood and a lack of interest in life . . .
Changes seem to just get us down, or is it actually a response to the end of a climactic time of year . . . I have noticed the signs amongst my friends right now, the September Blues are here.
I love Christmas, the whole shebang. I love choosing presents for friends and family, and despite the backache I get every year from hunching up on the floor over rolls of paper and sellotape, I like wrapping them too. I have a picture in my head of my family sitting round the roaring fire, festooned with garlands and smelling of cinnamon, drinking hot chocolate (with marshmallows of course) and eating hilariously shaped festive cookies. We will of course be playing games – there will be cuddles and laughter and singing of carols. Then extended family and favoured friends will come by for mulled wine and mince pies and stay for a luxurious Christmas dinner. That’s the image I see and I try every year to make happen.
Of course, every Christmas is a little more stressful, a little less ‘movie magic’. After all the running about, monumental cleaning effort involved before family comes to stay, decorating the house, extracting tinsel from the cat and baubles from the dog, a day of cooking . . . well, you know how it is.
And then there is a brief period of stasis and, it’s all over, New Year comes and goes and I feel a little bit SAD. The start of a new year of work is upon us – it’s back to the routine.
But all is not lost, there is another phase of excitement coming up, because I start to plan for the summer! Dieting, holiday searching, planning getaways and events, BBQ’s and late night wine drinking under the moonlight.
School’s break up and again there is a picture in my head. This time it’s of boiling hot summer days, picnics with the kids in a meadow of long grass and dandelions, a bubbling brook nearby (What is a bubbling brook, exactly? After all, if I saw a stream frothing and bubbling away I would be concerned about imminent volcano eruptions and gas leakages). Lounging in the garden while the Mess Machines are jumping in and out of their paddling pool. Skipping merrily, hand in hand, down the yellow brick paving . . .
And then, that’s over. School term is here, the uniform shopping frenzy is complete, I have compared the cost of school shoes in disgust, I and all mums everywhere breath deeply and say how nice it is to send them back to school and have some peace. And within a day, or at least the first week, there we are, back into our routine and along comes that feeling of SAD.
Oh well – fifteen weeks to Christmas!