It is November, and the days have
shifted solidly into the favor of Our Watery Overlords, who will reign for the next six to seven months. There’s been a lot of forlorn sighs here in the land that is Port, a lot of dreary gazing out of windows and amazed observations of the ever-earlier sunset. Myself, I welcome the invasion of gray. All the more excuse to hole up on my couch with five cups of coffee and Netflixed cop shows.
But Emmy, you say! What about that fierce plague of the Pacific Northwest, Seasonal Affective Disorder? Yes, it’s true, at least DOZENS of Portlanders every year are reduced to sleepy, carb-stuffing lumps as a result of our rainy climate. It’s one of the MAJOR RISKS of living in Oregon.*
Now, I am not one to call bull pucky on mental health issues, but this girl grew up in a town notorious for its fog and she’s never attributed her sleepiness and love of starchy foods to anything other than being a bit of a flake. Though I do often wish I could hibernate like a bear (“It’s like, you eat a bunch of food, hunker down for a long-ass nap, and when you wake up the sun is shining and you’re thin again!”) I’ve come to accept the fact that the earth is still spinning during winter, even if my little section of it is more often tilted away from its glorious sun. As Mr. Leary says, “Sweetheart, that’s just Winter.” (WARNING: Taking life advice from Denis Leary may lead to assholishness and advanced Catholicism, and is generally not recommended)
SO REJOICE! I am here to offer you my tried and true solutions to the SAD monkey that may or may not be on your back. Because even though the sky is dreary and the wind is sharp, your ass has got to get to your goddamn job or you gonna get fired.
Solution #1: Denial
Man up. Don’t even think about it. Just get out of bed and put your damn pants on. Don’t think about the fact that it was dark when you got up, it’s dark all day at work, and it’ll be dark when you leave to go home. Don’t think about the wet piles of arboreal detritus lining the streets and slicking the sidewalks every time you step outside. And ESPECIALLY don’t think about your mounting utility bills and the precious minutes of your life wasted in waiting for your car to warm up.
Solution #2: Give in to commercialism
You guys, how can you not get excited over SWEATER WEATHER?! And fuzzy slippers, and flannel PJ pants, and even, lord help me, Ugg boots. Now’s the time to kick up your shearling-lined heels and give in to all the cheesy, Old Navy Commercial-like cliches of fall and winter. Drink spiced apple cider. Buy reindeer-printed sleep sets for your loved ones. Wear one of the 5,274 scarves you knitted but keep in the back corner of your closet because you actually suck at knitting. And always, always have a bottle of red wine handy. Which leads us to…
Solution #3: Pencil in your vices
Fuck the gym. I say start your day with coffee, end it with a drink, and fill in the hours between with delicious food. November may be the month of rain, but it is also the month of Thanksgiving, an ENTIRE HOLIDAY dedicated to eating (and also the mass fucking over of native people, to be fair). Give in to tryptophan, people! It’s awesome!
What I’m saying is, approach these things not with the sucking dread of a life ruled by weather patterns, but with seasonal joy and merriment. This morning, for example, I decided to sleep as long as humanly possible. That was on my mental to-do list for the day. When I go into work tomorrow and my coworkers ask what I did on my weekend, I will tell them “absolutely nothing,” and you bet your sweet bippy they’ll all be jealous. The point is to choose to do the things that you want to do, whatever they may be. If you want to go hang out with friends, fine. If you want to lie in bed reading romance novels, that’s fine too. We all have our obligations, the things we have to do to keep our life running. But in my free time I’m not gonna angst over the fact that it’s so coooold and saaaaad to go outside and do the things I don’t actually want to do because it’s so cold and fucking sad. Which, by the way, is not a bad philosophy to adhere to at any time of year. So there.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a butternut squash and a glass of chardonnay.
*The other one being death by sparkly vampires. Also known as twoooo wuvvvv.