It’s the dead of winter and I want to sleep all the time. Going to bed earlier and getting up earlier seems to be helping me make the most of the scant sunlight, but it means a decline in my social life and that creates its own mood-related problems. We’re past the solstice so I keep telling myself that every day the light will be longer. I can’t see the progress, but I have faith that it’s happening. Mary and I keep a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) lamp in our windowless office. I don’t know if it helps, but it doesn’t seem to hurt and the light that comes from it is more attractive than the fluorescent panels above our heads.
When I’m cold, I feel hopeless. I keep my house pretty well heated. The gas bills are high, but winter is not the time to be scrimping (or feeling too guilty about the fossil fuels). For all you “put on a sweater” people: I AM wearing a sweater. I don’t think it’s an attitude problem. You have superior mitochondria or something. Keep piling blankets on me until I suffocate. It will do no good. I can’t warm them up on my own. The only time I can recall my body heat being sufficient on a frigid winter night I was inside a fancy sub-Arctic rated sleeping bag. I don’t sleep with that every night. It doesn’t belong to me.
I resolve to eat and drink more citrus fruit. The smell reminds me of the sunny places the fruits come from. I’m already stocked with oranges. In the dim late afternoon of NYE, I sat at a bar across the street from Zupan’s, drinking a hot toddy with lemon, and glaring at Zupan’s. I wanted yuzu, and not even the most bourgie grocery store in Portland was selling any. Yuzu is a tangerine-sized citrus than smells more amazing than any other, muddling together a lemon and grapefruit, surpassing both. It also tastes like both, so it’s not great eating by itself, but is delicious in drinks and candy. On the winter solstice it’s traditional in Japan to take a citrus bath, dropping yuzu into hot water and celebrating another year around the sun with warm aromas.