Maybe It’s SAD

I decided to go for a little nap shortly before 8:00 tonight, but that nap ended up lasting 3.5 hours. Yet I slept my normal 8 hours last “night” — scare quotes because I tend to sleep in the morning into the early afternoon and stay up all night.

As I mentioned recently to Poupoune, I’ve always suspected, though I’ve never been diagnosed, that I’m prone to…

SAD — Seasonally Affective Disorder. It’s worse some years than others, and it usually only really kicks in around February or even March. (Thank heavens I don’t live in the Land of the Midnight Sun, which has its unpleasant reverse!) I have distinct memories of breaking down in tears as a kid of 10, when I woke up one morning and, after looking outside — it was still dark — I became convinced that the snow would never go away.

SAD is linked completely to a lack of sunlight, so you would think that it wouldn’t affect someone as much later in the winter. But I think it could be a cumulative lack as well. Three years ago in late-February, I visited The Queen of Denial (but pronounced “Queen of The Nile”) in Montreal. I slept in the living room where there were plants and where, promptly at 7:30 a.m., bright florescent lights would be switched on for the benefit of those plants. But I benefitted, too: I came back to Halifax incredibly rested even though I did a lot more things and had had roughly the same amount of sleep each night.

I guess I now need to find a way of reversing my internal clock, which is set to have me productive by night and useless by day — at least a partial reversal, since I know that I’m fundamentally a night owl. That, combined with some light therapy, might do the trick, because I know I’m not in some great big depression or anything. I just lack energy, which in turn is preventing me from getting much of anything done. I’m already paying more attention to my vitamin intake through better nutrition, but that doesn’t seem to have changed much yet…

The Powers That Can’t Be

They say that Canadians are the worst for complaining about the weather, even though it is the one thing no one can do anything about. Then again, I know that some of you have pointed out (defended?) Florida’s distinction as the lightening capital of the world. It seems mostly everyone enjoys claiming to be living in the place where the weather is in some way the worst anywhere. (To be fair, some do speak favorably of their weather as opposed to ours in the Great White North.)

Anyway, all week I’ve been hearing that we might be getting light flurries today (Friday). However, a low-pressure system has suddenly intensified in the Gulf of Maine as it’s been moving up the coast, and here we are expecting from 10 to 20 centimetres of snow here in Halifax. Wind is supposed to accentuate the havoc, although it’s not the case yet and, frankly, even though I don’t like snow, it’s picture-perfect out there right now.

Yup! We can’t do anything about the weather except complain about it. However, since this latest blast developed in the Gulf of Maine, I’m tempted to blame the Americans once again. :-P}

Yet I’m Certainly No Saint

I’ve been known to make some of my friends nervous because of, on the one hand, what some might view as an inability to take sides and, on the other, what many perceive as a propensity towards being passionate and opinionated.

This nervousness is most evident when two people whom I consider my friends decide to break up their marriage or lovers’ relationship. Or when two people go from being collaborators to being enemies who won’t even speak to each other. Believe me when I say that I’ve seen plenty of the second variety: Just remember that I worked in academia for 12 years, an environment that is just as cut-throat as the corporate world — possibly worse because people’s intellectual integrity gets dragged into the mud.

In situations like these, onlookers like myself are often expected to take one of the party’s side. Yet unless one of the parties has caused grievous physical, financial or psychological harm to the other party, and assuming that my relationship/friendship with each party is relatively equal, I’m very likely to remain on good terms with both parties. Then again, I’m also one of those guys who, 9.5 times out of 10, remains friends with his exs.

I find that either one of the following scenarios is likely to play itself out when I do what comes naturally to me:

  1. one or both parties are suspicious, thinking that I’m maybe playing double-agent;
  2. one party attempts to force me to take a side and, if I persist at not doing so, casts me off as being in the other party’s camp and ceases to have anything to do with me.

Fortunately, when the first scenario plays itself out, it doesn’t take long for the parties to figure out that I’m patently incapable of being two-faced. I’m merely choosing to deal with the individuals who were once part a team as individuals. While I likely have an opinion on who’s “guilty” for the dissolution of a relationship, I usually keep that opinion to myself because the inner workings of that relationship were never really any of my business.

I have enough naturally occurring drama in my life without having to appropriate parts of other people’s dramas. And I get offended when my integrity is put into question with respect to how I choose to conduct myself with individual ex-whatevers. But should any one of them decide to turn on me on another matter, then do expect this Leo to do more than just roar.