Sunday, November 08, 2009

Oh Yeah, Sunlight!

I can't believe I forgot that I so need extra sunlight. But I did.

Way back in 1986 we lived in the mountains with endless dark winters inside a dark house, one facing north, one with not enough windows and in the middle of one winter I became a sorry, weepy mess. But then I read about the seasonal disorder thing and began taking walks again, even on cloudy days, and sat in front of windows and underneath lights (and all that good stuff) and got better.

Well, this past week I reread my diary from 2007 and was amazed at all the entries describing walks around the block and to stores and the library and Burger King down the way there in our previous town. A whole different life than my current one! Seems I was always going somewhere, seems I was always happy, seems I was never as overwhelmed, moody and snippy as I've been here on this farm lately.

Now, at first I surmised that I missed our old town, the one 20 minutes away, where we lived nearly 15 years. They had lots of stores there and things to do and they even had sidewalks. (The only sidewalks here in this country place are nearer downtown.)

So this weekend Tom and I drove back to our old town because I thought perhaps that would cheer me up. Yet at first, only the same ol' gratitude that we'd moved away returned: all those too-close houses and traffic and hurry-hurry! But then we bought lunch and drove to my favorite spot at the park where we sat in the sun, eating lunch, while Tom read from Mama Makes Up Her Mind. I sat there, staring at a young man practicing hoop shots while the sunlight poured down upon me through the window.

And that's when I remembered: I so need sunlight! Duh. It wasn't that I missed our old town, but rather, it was that my body is missing the sunlight from all those walks I took there and from our 4-season, many-windowed sunroom. And it misses all the sun I got this past spring and early summer while playing in my garden and digging in my flower beds.

Good grief.

I'd been relying on my nightly dose of Vitamin D from a pill, but sunlight (even faint sunlight through clouds of which we've had many since June) will always trump pills... and I'd not been spending hours in front of windows and surrounding myself with light, not lately, and my resulting moodiness had parked me on the couch in our darkish living room, only making things worse (just ask poor ol' Tom who's been nearly nagged into a coma).

Well, it's a safe bet I'll not be forgetting this lesson again anytime soon. And it's also a safe bet that if you visit me you'll see my face pressed up against windows or if you drive around my town you'll more often glimpse me out walking beside the road. Wave when you drive by, ok?


P.S. Yes, I know about the special lamps out there for folks like me. I've just always been too cheap to buy one and probably too paranoid about the safety of them. But we'll see how things go the next few weeks.


Louise said...

I have one of those lamps you mentioned and it does make a difference WHEN I remember to turn it on. I have it in my sewing area in the basement ( I need it down there more than up here!). I think you can now get them a bit more reasonable in price than when I bought mine about 8 years ago. We do need sunlight ... thankfully our home has good light from the windows.

Jammie J. said...

Diaries are good for us, aren't they? They help our memories.

Good old sunshine. :)