The Midtown Tunnel in New York City
The Midtown Tunnel in New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every year around this time, Dr. Cooper enters “The Tunnel.” The Man and I have called it this since Dr. Cooper was at least six years old. The good doctor enters the tunnel soon after Halloween and doesn’t really come out again until sometime after President’s Day. When he’s in the Tunnel, everything becomes a struggle. He can’t study as well, he can’t focus as well. In general, he’s just not as functional. He’s not suicidal or anything; he’s just got jello for brains and the personality of Marvin the Paranoid Android. Normally, it can be worked around, even in school. The rest of the world seems to slow down after Christmas too, so coursework during the post-holiday season tends to be kind of low-key.

Until this year. Someone in the Head Office got the anal-retentive notion that it was illogical for the mid-term exams to occur prior to the Christmas break because that is NOT the EXACT MIDDLE of the school year. This indivudal (or individuals) decided the appropriate way to deal with this would be to move the mid-term exams to shortly AFTER Christmas break.

Yeah. I know. I’d like to have been there for that staff meeting. “But the kids will have just come back from a two-week break. Even with one week to review, don’t you think they’ll be a little out of the swing of things???” Clearly, if someone did ask that question, the answer was something along the lines of: “Shut up.” Because this week is exam week, and Dr. Cooper is floating around in the middle of that Tunnel. It should be interesting.

We’re fairly sure that along with all Dr. Cooper’s other baggage, he has Seasonal Affective Disorder. We wanted to take him to see a psychiatrist who’s a leading expert in the condition, but the guy’s not in our insurance plan. So instead, we bought his book and are planning to implement some of the recommendations it makes – like using a lightbox and a special diet and some sort of negative ion generator, which sounds like a weapon from Star Trek.

But the thing I found the most interesting in reading this book, is that it has taken me nearly a month to get through it. Now, normally I read faster than Harriet Klausner. For realz. But there comes a time when I just slow down to a snail’s pace. Plus I spend every day walking around in a fog and getting a whole lot of nothing done and moaning about how fat I am and how much I hate my life. Suddenly, I realized that I’ve probably got it too. After all, these things don’t happen in a vacuum and we know the good Doctor inherited much of his other more interesting “quirks” from us. We know his most Asperger-y traits come from Dad’s side of the family, and that my side has gifted him with tremendous reserves of Attention Deficit (me) and massive anxiety (my late, great mother, the Queen of Worry). Now it looks like he gets seasonal depression from my side too. Another thing he can resent me for!

The upshot is that, if I’m honest, I probably won’t be remembering to blog every week in the new year. Or even to cook dinner and clean the house. But it’s okay. That’s why God invented pizza. And as my late, sweet, old co-worker Agnes used to say: The dust will wait.

I’m going to try and knock out a batch of blogs and schedule them to pop up weekly. That feels sort of like cheating, but mostly, it requires more organizational ability than my brain possesses at this time of year. So don’t hold your breath waiting for it, okay? Right now, I’m thinking it will be a successful month if I just get the Christmas tree down before Valentine’s Day.

If you’re also barely able to function this time of year, you could move to the Tropics. But if you’re broke like me, you could read Winter Blues by Dr. Norman Rosenthal. And see a therapist if you need to. I have in the past, and Dr. Cooper does from time to time as well.

But for today, I think I’ll just lay on the sofa in my Snuggie and not do anything. Sometimes, that works too.

Author: Wordsmith Lynn

Lynn Reynolds’ published fiction includes chick lit, steamy romance, and a ghost story. RT Book Reviews called her debut novel THIRTY-NINE AGAIN, “a first-class mystery . . . and a first-class read.” A woman with a dangerously short attention span, Lynn has been a librarian, a journalist, a publicist, a computer programmer, an actress, and a stagehand. Her real ambition is to be a wench at The Renaissance Faire. Follow her on Instagram @wordsmithlynn or look for Wordsmith Lynn on Facebook. Her website is www.wordsmithlynn.com.

5 thoughts on “Hibernation”

  1. Love, love the video. I think I’ve got that seasonal syndrome too. We get 65 days of sun here. Arizona gets 300. What the h—-am I doing here? I want to hibernate too at this time of year. You have a Snuggie?

    1. Snuggies are awesome! Why, they’re the blanket…WITH SLEEVES! And they are great on a chilly day, since it’s way too expensive to turn the heat up and we don’t have a fireplace. My snuggie has leopard spots on it, so I’m WARM but I’m COOL too. Get it? 😉

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