It’s October 28th, three days from Halloween. The leaves are turning. The days are growing short. There is a chill in the air. I’ve put away the shorts and t-shirts. It’s long sleeves and jeans for a few months.
This is the time of year when I struggled in the past. I hate the cold. I live for the sun. So, I would fight the inevitable progression of autumn going into winter. I bought a SAD lamp, a lamp that I put on my desktop to trick my body into thinking there was more light than there was. I stayed up until my “normal” bedtime even though in the winter, my body was telling me to go to bed right after dinner. I maintained my schedule and pace regardless of how I was feeling. I pushed my morning walks back to meet the later sunrise. When you fight what is, you suffer. I fought this time of year and the time of year always won.
A few years ago, I tried something different. I leaned into this time of year. I gave my SAD lamp away. I started going to bed earlier since the sun was going down so early. If I felt like sleeping in, I’d sleep in. I bought a headlamp so I could walk well before sunrise, instead of at sunrise. If I don’t get as much work done this time of year, I don’t feel guilty about it. This is the time of year when nature is slowing down. I can too. In fact, I think I’m supposed to.
Here’s what I’ve found. I enjoy the solitude of the early morning walks. I hardly see anyone on the road at 6:00 AM when sunrise isn’t for another two hours. I walk in dark silence for the first half hour or so, just me and my thoughts. I bundle up and the cold doesn’t bother me. I am back home before sunrise. The time changes next weekend. I’m going to miss the morning darkness.
Everything is a matter of perspective. The seasons haven’t changed. I still live in Ohio where the cold and dark days are just beginning. What’s changed is how I react to the seasons. By going with the flow, I find the winters are not as long or as miserable. In fact, there are some things about it I enjoy.