I have a terrible memory. Some people can memorize lines of dialog from movies. I was never one of those people, but there was a line in a silly movie from 1974, when I was 13 years old, that has stuck with me and comes back to me whenever I am tempted to say things are as bad now as they could possibly get. The movie is Young Frankenstein. I don’t know why the line from that very quick scene stuck with me for 42 years. Marty Feldman (Igor- pronounced eye-gor) and Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein- pronounced Frahn-ken-steen) are digging up a body on a cold night. Dr. Frankenstein says “What a filthy job.” Igor replies “Could be worse.” “How?” “Could be raining.” At that moment, the skies open up and the rain pours down.
This morning, when I wake up, it’s exactly 10º. The forecast was for 7º. I decided last night to take a day off of walking today or to at least postpone it until later in the day. I probably need a day of rest anyway to make sure I don’t develop any injuries. So, I sleep in an extra 20 minutes and I’ll focus on other things this morning. Sunrise isn’t until 7:49 AM today. Sunset is at 5:14 PM. On December 14th, we are only a week away from the shortest day of the year. Winter Solstice is upon us. To top that off, it’s been even grayer than normal for an Ohio winter. I cannot recall the last day of full sun.
Nadir- it’s a funny word. When I was a kid, I remember Zenith televisions. I had no idea what zenith meant. It wasn’t until high school math I learned that zenith means the top, the high point. And, I learned its antonym, nadir. Nadir is the low point. It’s a term from astronomy. Interestingly though if you Google the two words, the first definition of zenith is from its astronomical origins. But, nadir’s first definition is “the lowest point in the fortunes of a person or organization”
Nadir. It’s the word I would use to describe my life as of late.
This season is the nadir of the year in terms of sunlight. It’s already cold. Yesterday, we got our first accumulating snow. We are into the slow time of year for our business which has me stressed out as I am at the peak of spending on trying to position the business for a major shift next year. I have two marketing companies running parallel campaigns. Yesterday, I pretty much decided one of them is going to be fired. Unfortunately, it’s only two months into a six-month commitment. So, I’ve got to ride that out. For the next four months, I’ll have to pay them, but I don’t think they can do the job they promised.
The conversion to our new e-commerce platform should be done in the coming weeks. That means a shit ton of work for me over the coming months to learn the new platform and get everything operating smoothly again. I’ve been on the same platform for nearly 15 years and I know it very well. Anticipating that transition is stressful. The hope is that, by Spring, we will have the new platform operating smoothly and the new marketing company operating at peak efficiency so that the money we are throwing at it actually produces a return. We don’t anticipate any more major new products over the coming months. So, the investment we have made in tens of thousands of dollars of inventory should start producing some returns.
Here, in the nadir, I’ve got to rest and not fight it too hard. There is only so much that can be done at one time. I can’t force the sun to come back. I can’t force the warmth to come back. Sometimes, like today, I just need to take a break. And, as Marty Feldman said, it could always be worse. For today, I take comfort in knowing in the course of the rises and falls of life, the falls don’t last forever. As the days grow ever shorter this time of year, there is a nadir on December 21. After that, each day is just a little bit longer.