Not feeling SAD about this winter

Although there may not be snow on the ground yet, it would seem that it is, nevertheless, determined to linger on the hillsides

Although there may not be snow on the ground yet, it would seem that it is, nevertheless, determined to linger on the hillsides. The very thought of winter sends chills down my back. I am not, never have been and never will be what you could call a real big fan of winter – and it would seem that I am not alone.

For many of us, it’s hard to appreciate the fact that we have up to six long, long months of freezing cold temperatures, drifting snow and bleak grey skies ahead. Apparently there are an ever increasing number of people who simply don’t like winter.

There is even a condition for people with such a dislike of winter. They are described as suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. The actual medical definition of SAD is a condition or disorder which involves episodes of depression that occur at a specific times of the year, most often starting in the fall and continuing on though the winter months into spring. The disorder may begin during the teen years or early adulthood and, like other forms of depression, occurs more often among women than men. Symptoms of SAD usually build up slowly in the late autumn and progress through the winter months. Many symptoms are the same as with depression, including a significant loss in energy and ability to concentrate, especially in the afternoon, a loss of interest in work and/or other activities, as well as lethargy, social withdrawal and general irritability.

Antidepressant medications and therapy can be effective to a degree; however, light therapy, using special lights that duplicate sunlight is commonly believed to be another effective remedy used by people suffering from SAD. While SAD does usually improve more quickly with treatment, most symptoms seem to get better on their own with a change of seasons.

Personally, I think there should be an acronym for people who, although not clinically depressed, are Simply Not Fans of Winter (SNFW). It would have to be described as more of an attitude than a condition.

People who have SNFW could get together during the long winter months, sit around at coffee shops and fast food restaurants early in the morning and gripe to their heart’s content about winter. They could also gripe about things other than winter, such as potholes in the roads, young people now-a-days, current affairs and/or city council, the cost of having to change over to winter tires (although technically that would still be griping about winter), television reruns and global warming.

Actually, I have a better idea. Perhaps we should change from the current Julian calendar to one where we go directly from September to March or April thus doing away altogether with the winter months. Spring could last from Chironomid season right through to the mayfly and early caddis hatches. Summer could be extended all the way through to late autumn and autumn, per se, could last through ’till spring.

I like the idea. Come to think of it, I’m already feeling a lot more cheerful. I think maybe I’ll write a letter to the editor describing my idea in detail. City council is busy but I’m sure they will embrace it – think of all the money they’ll save on snow plowing. All I have to do is convince all those cross-country skiers.

Maybe we could have snow for a few days just before Christmas and then have it go away, say by New Year’s Eve. That way the skiers could get their skiing in and the ice fishers… come to think of it, I’ve always wondered about people who are willing to sit out on a frozen lake for hours staring at a round hole cut in the ice.

Anyway, I’ve got work to do if I’m going to get my idea off the ground.