The "Fever" has come early this year...

Last year I wrote about the "illness" that strikes me usually some time in January. This year, it has come early. I've got Hawaii Fever.

Since I can't spend the next 2 months sitting here (can't afford that by any stretch of the imagination)...

...I have to improvise as best I can. I have a chaise lounge out in the back garden. On days when there's sun, I bundle up in as many layers as is necessary to keep the cold out (sometimes more than less) and I go out to the chaise. I position it to face the sun fully, and stretch out. I close my eyes. If there isn't any wind, the warmth of the sun builds up on my face and it feels like I'm really there in Hawaii. I've got the sound of the pond waterfall to even help with the ambiance.

I was chatting with a friend today at church about my having Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Hubby has filled the entire house with full spectrum light bulbs and bought me a SAD light box. There are evenings when I will sit on the couch with the shade of a reading lamp positioned right over my head like I'm the life of the party with a lampshade on my head. I sit there drinking in the warmth of the full spectrum bulb. Still, there is really nothing better than good ole' sunshine.

As the days gets shorter and shorter, I can feel the yearning for sun increasing. I count down the days until the shortest day of the year, and am so glad when it finally arrives because I can gleefully anticipate that each day from that point on will get longer.

Some may think that living here in Northern California should make SAD a piece of cake, but it really doesn't. It just makes it better than living somewhere farther north where the days are even shorter. We still live far from the equator, and we still get our form of winter (yesterday's high was 45F, and it was a humid nippy 45F at that). I know some colder climates that get snow but have much more winter sun than we do because the air is crisp and clear. Our Christmases are foggy ones with the night air coming in like a dense cold blanket. Looking at Christmas lights through fog is the quintessential image of a Bay Area Christmas for me.

Over 20 years ago, I lived in Hawaii for 3 1/2 months while going to school on the island of O'ahu at the campus of BYU-Hawaii. The days don't fluctuate all that much in length during the year--not as much as here. My fondest December memory was sitting on Temple Beach on North Shore under a full moon with my feet buried in the sand, while a group of us were gathered singing Christmas carols to the accompaniment of a guitar. It was wonderful... and strange too. When I came home halfway through December, I stepped off the plane into the cool reality of San Francisco--and promptly contracted a case of laryngitis.

Since that time, I get Hawaii Fever every winter. This year it has come earlier than usual, but I know to expect it nonetheless. "Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say..." man, do I wish I was there.
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11 comments:

Willow said...

SAD is one main reason we live in SoCal and not in OR. I had my own little spot of sunshine in my home in OR and I'd sit there for hours.

All the years I lived at the equator, I didn't realize how dependent on sunshine I am. I'm such a sun lover!

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Wish we were both there. Texas weather is cold and unpredictable. I have my salt lamp on to make me feel better.

Melanie said...

Aww beautiful- budge up we can both swing on that hammock. :-) LOL Hawaii has always looked so good ever since that Elvis film. I've sadly never been though.

Here I am torn by Winter- I love the snow and the way everything can look sparkly and clean, but hate the cold and the way it goes dirty and slushy on the roads. I do prefer the early days of Autumn full of colour. Once Christmas is over, I start to look for the snowdrops peeping up from the ground.

Carolynn said...

I relate to everything you've said. I have SAD too and any time I can schedule a trip to warmer climes during our wet, gray winters, I do. That's why I made a concentrated effort to absorb as much about my trip to Mexico in November as I could, so I could bring the experience back with me.

Brenda Colleen Leyland said...

Hi Cindy -- love the hammock photo.

You mention SAD.... I know lots of people deal with this..... glad to hear your hubby is taking good care to put lots of full spectrum lights around you.

You mention being a church person... do you remember when Jesus says He is the Light of the World? The other day a friend and I were praying for someone dealing with SAD, and the prayer that came up out of her heart as we prayed....since Jesus is the Light, and if we are in Him, then we are in the light, so let His light also shine all over you as you go through these less sunny days.....

That really ministered to me (even though I don't get SAD), so I thought it might bless you too!

Joanie said...

Beautiful evocative language *Our Christmases are foggy ones with the night air coming in like a dense cold blanket.*... that's my favorite.

Lovely post about a *SAD* problem...
Love you so much,
YLA

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I think SAD is hitting a lot of people early this year, myself included.

Christmas in Hawaii sounds delightful! I've been very blessed to see the Big Island and relax with my hubby in a hammock under the palm and coconut trees, beside the ocean. Wonderful memories!

Blossom said...

I find the shorter days very hard and look forward with great anticipation to when the days begin to lengthen again. When we lived further north, the sun was setting around 2pm in December. Ugh!

Hawaii is probably the only place with a tropical climate that I would actually want to visit!

Catherine Holman said...

I love Hawaii too! It's a good thing you don't live in Missouri where the weather changes every two minutes. Don't get burned sitting outside!
Hugs,
Cathie

parisapartment said...

I diagnosed myself with SAD! The only cure was move to Florida :)
The seasons don't change and it's always paradise, so come visit, and stay! In the meantime, enjoy the chill for the holidays and sing along with Bing! Mele Kalikimaka to you too!!

beth at aunties said...

Cindy,
I can totally understand the Hawaiian Fever from a spouse's point of view and also from living with one of has SAD. My husband had the Hawaii and California area assignment for years in his tenure of working for the church. SAD is so real and with the inversion's we get here in the valley it can be bad.
Luckily he travels each month to areas where the sun is still shining. He recently aquired Hawaii and California back along with 13 states in the Southwest, so he gets his sunshine.
Last month while he was in Hawaii the sunshine came back into his voice. Not only is it the sun there, but the wonderful friends we have made over the years. He would live there in a heart beat if he could.
I can picture on the beautiful Temple beach with your feet buried in the sand singing carols. Hmm it is a place I could go right now.
Please take care of you!
Hugs, Beth

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