January 23, 2023

Article at fortwayne.com

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The Brighter Side

I get the winter blues. Aka, Seasonal Affective Disorder. Aka, the Siberian Snippernips, Aka, the Hyperboreal Hooblats. Aka, the Antarctic Scrattles.

Those last three are fake. Aka, lies.

Whatever you want to call winter-induced depression, it can be a challenge.

I start to feel like I have gotten my fill of winter weather right about the point in the year when the only holidays I have to look forward to are Groundhog Day, Washington’s Birthday, the Feast of the Immaculate Dysfunction and Conscientious Objector Day.

Those last two are phony. Aka, bogus.

As the finest winter blues swami west of India, I decided to evaluate advice commonly offered online to winter blues sufferers and see if I could add anything or take issue with anything.

A lot of people suggest that you get a light box. A light box is a lamp that mimics sunlight. I got a light box for Christmas last year and I still haven’t opened it. The reason I haven’t opened it is that using one reminds me of those movie interrogation scenes where a perp would have a light beamed in his face while a cop growled questions at him.

Yes, I used the word “perp.”

I don’t want to spend every morning feeling like I’m starring in a film noir about my seasonal depression. Perhaps called, “Barely Mason and The Case of the Befuddled Brain.”

If you really want to cheer yourself up with light, I suggest that you get a pair of those rotating searchlights they use to draw attention to summer events and put them in your front yard.

People will come from miles around on the assumption that you are a special event. Because you are!

“Keep a ‘happy journal,'” someone recommended. “Write down every single good thing you experience every day.”

That’s good advice. But what if you can’t think of anything? Or, what if you write something down and then realize it didn’t make you happy enough to warrant writing about it in pen and then you try to use one of those awful pen erasers that just tears up the page and then you scream in frustration and hurl the journal across the room?

I have no first-hand knowledge of such a thing, mind you. Like Spongebob, I am using my imaaaaginaaaation.

How about keeping a schadenfreude journal instead? In it, you can write about people who seem to be as miserable as you are. Misery does love company, after all.

“Sing and dance to music,” someone opined. “Perhaps during one of the talent shows on television.”

In the winter, I prefer to dance to the jingle for a local “power equipment” company. You know which one I mean. I have looped it into a four-hour extended play. I have written a “power equipment” rap. I have crafted a “power equipment” participation dance.

For some reason, my family doesn’t want to participate.

“Nothing cures the winter blues as well as leafing through the Burpee’s seed catalog,” someone confessed.

But what if you’re not a gardener? Does the Burpee’s seed catalog have a swimsuit issue?

“Get cozy with some homemade hot chocolate, using non-dutched, natural cocoa powder,” someone proposed.

Thanks to this advice, I found out for the first time in a long life that “Dutch” in this context refers to a cocoa-refining process and not to the Netherlands.

It exacerbated my winter blues.

My advice is to keep buying dutched cocoa. Also, get a Dutch boy haircut, which looks like it would be a good, protective winter coiffure and is bound to come back into style when Michael Bay’s “”The Leak in the Dike” is released this summer.

Word has it that the Little Dutch Boy will be played by an actor, but his finger will be computer-generated.

“Discover your inner artist,” someone advocated. “Pick up a paintbrush and try your hand at creating your own masterpiece. Adult coloring pages are an option. Does beading interest you?”

I’ve got to be honest here and say I initially thought the question was, “Does breading interest you?”

“Yes!” I shouted. “Breading interests me very much!”

But breading is not a hobby.

It is a way of life.

Speaking of ways of life, the Danes have something called Hygge and the Norwegians have something koselig. Both mean getting cozy.

I don’t know about you, but I have little trouble getting cozy in the winter.

So I have an alternate philosophy that’s about forcing yourself to leave the house and spend time with friends.

I call it Aargh.