Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good Morning, Sunshine!

I’m in a really good mood today. Why? Well, it could be because I’m having lunch with one of my best old college friends and I’m really looking forward to it. Or it could be because it’s another friend’s birthday today and I’m planning to drop off a funny card and a sweet treat for him, which will hopefully make him smile. (If nothing else, the sugar may give him a happy buzz!)

But mostly I think it’s because it’s sunny this morning. It could be 10 degrees out there, but because it’s sunny out, I’m happy. Even the major potholes that I have to dodge on my morning commute can’t dissuade me from my happy mood.

So I think there’s really something to the scientific theory that some people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I don’t know if I suffer from SAD, but I bet if you ask Vince, he would say I was a lot less grumpy this morning.

As a therapy for people with SAD, there are special light boxes that are supposed to mimic the sun and cause a change in brain chemicals that are linked to mood. Hmmm… Maybe that works for some people, but I’m not so sure it’d work for me.

For Christmas, Vince received something called “NatureBright,” which is a combination light box/morning wake-up system that is supposed to gradually lighten the room so that one awakens “naturally” as with a sunrise. And if that doesn’t work, it also has a killer buzzer guaranteed to blast the sleeper out of bed.

Uh huh, sure. The first time Vince tried the light thing out on me, the room was lit up like a night game at a baseball stadium, but I didn’t move an inch or flip open an eyelid. So, thinking that it must have been too far away from me to bask in the glow of the “morning sunshine,” he moved it even closer toward my face.

This time I noticed it. I mean, how could I not seeing as how my face was getting “sun”burned! And I was not any too happy to see so much light first thing in the freakin’ AM. I jumped out of bed and smacked the snoozer thing. But nothing happened. The room was still light enough to perform surgery. After another couple smacks on the machine without result, I growled at Vince to turn the damn thing off. Then I stalked to the bathroom to begin my morning routine. I left Vince standing in the brightly-lit room with a bewildered look on his face as if he were thinking, but…but…this was supposed to put you in a good mood…?

Do you get the sense that I’m not a morning person? Yeah, that’s pretty much an understatement. And – go figure – that light box has never made another appearance on my bedside table.

I think I’ll take natural sunlight over simulated sunshine any day. Vince is pretty happy about it, too. I mean, on days like today when he greets me with his daily, “Good Morning, Sunshine!” I don’t “harrumph!” back at him. Instead, I smile and civilly reply, “Good morning, honey!”

Yeah…Vince is REALLY looking forward to Spring!

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