Friday, December 29, 2006

Seasonal Affective Disorder

These days around the winter solstice are short and gray. Thankfully, they're not as cold as they might be. I am thankful for global warming and wouldn't mind some more of it. But the dim light that filters through the clouds for the few hours of daylight leaves me a little bit out of sorts.

Last Saturday I had to do some work at the apartments. I own a coin-operated dryer. I tried to adjust the control unit to give my tenants more time for their money. Instead, I halved the time. I'm a better capitalist than I tried to be. Thus, last Saturday I gave the dryer another try. I don't quite understand the process, so I would try something then wait to see how long the timer would stay on. I took a lawn chair and a good light and a book. If I succeeded on the first try, I'd be gone an hour. Instead I would try something and read for a half-hour or so, then try something else. I never quite figured things out, so I was gone a long time Saturday night.

I read and enjoyed the solitude. Mostly, I enjoyed the light. The dryer is in the basement and the basement is not "a clean well-lighted place." So, along with the book and lawn chair, I packed a drywall light to take care of the "well-lighted" part.

If you don't know what a drywall light is, and you live in Michigan, you're in trouble. When days are short, I don't get enough light. I either have to jet south to Florida, or I need a drywall light. It's a stand with two 500 watt halogen lights attached. They get smoking hot and you'll burn yourself if you touch one. They also make a darkened basement as bright as a sunwashed tropical beach.

...just a second...

They also have the same effect on my family room where I'm typing now. Every winter when I start getting feeling grumpy and ticked off at everyone, I pull out the drywall light and set it up in the family room. It isn't something you'll see in Good Housekeeping or any home design magazine. But if you sit next to a drywall light for a few hours, you'll forget how short and how gray the winter days are.

They say that the post-holidays season is hard and that people get all depressed at this time of year. I don't think it's because the days are post-holidays, instead, I think it's because the days are so gray and short. I recommend a drywall light. You can find one at any big-box home improvement store. I googled up this , but if you're feeling ornery, just goto Menards or Lowes or Builders' Square. It will cost less than a shrink or a tropical vacation.

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