Just heard on the radio that it’s the cloudiest January on record here. I believe it.
It’s required attention, that’s for sure. I take my Vitamin D supplement (a gummy, of course — treat yourself). I have a clinical-looking daylight lamp that kicks on automatically when sunrise is supposed to be. I try to stick to a morning routine. It’s hard to know how much anything helps, or at least the mechanism by which it’s helping. Some mornings the ritual is the main comfort. A wordless mantra, if translated:
I acknowledge the absence of the sun, as I have acknowledged it the five days prior. Today, my life will continue without the sun. I look forward to the sun’s return.
It’s all you can do, really. If it gets real cold you find a fire or put on more layers. If you’re sliding on the snow and ice you get better boots. But if the sun’s gone? Man. Keep that coffee on, say a little prayer, and keep on trucking.
My main fitness goal is to not fall into a debilitating depression. Which is not exactly a storyline that would get you cast on a reality TV fitness show.1
The meat machine that is my body shares this goal and has recently — and not unreasonably — demanded more activity. It controls the bulk of the seratonin supply, and throttles flow when it feels neglected. I haven’t gone running for many weeks now, for a variety of excuses that are too flimsy to deserve full sentences: “Well, you know, ah… “ or perhaps “Eeeee, yeah, I’ve been kind of, uh…” while my hands writhe about like they’re manipulating an unfamiliar accordion.
I’ve offered my body a compromise: a few minutes daily of gym-class warm-ups. Squats, push-ups, jumping jacks, that sort of thing. Actually just those three things. It’s a minimum payment. Just a little something to let it know that I know what my body is still owed.
A few minutes each morning helps. And it’s so easy it makes a guy wonder why he doesn’t do it every day, why he hasn’t been doing it every day his whole life, but I guess… *accordion gestures*
I’m debating whether to add this routine to Streaks. There’s a whole category of things in life that I’ll do happily until it feels like I have to do it. Then? Middle fingers raised at some invisible authority figure. Sometimes tracking habits helps me stick with them, sometimes it has the opposite effect. A quantum uncertainty; measurement affects the outcome.
But I did push-ups yesterday, and I did push-ups today, and I’m going to do them tomorrow, damn it. Christmas push-ups! Are you watching, Santa? I am trying to be a healthy boy! Bring me a treat.
Or maybe it would? I mostly only watch Queer Eye and home makeover shows on hotel cable. And the occasional Ninja Warrior binge. ↩