I acknowledge the absence of the sun

Ah, that beautiful morning light of January in Minneapolis.
Ah, that beautiful morning light of January in Minneapolis.

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.

Accordion gestures

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.

A photo of my needy-ass body from a recent neighborhood walk.

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.

  1. Or maybe it would? I mostly only watch Queer Eye and home makeover shows on hotel cable. And the occasional Ninja Warrior binge.