Lisa Currie

January makes my seasonal affective disorder more extreme. Hey, this is a real condition – I found evidence on the internet.

When people suffer from this “condition,” they might end up like me in the wintertime – a real grinch. It’s because there’s not enough sun – the days are too short and too cold. The nights are too long and too cold. Get the idea…it’s too cold. I hate winter.

I don’t get this “condition” except in January because in February, I think March and SPRING. In December, I have Christmas, and Christmas is such a fantastic time of year – even in a pandemic. Christmas is colored lights and decorations and a sense of urgency. With or without children who wait anxiously for the arrival of Santa, Christmas brings about a sense of hope.

January 1 brings on an extreme case of my “condition” – I like this self-diagnosis idea.

My self-diagnosed “condition” has gotten worse as I’ve matured. (I once got older; now I only mature.) As a mature adult, I hate winter. I know! I know! Don’t say hate. But I hate winter!

And winter is January, so I hate January because January intensifies my “condition,” on which I blame my January grinch-a-tude. Ummm…it could one reason people avoid me during this month? My disposition is horrible.

My officemates constantly remind me that in the spring and summer, I am a delight to greet in the morning “Good morning! How is everyone?” I have a smile on my face and skip to my step.

Once Eastern Standard Time replaces Daylight Saving Time, the grinch in me surfaces. Instead of a “good morning,” I greet with a “WHAT?” and a slam of the door.

Never fear, I tell my “condition.” February is almost here. Each day is getting a bit longer. Oh, I start measuring and verbally sharing these seconds and minutes with most anyone I encounter. How many times can a person hear that daylight has been extended by one minute? I do admit – it’s a little much.

By the first of March, I have recorded every single minute of daylight and every single bud in the Shenandoah County area and calculated the advent of crocus blooms and winter honeysuckle right down to the minute. I know … a tad overwhelming for the average person to endure.

But spring in the valley is as rich as the Christmas season – rich in greens, rich in reds and purples, rich in golden yellows and pure whites. Spring – like Christmas – brings a sense of hope. It’s invigorating to the spirit. So let’s get on with it ... spring, I am ready.

Toms Brook resident Lisa Currie is a professor of English as another language and an adviser at the Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown. She has worked at The Shenandoah Valley Herald and various other newspapers in Virginia.