The grandchild has left.
The stockings are down. The Christmas lights soon will be put away, along with the ornaments and decorations.
Gifts no longer are under the tree and holiday music no longer is being listened to.
It's beginning to look a lot like - well, quite frankly, my season of discontent.
It happens every year.
Call it the post-holiday blahs. After all the excitement leading up to Christmas and the excitement of that holiday week, now reality begins to set in that indeed, winter is upon us and it looks like it will be awhile before spring arrives.
While the early morning sunrises over Thunder Bay this time of year are nothing short of spectacular, they are the best color of any day for the next month or two in my life.
For me it's depressing to leave for work in the dark and return back home, in the dark. While I take comfort in knowing that each day now means a little more light in my life, the extra seconds each day seem to accumulate slower than what I would like.
The weeks ahead will be filled with year-end evaluations, year-ahead forecasts and, of course, the annual gift from Uncle Sam -a 1040 in the mail. Joy. Joy. Joy.
If I was one of those who self-diagnoses my ailments via the Internet, I would say I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I am not one of those people, nor do I suffer from SAD, but there are many who do.
According to information from the Mayo Clinic, SAD is a depression that occurs the same time every year, often in the winter. Symptoms include lethargic behavior, appetite changes, difficulty concentrating and moodiness. It is triggered by melatonin, a hormone produced in the brain during hours of darkness that is used in regulating sleep in our bodies. For those who suffer from SAD, too much melatonin is produced - thus the correlation with a lack of light.
My winter funk is brought on by my job, and the tasks that lie before me over the next six weeks.
That's my story.
Your winter blues probably are something quite different. Perhaps yours might be related to SAD.
If that's the case, see a doctor. Treatment is available, and you need not suffer through another winter without it.
Cabin fever is indeed real. Don't ignore the symptoms.