It has gotten darker. Noticeably darker. I’m leaving home in the dark of morning and returning home in the darkening evening. Long gone is that grand stretch. If anything, the grand stretch is folding in on itself, taking away daylight as it shrinks. It has gotten darker…

And that makes me feel SAD. Also known as ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’, or the ‘Winter Blues’, if you will. I have severe difficulty in adjusting to this loss of daylight hours and, to be quite honest with you, it makes me miserable. I find myself lacking in energy and motivation and wishing hibernation could be a standard human activity. This changing of the season has a profoundly negative effect on me. How bad can it be? Well, I didn’t post anything last week. Recently, I have used my daily commute to and from work to write. Instead of that, all because I was under the influence of SAD, I slept every morning on the way in to work and had no energy or motivation to write on the way home. I didn’t write anything, ending 58 consecutive weeks of regular posts since starting this blog. As my self-imposed deadline breezed by, I even considered packing the whole blog in, shutting it all down, giving up writing altogether to focus on my FIFA career or get caught up with my Netflix list, all probably to have more disappointment and despair in which I might wallow. All that because it has gotten darker and it significantly changes my mood.

Are there greater problems in the world? Absolutely. On the phone, I tried to tell my mam that I had “the SADs” as I refer to it. She understood that acronym as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. Which puts things in perspective, really. I’m experiencing the temporary effect of seasonal change. I’ll overcome it or it will pass, whichever comes first. But it isn’t at all pleasant. Yes, there are greater problems in the world, yet the reality of those greater problems does not exactly promote a positive outlook. It’s particularly difficult to escape feeling melancholy in the global context of two posturing heads of state threatening nuclear war, for instance. On reflection, I don’t understand how it is that we do not all want to take to our beds and never leave them, regardless of the onset of Winter, nuclear or otherwise.

Anyway, that’s a long way to go about explaining there being no post last week. I’m sorry about that. It just takes me a little while longer to adjust, but pretty soon, I’ll be celebrating these darker months, with comfortable hats and scarves, big jumpers, reading by a warm, natural fire, drinking hot whiskeys… good, pure things that make the darker days a little brighter, bit by bit. Of course, I’m most looking forward to not feeling SAD again.

Well, until next year, at least.