Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Why I'd Vote for Mandatory Hibernation

     The days have been getting longer for a couple of weeks already. Are you feeling it--the lifting of "S.A.D?" According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Seasonal Affective Disorder affects more women than men. However, my friend Kevin Hamm tells me he felt like hibernating when he spent eight winters in St. Petersburg (NOT Florida), where at this time of year the sun comes up at 11:00 a.m. and is gone by 5:00 p.m. He attributes the high percentage of depression and mental illness in Russia at least partly to their sunless winters.
     Of course, here in "sunny Manitoba," things are significantly different. Nyet.
     I thought I'd test myself against the symptoms of S.A.D, which include:
  1. Increased appetite with weight gain (You should just see the piles of cookies and chocolates we've been scarfing down at City Hall since December first!)
  2. Increased sleep and daytime sleepiness (Well, in that case, I have S.A.D. all year 'round.)
  3. Less energy and ability to concentrate in the afternoon (See point #2.)
  4. Loss of interest in work or other activities (this is why I keep a sign above my writing desk that says "Thinking about writing is not writing. Talking about writing is not writing. Reading great writing is not writing. Wishing I had written is not writing. Only writing is writing.")
  5. Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement (See point #2.)
  6. Social withdrawal (Hey, I log on to Facebook at least twice a day. Don't tell me I'm not sociable.)
  7. Unhappiness and irritability (Well, I wouldn't be unhappy and irritable if all those unhappy and irritable people would stay away from me!)
     I certainly understand the wish to hibernate and sometimes wonder why God didn't give us the ability, since the instinct is certainly there. Notice how much we eat in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years? Hibernating animals store food as body fat during the end of summer and fall.  This fat runs their bodies all winter, unlike people, who tend to hang on to theirs only to add to it again the following year.
     When an animal begins to hibernate, its body temperature drops so low it almost matches the temperature outside. Your temperature is normally about 37 degrees Celsius. If you were a hibernator and it was minus one outside, your body temperature would drop from 37 down to around minus one to plus four!  Just think. If we all hibernated, we'd save tons of money on fuel, food, heating, water, entertainment, snow clearing, and toiletries. Saving all that money, we could afford to not work for three months!
     When we all woke up in March or April, the sun would be shining, the snow would be starting to melt, the snowbirds would be returning, and we'd all be slim. After a shower and a hot meal, we'd be rested, healthy, happy, and easy to get along with. There would be less crime. Shorter waiting lists for medical care. We'd be glad to see each other again. Kids might even want to go back to school! The benefits are endless.
     Yep, I'm all for hibernation. Who's with me?



  1. I'm all for winter this time of year...and I'd want to stay up for it.

  2. Nice bedtime story. Thanks for the mention.