By Jan Chait | January 23, 2007 10:51 am
Does anybody else have the winter doldrums? Around here, it was gray and rainy for days and days. Then it snowed—which was nice. Everything was all white and bright and beautiful. But now, while we still have snow covering the ground, the skies are once again gray and I can hear the drip, drip, drip of snow melting from the roof.
I could sleep forever.
But I’m not the only one. Earlier today, I was talking to a friend who does public relations for one of the hospitals here and she’s in the same mood. “Every time I go over to the hospital and pass an empty room, I just want to crawl into the bed and go to sleep,” she said.
My problem is that I work at home. Beds are readily available. Nice, soft beds with feather pillows to sink my head into and down duvets to snuggle under. I won’t even mention the comfy, oversized chair in this very room, complete with pillows to stuff around me, a pillow to rest my head on, and a fuzzy blankie close at hand.
Of course, there are those who’ll tell you that my wanting to sleep is nothing unusual. “Yeah, I remember that you have the ability to snooze,” one friend e-mailed me after I said I just wanted to sleep. “Like driving to the…airport last summer?” OK, so I was driving him to the airport and pulled over partway there and asked him to drive. I crawled over into the passenger seat and don’t even remember him driving out of the parking lot I’d stopped in. I was rudely awakened some time later by him asking which way to go on the beltway to get to the airport. (What nerve—didn’t he know that the beltway goes all around the city and that it didn’t matter which way he went?)
Furthermore, I don’t want to do anything. How bad is it? I’m on my last pair of contact lenses and have been putting off calling my ophthalmologist to order more. Since I don’t use what he keeps in stock, it takes a week or so for them to get my preferred type in. If this goes on much longer, I may have to go back to wearing my bifocals for a few days. That is, if I can even find my bifocals.
But my hospital friend has a solution that works for her: exercise. “I’ve been doing half an hour of exercise a day and it’s really helping!” she exclaimed.
I don’t like to exercise. I spend my life trying to think of ways to exercise that don’t feel like exercising. My favorite things to clean in the house are the dining room table and my desk. You can sit down while doing both. I also like to wash dishes, because you just stand there and look out the window. Vacuuming would probably be a good thing, except that you have to know where the on/off switch is. (Don’t laugh; it’s happened. Luckily, I have both a cleaning lady and a granddaughter who likes to vacuum.) Or putting books away in the shelves instead of letting them pile up on tables and the floor.
So I dusted off that hula DVD I got while in Hawaii a couple of years ago. I’ve decided to learn to hula dance. It’s fun. It’s exercise without feeling like exercise. It gives me something new to learn and, besides getting rid of some of the doldrums, it should help lower my blood glucose, which hasn’t been so great lately, either—another effect of too much sleep and not enough movement. (Although lack of sleep has been linked to high blood glucose levels as well.)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go learn how to do the “waterfall.”
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