Second palm tree to the right and straight on ’til morning!”
– Peter Pan’s directions to Neverland, amended by a dustbunny

I need sun. I need the warmth of the sun. I am cold and I am pale. I’ve been wearing black turtlenecks since November. My toes haven’t seen the light of day since October. My get-up-and-go just got under the duvet, and from where I can see far enough to the pantry for more potato chips. I still have cold hockey arenas to bear for another few weeks. You know what else? I haven’t shaved since September. There. I said it.

“Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter

Seasonal Affective Disorder is listed as a legitimate mood disorder listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and its symptoms include depression, hopelessness, anxiety, loss of energy, heavy feeling in the arms and legs, social withdrawal, loss on interest in activities once enjoyed, appetite changes and cravings for high carbs and difficulty concentrating. I think those also cover symptoms of prolonged motherhood, though they fail to include that mid-winter aversion to shaving.

Although mothers are found all over the world, SAD sufferers are predominantly found in the northern hemispheres where symptoms are the worst between November and February (in contrast to prolonged motherhood whose symptoms are year-round and the only known treatment is high school graduation).

“Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting”

My daughter's windowsill flowers waiting for sunnier days

One of the most prevalent and most often sought-after treatments for SAD is light therapy. For many – including me – this involves a trip down south and a drink with a little umbrella in it. However, I drew the shortest straw in the family vacation vote this year and we are NOT going south. In fact the GPS will probably not register anything remotely similar to “S”. We are heading farther North in my already too-northern hemisphere. While I may have had my fill of Old Man Winter, especially since he made February one day longer this year, the kids and my husband have not, and we are going skiing. Not quite the light therapy I had self-prescribed for my self-diagnosed SAD.

As my goal for 2012 is always to find the positive, and I know there will be a cozy fire, a nice hot tub and wine.

“Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces”

The cool thing about a ski vacation is that it is socially acceptable to spend extended periods of time hanging around in your underwear. So along with my wine, I’m packing my most sexy and enticing Hot Chillys thermal long underwear.

This ski trip may also delay the post-Canadian-winter leg shaving ritual a little longer, given the effective use of thermal underwear. I can also breathe a sigh of relief that the dreaded bathing-suit-shopping-trip is postponed a few more months, too.

But then there’s the hot tub. The hot tub is an issue.

A long day of skiing (or even a very short day) necessitates a trip to the hot tub. A trip to the hot tub necessitates a leg shaving. Well, actually necessitates a two-leg shaving. And not the cheater-shave either; the below-the-knees shave I do on a rare night out during hockey season that requires me to wear a dress and pantyhose. I need a full leg shaving. And I need a bathing suit. The last thing I want to do is go shopping for a bathing, right now. In addition to an extra layer of body hair this winter I’ve also acquired an extra layer of blubber, suffering through my SAD potato chip treatments.

I find I am in quite a quandary: hot tub = bathing suit = shaving. Then I come across a perfect alternative to a bathing suit:

A wet suit.

Thermal underwear and a wet suit.

I have now found a perfect alternative to shaving AND a surefire way to have the hot tub entirely to myself!

“How do you like me so far?”

13 Responses to Seasonal Affective Disorder and Shaving

  • I absolutely commiserate. And I live where there is reasonable sun in the winter.

    About this time of year, I am numb and mopey. SAD has had months to build up and I languish. Deciding whether or not to walk across the room becomes a major decision. So, I understand about shaving the legs, which would have by now the same level of difficulty as a hike up Everest.

    I say, it’s a vacation. You don’t owe anyone shaved legs. Get the wetsuit!

  • I love this post Astra for it is filled with truth, self reflection and song, a wonderful combination. I appreciate you sharing about Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is at its height (or depth rather) about now. I am also struck by the sacrifices you lovingly make for your family, the least of which is shaving your legs! You rock and don’t you forget it girl!
    P.S. My rock star will be in Ottawa at the end of the month as Hawk Nelson have been nominated for a Juno Award in the Gospel/Christian category. So excited!

  • I’m a sunshine girl myself. The dark days depress me. Still, Northern California where I live has few dismal days even in Winter. Still, I like 67 degrees and partly cloudy.

    You don’t need to shave your legs until April. That’s when I’m going to do it too. Just keep your legs under the water in the hot tub and nobody will see them. Or pretend you are one of those Swedish girls and embrace your hairy legs. You have the perfect coloring for that anyway. Have fun on your ski trip! Forget the wet suit. You’re gorgeous even with hairy legs.

    • Awwww thanks Linda! Though I do love to live where I see all four seasons, I tire of winter the fastest! Thanks for stopping by and for your support (though I think I’ll throw in a shaver just in case George Clooney stops by!)!

  • Great post. I love how you intermingled it with the Beatles’ lyrics. Perfect. As someone who lives in a perpetually sunny spot, where the lows get into the 50’s F in winter, I’m sorry you’re having the pangs of the season. Cheer up, though, soon enough it’ll be spring!

    • Thanks Monica! That Beatles tune always pops into my head about this time of year. I think this ‘low’ will be shortlived for me as sun and springlike temperatures are forecasted for next week.

  • I don’t see anything wrong with wearing a wet suit in a hot tub but I’m also the person wearing white gloves, wide brimmed hat, yoga pants and a sweatshirt to the beach. Much to the happiness of my boyfriend.

    • I think I would endure a shave before I wear yoga pants, sweatshirt and gloves to the beach – but to each his own! Then again, I don’t live near a beach so when I do go … I want to feel the sun, sand and water! Thanks for stopping by GFMom!

  • You are so funny. I lived i the UK for several years, coming from Southern California and being Latin, I was SHOCKED by the climate in London. I first heard of SAD then. I never experienced it but I did lose my olive coloring and I swear my ski was translucent. I only ever wore think black cotton tights and come to think of it that’s when I grew my hair long (to keep my hears and neck warm). Funny.. I am with you about sun and a beach. I’ve been hankering for an island retreat since November (and we’re not really have a winter here in San Francisco). Yes… it’s true, I am a wimp.

    • Brenda, I find the older I get, the wimpier I become about winter… ANY inclement weather, really. Our ski trip has been quite balmy so can’t complain about the weather one bit (except for a bit of rain today). I can’t imagine moving from California to the UK… not just climate-shock but culture-shock too I am sure. I’m sure it was a great experience though (minus that Valentine’s trip to Paris, you wrote about!).

  • Astra, you are hilarious! Hilarious! I took a break from scrubbing my toilet, (great way to start of my spring break, I know), poured myself a cup of coffee, and clicked on your blog. Why? Cause I needed a chuckle and I knew you would undoubtably provide it. And you did not disappoint, my friend! “In addition to an extra layer of body hair this winter I’ve also acquired an extra layer of blubber, suffering through my SAD potato chip treatments.” bwhahaha! I feel like your long, lost twin! I had to stop shaving, not because of winter, but because razors have gotten so expensive, I’ve had to stop buying lady razors so the men I share a home with can buy their man razors! Grief. In the meantime, I’m quickly resembling Sasquatch and thinking any time I’m going to be able to braid my leg hair! hee hee! Add my name to the list of sisters needing a sunny vacation with drinks that bear umbrellas, would you? I too need light therapy and I don’t mean the one that comes from a lamp! 🙂

    • I hear you Sister Sasquatch! A mid-winter tropical vacation would definitely been my preference, though the weather at this ski destination has been pretty balmy I just admit. Since I’m blonde though, I think I would take on the moniker, Yeti instead!! Thanks for your wonderful comments!!

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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