All content © Robert Williamson

All content © Robert Williamson

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cabin Fever

December 21st is one of my favorite days of the year. It's the winter solstice! It's the shortest day of the year. It marks what most consider the beginning of winter. It's the day I trick my mind.

I've never really been a winter person. Oh, I've had my days when throwing snowballs is fun. In fact, I threw four of them today. I tried to hit a spot on a building showing a co-worker that if the planets had been aligned right, and I had spent more time practicing my pitching, instead of chasing trout, I could be playing for the Dodgers. After four throws, he never bought the story, and cold hands convinced me that convincing him was futile.

Like I mentioned December 21st is the day I trick my mind. Here's how I see it. The winter solstice is the day the sun reaches it's southern most migration. The angle of the sun to my position on the earth, at this date, is at it's greatest. From this day forward, the sun begins to migrate to the north again. So, to me, December 21st is the beginning of spring. That's right! Here comes the sun. The days are getting longer. Fishing season is on its way.

It doesn't matter that it's 16 degrees outside tonight. The sun is moving in the right direction and that does wonders for my cabin fever. Cabin fever hits me every winter. It's never hit me to the point of feeling I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I just get a little winter blue. I have studied the recommendations for those who have SAD and I think they can help with mild cases of winter blues and cabin fever. Here are some of the recommendations:

Spend time outside everyday, even on cloudy days. The available light is good to absorb through the eyes and skin.

Eat a well-balanced diet. Include vitamins and minerals.

Exercise 30 minutes a day, three time a week or more.

Stay involved with your social circle and regular activities.

Stay positive mentally. Set goals and actively work toward them. Plan and look forward to future spring, summer, and fall adventures. (Of course, these should include the many fly fishing adventures you dream about.)

Spring is on it's way. I can feel the days getting longer (adding2 minutes of light per day now). I can feel the sun hitting the back of my neck and tanning my forearms as I cast to trout sipping the first hatch of blue-winged olives. It feels good. Close your eyes and watch that nice cutthroat coming for your fly. There he is. He took it. Raise the rod tip and feel the fight. See, spring is here every winter solstice. Goodbye cabin fever!


Anonymous said...

Hi Robert!

Sorry about those pitching dreams!

Luckily I don't suffer from cabin fever until about mid-February. But I'm with you in liking the solstice and enjoying the couple of minutes of extra sun each day. Good recommendations, though I didn't see what is probably one of your favorite pastimes: tying flies!

I'm heading out to the Oneida Narrows tomorrow for a little fishing to help keep those blues away!

Wildnative said...

Hope you had a great day on the narrows.

Don't be sorry about the pitching dreams. They belong in that same area of my mind where I was the greatest basketball player, golfer, and long distance runner. Somewhere in there I also hold the fantasies of fly fishing and tying expert. Somewhere in my brain the lyrics of a song keep popping up. "Dreamer. Nothing but a dreamer." Group called Supertramp.

Anonymous said...

Ah...dreams - the stuff of legends! I've also been a legend in my own mind on many occasions, but it seems the older I get, the less I worry about them and the more thankful I am that I can just breathe, get out of bed, walk, etc. Supertramp - now there's a group for you!