I had just begun sipping at my third cup of breakfast coffee when a friend asked me how I was today and I pointed out that this was the first time I had been out of the house in three days and he asked if there were signs of cabin fever, to which I honestly replied that absolutely, I am close to, if not certifiable at this point.
It is a good thing to go out to breakfast each Thursday morning otherwise I would have huddled in the house for another frigid day. Working alone in ones basement affords you the opportunity of not going out and in the past few years I have found that my enthusiasm for vigorous adverse weather conditions has completely vanished.
As for having three cups of coffee for breakfast, I cheat. I have decaf for the first one then the refills are the real thing, it seems that I can tolerate two but not three hits of caffeine.
As for cabin fever the winter seems longest when the days grow longer, as they are now doing and are accompanied with hostile conditions.
Television, the opiate of the masses seems to be little help in February with the Little Mosque on the Prairie being so-so last night and CBC slipped in a re-run of the Hour. American network television has been steadily sinking beneath acceptability with prime time soaps blossoming and brilliantly shot murder mysteries, with more gore than I can tolerate. To make things worse, the US has not gotten over so-called reality TV with Idols, greed shows, survivors and your fired abominations. In the dull of February even Late Night with Letterman has little glitter and to much toung in cheek, or is that to much cheek.
Cabin fever is not something we usually experience in Saskatchewan, as the sunlight grows each day we seem to have lots to do and the cobwebs of winter seem to float away. I remember our years in the Yukon when everyone seemed to get so depressed and it wasn't in February, but in March, when you would think things would be looking up, but oddly enough, it was just then that we all began looking down, far more than should be the case. However, 2007 looks like a year for cabin fever in Saskatchewan and in February. With the glum on, everything has a stale taste, well except for that third cup of coffee.
It is in that third cup that the secret for surviving the blues is to be found. What if, as I sit here mulling over the plain and simple inanity of CNN, CTV and CBC news departments, what if instead, I looked at that third cup and savoured the flavour, took an extra deep inhale of the steaming cup and felt the warmth in my hands. Now that is real and it isn't bad, I can be grateful for that.
What if instead of revoking my daydreaming license and pondering the ills of the past and the pallid prospects of the future and I just eased back and considered this moment, right here and now. All systems working, a reasonable breakfast, hot coffee, cheerful greetings from friends and the whole sunny day ahead of me. Now those are things to be thankful for and in that is the essence of a cure for the ills of cabin fever.
By focusing on the positive and enjoying this moment the gauges of the past are put behind us, the future is not the issue, instead the pleasure of this moment is to b e savoured. I can live with that.