Friday, October 16, 2015

In the Darkness

At times I am affected by the extended darkness of the winter season. It seems to be worse as I age. When I was a kid, darkness was just an interruption of daylight and playtime. Daylight was a time to go to school, a time to meet with friends, and a time to ride bikes and sleds. Daylight seemed too short, but the darkness of nighttime was a chance to recharge the batteries, rest, and sleep. If the darkness wasn’t welcomed, it was accepted as a respite of a busy day.
Later in my life, as I worked as a nurse in a local hospital, the darkness of the night shift became interminably long. Weariness and lack of sleep often made the night shift more and more intrusive on my psyche. The biggest insult was when I worked the afternoon shift and my relief called in sick. When I couldn’t find someone to relieve me, (Ha ha) as a supervisor, I was forced to do a double through the night. There were times that I was awake from seven a.m. until the next day. Often it was eight a.m. by the time I drove home and got into bed. A short sleep and then back in for the next afternoon shift. That intrusion would wear me out.
Waking up in the darkness, now that I am older can be depressing. Not enough that I would consider killing myself, but it does start the day on a down feeling. When I was stationed in Iceland, their winter nighttime and darkness lasted over twenty hours. The suicide rate and alcohol consumption would rise dramatically. Mankind was not made to live in darkness. Men were designed to live in the light. Now I will explain the opposite side of the coin. When I was in Iceland, summertime, daylight lasted almost 24 hours. People with kids would put aluminum foil on the bedroom windows so the children would sleep. Often, we would talk or play cards, not paying attention and it would be 3 a.m. before we hit the sack. We needed to get up at 5:30 to get ready for work and that would wear on the body as well. Daylight, all of the time can also create problems, I just wish I could wake up with a bit of light peeping in my bedroom window.

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