Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Journey to the Light

As I've mentioned on this blog before, I tend to get in a funk from mid-November until March.  This funk coincides directly with the onset of daylight savings time, and dissipates when the clocks spring forward.  So yeah, it's not a coincidence.  Classic seasonal affective disorder (self diagnosed).

I've been on the hunt for one of those "happy lights" - the ones that are supposed to mimic the sun and make all of the winter funk go away.  It's all a bit hokie, but why not?  Problem is, said lights are kind of expensive (upwards of $100), so I've been a bit hesitant on splurging for something that is probably psychosomatic in nature.

A friend of mine knew of my quest for brightness, and forwarded me an email that went out on her neighborhood list serve.  Someone was selling a happy light for the bargain price of $40.  This seemed a bit more reasonable.  I emailed the woman and arranged to pick it up last Wednesday.

I had ideally wanted to wait until my husband got home from work to go pick it up, so I didn't have to drag my kids with me.  But of course, with my husband's schedule last week, the chance of him getting home before bedtime was slim to none.  So around 5pm last Wednesday, I headed out into the darkness to find the light.

The woman selling the light lived in DC, and it dawned on me that she may not have a driveway. This would be a bad thing, as finding street parking is one of the great travesties one has to deal with when hauling two kids around.  I emailed her to ask, to which she responded that not only did she not have a driveway, but there were "lots of steps."  WONDERFUL!  Casey on my hip, and Braden on my arm - street parking and stairs would be perfect.   Just perfect.

I got a bit lost driving there, but was lucky enough to find a spot on the street right across from the woman's house.  Then I saw the aforementioned "stairs."  My God the stairs.  They looked a little something like this:
That's me in Cambodia losing my shit on really steep stairs.
Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration.  But it was almost that bad.

When she said stairs, I was picturing stairs in an apartment building.  Or maybe a few steps off of the street.  But this?  The house itself looked to be 200 feet above street level.  And the only way to get there was to scale ridiculously steep, tree covered stone stairs in the pitch black dark.

I must have looked ridiculously pathetic.  I was clinging to Casey for dear life.  I was holding Braden up by his arm as he slipped twice, and then began begging him to climb up the stairs on all fours. (He didn't comply).  By the time I reached the front door, I was sweaty and spooked and didn't care at all about the stupid happy light.  I was more concerned about how I ever was going to go back down the stairs in the darkness with two kids without plummeting to our death, let alone carrying a lamp.

The woman was very friendly and showed me the lamp, which was HUGE and in a box.  I pointed out the obvious - "I may need some help getting back down to the car."

She looked sympathetic, but explained that she couldn't help me.  It was bathtime, and her two kids were in the bath.  Nevermind that the nanny was bathing them and the mother was sipping on a cup of coffee.  I looked around the house.  It seemed nice enough (much nicer than ours).  I zeroed in on a jumperoo and a train table, and told the woman I would have to leave my kids there as I ran back down to the car carrying the lamp.

I don't think I've ever run so fast.  As I scaled the vertical stones, it dawned on me that I had just left both of my children in a total stranger's house, all in the name of a happy lamp.  I flew up and down those stairs.  And I nearly killed myself.

I got back up to the house, where both kids were playing happily.  The woman made a comment to me like, "I don't know how you do it, going out at night with two kids.  It must be exhausting."

Um, yes.  It is exhausting.  Particularly when I am hauling them up and down a mountain.

And so began our trek back down.  Which was frightening.  FRIGHTENING!   Truly, there must be some other entrance to this house, or this woman must never leave after sundown.  It took us a good 10 minutes to get down, I was going so slow.  When we reached the summit of the street level, a happiness rushed over me.  We had survived.

So now I have this stupid lamp.  I plugged it in this morning, and I don't know, maybe it's all in my head, but I feel... cheery.  Bubbly.  Happy.  Just look at me!

Oh joy!
I can't say it was worth the journey, but I guess we'll see.


  1. I love photos like this, where you just look completely happy. Notice that posed, dressed up photos in a park never turn out this way!

  2. Thanks for this...I just laughed out loud in my law library. It may have been hell for you, but it provided me a much needed giggle picturing you walking up and down the steps with two kiddos! Hope the happy lamp does wonders!

  3. Great deal and fun picture! I hope you have many more happy shining moments with your new lamp. :)

  4. I've always wondered if those lamps work... you'll have to keep us posted!

  5. @ Katie, I will! I'm supposed to do it 30 minutes every morning. And then the happiness will follow.


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