The Family Hibernation Syndrome

| October 22, 2012 | 0 Comments

I love mornings. They are peaceful and cozy and the time when my brain is ferociously at its finest. I get twice the amount of things done between 5 and 8 a.m. that I do the rest of the day. But, lately, something has changed.

This change pretty much happens every year right after Thanksgiving. I think Canadians must have nailed it when they declared the harvest celebration the second week of October. After that, the darkness settles in. The chill in the air means down comforters come back out of the cupboard. Meals evolve from salads and barbecue to Shepherd’s pie and the comfort food that is the stuff of long afternoon napping.

The Northern Hemisphere moves into hibernation phase.

At first, I thought it was just us. For the last week or so we all (amazingly) have been logging 10 and 12-hour sleeps, waking up long after my internal alarm has legendarily worked like an alarm, setting us all back on the daily schedule a bit as we wake up bleary eyed, chilly from the overnight frost and then a bit frantic in the attempt to make it to school/preschool/work within the socially accepted norms of arrival.

Then, this morning when my eyes snapped open at 8 a.m. and I realized that getting everyone out the door in 40 minutes seemed statistically impossible unless I went all military on the family, it occurred to me – we are suffering from family hibernation syndrome.

Apparently, we are not the only ones.

As I pulled up to drop the big kid off at school, more than five minutes after the first bell had rung, everyone in the entire school seemed to be moving at full tilt down the sidewalks trying to get their kids into the building. Only the organized and alarm-clock loyal few had actually made it on time to school this morning and the principal stood holding the front door open laughing at all of us, hats on sideways, glasses half off, clothes buttoned cockeyed.

The celebration of the dragging of the proverbial behind has begun.

While I would love to have a few tips or alpha-mom recommendations for relieving us of this scourge of sleeping in, I personally am spending my time reveling in the chaos. Sleep is my elusive one-true-love who has been dodging me for, well, too long now. It finally decided to hang out for a while. School schedule be damned, we are going to wrap it up in gratitude and deep sleeps of pure joy for as long as possible.

Meanwhile, there is still the matter of – you know – educating our small children and getting to the office on time.

Both appear to be the arch rival of our dear friend sleep and its bag full of family hibernation syndrome. As much as I would love to deny their reality and just tell everyone that they are staying home until Spring, society may deem me a little off my rocker for that mindset.

So, I head off to find that Storm Trooper alarm clock of ours (appropriately chosen because alarm clocks are spawn of the Dark Side), think of some lighter meals to keep us from falling asleep on the couch at 7 p.m. and sleeping until 8 a.m. on a daily basis. A solid morning walk in the chilly gorgeousness and salty sea air of the Maritimes and an extra-strong injection of caffeine are definitely in the mix as well.

In the end, though, I suspect it’s all about honoring the slowing down of the days, creating bits of light to stave off a bit of the dark and knowing that the quiet dream state of this changing season is something to smile and even giggle about – while we run off to school with our jeans inside out and shirts on backward.


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About the Author ()

Robin Rivers is the Project Development Director for Vancouver-based Mherge Media Group. Often can be found leaping tall buildings with the help of great friends. Predisposed to odd hats and the color orange. In love with imagination, her kids and that crazy guy who married her.

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