The Winter Disorders – SAD and SDUSTD

In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21 is the day that has the least number of daylight hours. Where I live, that is a scant 7 hours and 54 minutes.  Today, the greatest altitude of the sun above the horizon will be 15.6 degrees. If you compare that to June 21, when there are 16 hours and 33 minutes of daylight, and the sun rises to 62.4 degrees above the horizon, you can understand why I am suffering from SDUSTD.

Some people get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which is a form of depression thought to be caused by not getting enough sunshine. While I believe I suffer somewhat from this, the disorder I am suffering from today is SDUSTD, which is Seasonal Dusty Disorder. While SAD is caused by too little sunshine, SDUSTD is caused by the low altitude of the sun.

By way of explanation, here are some photographs:

This is a photo of dust on the top of the coffee table. Allowed to gather and multiply for a scant few weeks, this dust would normally be unobtrusive. But when caught by a shaft of light at 15.6 degrees, every speck stands out in sharp contrast.

These crumbs arrived on the counter this morning. Normally I would not have noticed their accumulation for days, but with the sun slanting across the surface at 15.6 degrees, every crumb is clearly visible.

Last, but certainly not least, is this drip on the window pane. When the sun is low, the windows appear filthy, making it look like I hadn’t washed them a mere two months ago.

And so it goes. Everywhere I turn the low sun plays across every surface, taunting me with cries from my furniture, “Dust me, please, I’m suffocating!”

Oddly enough, though, the inside of the fireplace is clean. Santa, it is safe for you to visit my house. You will not choke on soot, nor land in a bed of ashes! Steer clear of the coffee table though. The dust bunnies are getting to be a remarkable size!

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26 comments

  1. You know you’re an exceptional photographer when even your pictures of dust and crumbs are interesting… : )

    A very witty post, Margie, made funnier by its highlighting a truth that usually goes unobserved. Good eye, well done!

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    • Hi Lorna – Yes, SAD is something that takes some effort to overcome. Apparently light therapy is effective in some cases.
      I ignore dust bunnies most of the time, but when the low sun lights them up like that, and I don’t want them to attack my Christmas guests, I have no choice but to round them up.

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  2. You made me laugh! Yes – the low sun does tend to highlight the imperfections. And – wouldn’t it be great if SAD could be cured by a little dusting???

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  3. I know so many people who are totally SDUSTD immune! For instance, my teen is just happy to rot in his filthy place… Gives me the shivers! Good to know you are non of them Margie 🙂

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  4. I’m not intimidated by the dust bunnies that just lay around trying to be invisible; I can cover them up with past due bills and other clutter. It’s those rebel dust bunnies that float around in the sunbeams that bother me ’cause I know they’re just waiting for a chance to attack.

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    • Hi The Other Sister – I’ve read that an average person can expect to breathe in around 50 billion teeny tiny particles of dust per hour! Dust really is everywhere.

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    • Hi Amanda – A quick search of the term dust bunnies tells me that this is an American/Canadian description of dust. It seems very appropriate to describe how quickly it seems to accumulate!

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