Just a thought... Helping others is the way we help ourselves. [Oprah Winfrey]
Yep - it's Black Friday here in the US, or as my dad calls it, "those Excited States." (I know he didn't make that up, but like his #3 daughter, he knows a good joke when he steals one!)
Although there are some for whom this day and its bargain hunting are a true annual highlight, both in the US and other places that have adopted the Black Friday hype, you won't find me anywhere near a store. For one thing, I avoid crowds wherever possible; even though I love appearing before one, I'd rather not be in one. Analyze that, why doncha! But since for some this officially kicks off the Christmas shopping season, I thought I'd begin a Friday tradition from here until the big day arrives. Why? Why not, right?
During that busy stretch of work earlier this month, I had a day of coffee and laptop time and I was watching The View. It was Whoopi's 63rd birthday and she celebrated it with abandon and reminded us that everyone should, in honour of those who didn't and don't get the opportunity to do just that. At the end of the show, in what was clearly an advertiser sponsored thing, she presented her "Favorite Things," taking a page from Oprah.
I always loved to read about Oprah's favs in her magazine. Almost all of them were either unaffordable or impractical things that didn't pertain to my life (how many picnic baskets does one need, anyway?) but I saw Whoopi plug something that reminded me how much I love mine. Mind you, I haven't used it since December 2016, when I no longer had to get up regularly before the sun. But with these short cold days and Christmas coming, how could I not remind you that this might well be on your list of favourite things when it comes to asking Santa this year? Here's what I wrote about it in the past. And by the way, mine is distinctly not advertiser-sponsored.
A doctor friend recommended – for purposes of fighting depression and getting seratonin working in the early morning dark – getting one of these.
The whole idea is to awaken in an already lit room, as though one was getting up at sunrise, as nature intended. The light gradually gets brighter and brighter until it's fully on, and you can even accompany the light with bird sounds, gentle rain or water sound effects (uh, no...) or new age music.
It works beautifully...we have managed to awaken gently to our light alarm yesterday and today by setting it to begin 15 minutes before the time we want to get up. That means that at 3:30, the pitch black room begins to brighten. Then at 3:45 our other alarms (two phones, two stereos and a clock radio) all go off. By 4:00, when the hot lemon juice has been downed and the espresso enjoyed, I'm well into my pre-show Twitter scan and the room is bright.
I think...I think...I'm wider awake these days thanks to the illumination that tricks my little brain into thinking that the sun is up. I'm going to keep at this. But what I also need is for it to brighten up at 5pm when our afternoon nap is over – because it's dark then, too!
Ah, morning hours. Best time to be on the radio (for me), no question, but oh, the challenges. Luckily, you make it worthwhile.
There you go - from a journal originally published five years ago. I can't tell you how much I wished I'd had one decades earlier to help me with those crazy early hours. I still have one of these lights in my closet at home; the other (the one I bought for the even earlier cottage-to-work mornings) went to my friend Lisa who, having just left radio mornings in London, Ontario to live a reWired life, may well be passing hers on to someone else who works the pre-dawn hours.
If you have someone on your gift list who gets up early and maybe even struggles with Seasonal Affective Disorder, this may well be what you're looking for. Or get it for yourself and you'll be grateful every work morning.
Sweet dreams and have a great weekend. By the way, next week's Friday Favourite is another cool product designed to help you sleep those golden slumbers. Hmmm...seems like a bit of a theme, doesn't it?
(@erindavis on Twitter)