A reader was kind enough to ask how my yearly battle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) (Cute Acronym, Too) (CAT) is going this year. Yes I am one of those for whom the tiny little scraps of light they call “days” in the winter, are insufficient to sustain my normal ebullience.

How am I doing this year? I’m conflicted between wanting to be candid and vulnerable and my favorite thing of all, a world-champion WHINER, and on the other hand my desire to conquer mood by positive thinking and bravado and transparent denial and lying. While I’m thinking that over, an observation. Why do depression and anxiety go together? They seem like opposites. Answer: depression is joylessness with low adrenaline, and anxiety is joylessness with high adrenaline. See the common feature? It’s times like this that make you think about headcolds.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about, since I’ve had one for a week. It somehow defeated my defense perimeter of Zinc Lozenges and set up shop in my head and chest. I haven’t had time to think about my MOOD, when all I can think about is WHY DON’T DOGS GET COLDS? When you’re tortured by a personal problem, you look at a dog and think: dogs don’t have to worry about complicated things like that. But apparently they don’t have to worry about SIMPLE things like headcolds, either. When was the last time you saw a dog sniffling next to a box of Kleenex and a wastebasket full of discarded tissues?

So when am I going to have time to assess my mood? I was sitting in a chilly hotel restaurant at 7am everyday over the Thanksgiving weekend, waiting for others to get out of bed, sneezing and drinking gallons of coffee and trying to write song lyrics in New York City which is not my customary Thanksgiving place and where the dinner itself did not include turkey, my favorite, and feeling bad about the giant candy cane balloon I saw in the Macy’s parade that nobody cheered for. And the conclusion I came to? Yes, I am a world champion WHINER.