Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Orb of Happiness

Today was a beautiful, sunny, proto-spring day. It took us a while, though, to recall the name of that bright yellow thing in the sky. Here in Michigan, we haven't seen much of it in the last five months. The sun! Oh yeah, that's what it's called.

Lack of sunlight tends to depress one's spirits, a fact we Michiganders deal with as best we can through indoor sports, or quiet wintry hobbies like knitting, or burying ourselves in our work, or perhaps less healthy strategies such as retail therapy, yelling at the children, or self-medicating with chocolate.

At our house, Jacob and I have been indulging in old episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Sometimes the episodes are full of the best in good old-fashioned sci-fi: cool gadgety pseudo-science, explosions, Klingon battles, and regular characters amusingly possessed by aliens. Those episodes are silly. Well, sillier. Other times we're reduced to groaning at Ferengi love triangles. Ugh.

But perhaps DS9 has inspired my latest coping strategy for the late winter blahs: light therapy. One of the DS9 ethnic groups - the Bajorans - have these orb thingies that are supposed to create divinely-inspired, dreamy experiences when you open their little casings and look at them. They've got the orb of wisdom, the orb of prophecy and change, the orb of time, and so on. (The curious or similarly geeky can learn all about it here).

So when, at a friend's recommendation, Ron bought me light therapy lamps for Valentine's Day, I decided we should call them the "Orbs of Happiness."

See how happy I look? These little boxes blast you with full-spectrum light and are supposed to put your skewed body clock and your sunlight deprived, mood-controlling body chemicals back in balance. The brand name is actually "HappyLite." And I think they might really work. We'll give it a few more months and see if the intially promising effects continue.

Meanwhile, may I suggest to the manufacturers that they offer the Deluxe DS9 version, complete with nifty Bajoran casing? I would buy one in a minute, and I bet I'm not the only hopeless geek who would....