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Losing Time

Photo by Gianna Olson (one of our group this weekend)

Daylight Savings time is hard on the body, especially in the spring.  I spent much of the weekend indulging my own body clock.  That was great, but since I’m more of a night owl, it made the spring forward adjustment even more difficult.

I am doing better than I expected under the circumstances.  I attribute that to taking some time out for a Sauna.

Sauna is a social/spiritual/cultural event.  There are sauna/sweat practices in many northern cultural traditions.  In the Twin Cities there is actually a club, the 612 Sauna Society that was founded to explore and share the Norse sauna traditions.

The 612 Sauna Society sets up their portable sauna

This month they’ve set up in the courtyard of the Swedish Institute.  A good friend decided she’d like to try sauna (she’d never done one) and I got an invite.  I chose to see this as a continuation of my birthday celebrations.  Especially after last week’s snowstorm I’ve seen lots of people succumbing to the “is winter ever going to be over blues”.  Part of the reason I maintain the “older you are longer you get to celebrate” philosophy is to combat that.

It was a perfect day to spend the afternoon sweating.  In a Scandinavian setting sauna is usually done in cycles.   You warm up to the core and then come out into the cold and cool all the way down.  The “rinse repeat” can mean coming out of the sauna and jumping into the snow or a cold lake,  doing a cold water splash, or just hanging out.  We did three rounds, and mostly skipped the “rinse” part of the program, although it was certainly an option.

Inside is inviting and peaceful

The 612 volunteers actually recommended a slower cool down.  The quick splash, or even a brisk breeze at colder temperatures, can make you feel ready to return to the sauna before the core has really cooled.  We drank a lot of water and cooled off by the fire.   Being outside in swimsuits at 30 degrees Fahrenheit was quite sufficient, and quite pleasant.

The time in the sauna was social, but it wasn’t small talk.  In many ways the sharing was as much a release of toxins as the actual sweat.  There wasn’t a “timer” we were told to listen to our bodies and come out and go in as we would tolerate it.  We brought water bottles and the 612 Sauna Society provided water for refills so we were very conscientious about staying hydrated throughout the experience.

Refreshing to be in a swimsuit in the snow

It was a time without time.  It was a ritual without a lot of ritual.  It was an opportunity to learn more about the cultural history of sauna and about each other.  It was an opportunity to get in touch and in tune with my own body rhythms.  It was cleansing and healing.  It was delightful.

Even better is that I can tell the cleansing and healing effects have stayed with me.  My desire for just water continues to be high.  My appetite is good, but not overwhelming.  My aches and pains have eased up considerably.  I slept really well.  I’m still grumpy about the time though.  It shouldn’t be this late yet!


Previous, perhaps relevant, blogs:

Daylight Savings

My first Daylight Savings post

It’s not the first time I’ve been to the Swedish Institute in birthday season

Daylight Savings

It really doesn't happen to everyone!

It really doesn’t happen to everyone!

Dragging through Daylight Savings in the spring is a national pastime.  The local coffee shop offers an extra depth charge of espresso just to help get through that first Monday.  There are incidents of people showing up late (or arriving unexpectedly early) to classes and appointments.

Then there is the changing of the clocks.  People in my generation seem to have to relearn how to reset the DVR every 6 months, like it’s the first time.  My parents will wait until one of the Grandchildren show up and just add the hour in their heads.  Then there’s the clock that we, ooops, forgot to change.  Mine is usually the one in the car, or the watch I rarely wear, or the clock that I have in my bedroom that I can see (which is not my alarm clock).

How does this work again?

How does this work again?

I can’t decide if the world of satellite connection makes this easier or harder.  My phone clock changes automatically (at the discretion of the service I use.)  My TV timer changes automatically (which means I don’t miss the shows I program).  I just have an old-fashioned DVD/VCR attached with the clock that I actually use that needs changing.  Even my alarm clock (because I use my iPad) switches automatically to the correct time.  So why do I have to change everything else by hand?

At least the thermostat has a button!

At least the thermostat has a button!

Daylight Savings Time did not take me by surprise this year.  I saw all the meme’s on Facebook.  I even reminded my daughter to change her clocks.  Somehow I never internalized that this all applied to me as well.  Sunday morning the alarm went off (on the automatically changing iPod) and I looked at the clock and it wasn’t right.  That late night that Sunday morning would make up for was much shorter than I’d intended.

Silly me I over booked my Daylight Savings Sunday.  Sunday is my “day off”.  I get Orion up and dressed and then he goes off for the day with his father returning in time for bed.  (You see that my “day off ” isn’t quite a freebie, but Orion’s Dad may or may not be on time and, unlike the weekday bus,  he’ll wait if Orion’s not quite ready.)  This Sunday I had a luncheon date and a class to teach – AT MY HOUSE.

Now I am not a great housekeeper.  Honestly, I’m not even a fair housekeeper.  People coming over requires a certain amount of attention.  Making this even harder,  I’d shorted myself time to “pick up” by having the lunch date.  Then it was Daylight Savings Time on top of it.  What was I thinking?  That somehow it didn’t apply to me?

Orion at Dinner.  He chose a Brazilian Restaurant.

Orion at Dinner. He chose a Brazilian Restaurant.

Saturday is our “sleep in” day.  It’s a lazy day for Orion and I.  We’ll sometimes go out in the afternoon and run errands.  We’ll often catch dinner via pizza delivery or pick up something on the way home.  It’s an easy day with no reason to go out.  This Saturday I decided to go to the movies after errands.  Errands, Dinner, then the movie means a late night.  Orion’s usually to bed by 9:00 and reprimanding me to do the same.  (I never do.)  With a 7pm movie that’s not going to happen.  It’s a late night.  (And a short one but perhaps Daylight Savings Time doesn’t apply to me?)

Brazilian means musical accompaniment.

Brazilian means musical accompaniment.

Doing a lot of in and out of the car with Orion and the Wheelchair is one of those little parts of my day that aggravate my back.  Saturday wasn’t too bad.  I was having a good day.  I took it slow.  Sure it was cold and rainy, yes there was a lot of walking associated with those errands, and parking, and standing in line at the movie theater.  My back acting up will keep me up later at night.  Sure it makes me more tired, but also less comfortable and ready for bed.  I look for distractions which make it easier to lose track of time.

Two for Skyfall please.

Two for Skyfall please.

Going to bed with my back acting up I either take the heavy duty meds and am a little groggy in the morning or I just don’t sleep well and need a little longer to feel rested.  I opted for the later because, surely, Daylight Savings Time doesn’t apply to me?

We got through Sunday.  Most of the clocks are changed.  The batteries in the smoke alarms?  I would have picked some up on Saturday if I’d thought that Daylight Savings Time applied to me.  🙂

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