Dark times are upon us – literally and figuratively

Living in northern Europe has its highs and lows. In the summer, we can get 15-16 hours of sunlight, making it a joyous season of enjoying time in the sun with friends and family and feeling much more motivated to do activities outdoors and for longer.


But in the winter, it’s dark, long, and dreary. I think most people (in the northern hemisphere) agree that January and February are some of the less happy months of the year. In addition to the lack of sunlight and colder weather, most of us are just coming off of the good cheer of the holiday season, so it makes the comparison ever starker. Add in a deadly pandemic and a lockdown which prevents us from going out and distracting ourselves from these dark days and you have a recipe for a mass case of melancholy.


Do we even want to go there with the insurrection and corresponding fallout happening in my home country? I think I’m too tired of that whole circus, to be honest. It’s Altschmerz at this point.


The first few days of January weren’t bad. We were riding the high of saying goodbye to 2020 and basking in the warm – albeit placebo – bask of a new year and new possibilities. On top of that, we knew that multiple COVID vaccines were approved and being mass-produced, so the hope that we could reach herd immunity felt like a glimmer of hope that we could hold on to. However, since then, many problems have come to light which makes the roll-out and execution of vaccinating the world unsure for many. We’re asking ourselves, ‘Will I even be vaccinated by the end of the year?’

Searching for the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel in an actual tunnel (Elbtunnel in Hamburg).

Even though it was just a few weeks ago, it feels like a lifetime ago that we were so desperate to welcome 2021. Clearly we didn’t check her references, because it’s been a bit of a rocky start. Is there a Probezeit (probationary period) written into her contract?


I generally don’t like putting negativity out into the world. Typically I just push this onto my friends and family to help absorb and reflect back to me that things maybe aren’t as bad as I think. But sharing parts of your life shouldn’t always show the optimistic and positive sides, because that’s just not real life. Real life is hard and moody and sometimes really crappy.


So if you’re feeling like you’re in a black hole and like your motivation has been set to 0, trust me, you’re not the only one. It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now, but we must still have faith that it’s there.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Claire

    Hi, yes, living the black hole life over here! I was cruising along okay during this lockdown, but for some reason it just hit me today that we’re going to be in lockdown for a LONG time. Trying to stay positive though!! Sending happy thoughts from Berlin xx

    1. Chelsea

      Thanks Claire! Can’t wait until I can have a fun getaway weekend in Berlin. 🙂

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