Give me the doldrums

Backroad Ramblings

Has anyone had the doldrums lately? After all, February is famous for it, the weather is rotten, there are no holidays to look forward to and all you feel like doing is eating and sleeping.

Personally, I’d like to have the doldrums. This is because originally, “doldrums” were winds that didn’t blow. Back in ancient times, when a sailing ship got into the doldrums, they were becalmed and couldn’t make any progress. 

Ships might float around for weeks without making headway, all because of the doldrums. 

Now, for some reason, the “doldrums” that meant calm winds did not originate in Nebraska or Wyoming. Early spring in this area is often windy, blustery, stormy and all-around rotten. The wind can cut through you or knock you over. It can make everyone around irritable and crabby. This is why I wouldn’t mind having the doldrums. A few calm winds now and then would be kind of nice.

Later, “doldrums” came to mean low spirits, or feeling dull and drowsy… like often happens in February. If you are feeling like this, don’t fret. There are lots of ways to beat the doldrums, including exercise, lots of sunshine, eating healthy, drinking caffeine and taking up a winter sport. 

Of course, if you are calving now, you shouldn’t have to worry, because you are doing all of these. You get lots of exercise and sunshine from moving cows and tagging calves. This gives you a healthy appetite and if you are up all night, you will probably drink a lot of coffee. And while running after cattle, climbing corrals and lifting calves are not Olympic sports, they should be. At any rate, the last thing you should get is the doldrums.

So, if you find yourself feeling down, and you aren’t calving, try some of the cures for doldrums. If you are calving, never mind, because you are too busy to read this. And if you are just plain irritable and grouchy because of the stupid wind, try hard to hold it together. Spring is coming. It is…it really is…I promise it is…someday.

Editor’s Note: Christy Fredrickson is on hiatus this week. This column was originally published in February 2018.


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