Small Town Winter

It’s currently 17 degrees out, and I’m wearing tights, boots, and a sweater over my regularly-scheduled clothing.  So far this winter we’ve made it through a Polar Vortex, a Snowpocalypse, a Bomb Cyclone and just your basic freezing-your-ass-off weather.  It’s been a long year, and it’s only February. I’d cry, but my tears would stick to my face, and my eyelashes would freeze together, and then I’d be even worse off than when we started this whole weather mess.

February in Grand Haven, Michigan

The weather takes a toll emotionally too.  We haven’t had sunshine in what feels like years, and everyone that I know is suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder…which, if you’re not from Michigan you need to know is an actual and verifiable disorder.  It’s what happens when you don’t see blue sky or green grass or don’t get any Vitamin D for over a month. It’s what happens when you’re cooped up inside and get sick of looking at the cracks in your ceiling, the dust on your bookshelves, and the people that you live with.  And it’s symptoms are horrific…they include anger when you can’t stay hidden under a heated blanket in your bed for weeks on end, disappointment when you have to actually try to function in a socially-acceptable way to others around you, and an overall sense of crabbiness at the world in general.  This is Seasonal Affective Disorder…and no wonder it’s acronym is SAD.

It’s even worse when you are a not-outdoors-person.  I suppose I could stave off SAD by going cross country skiing, or snow-shoeing, or ice fishing…I mean, I hear that just being outside is helpful, and I have a friend who continues to train for a marathon in this weather (I use the term friend loosely, because let’s be honest…I just don’t know if I can actually be friends with someone who trains for a marathon in the snow) but honestly, being outside sounds worse than suffering from SAD, and truth be told, I would rather put hot coals in my eyes (because then they would be warm) than go outside and try to get some exercise in the fresh air.  Look, I don’t even want to exercise indoors, I can’t even imagine heading into the snow to do it. That seems unnecessarily excessive

February in Punta Cana

As if all of this isn’t bad enough, my daughter and her roommate left today for a week in Punta Cana.  I had dinner with them last night because I had to bring her an extra swimsuit and her sunglasses (insert eyeroll here) and her biggest concern is how much sunscreen to use each day to get the right sunburn/suntan ratio.  On top of that, my son is leaving for Arizona on Thursday to spend a long weekend with his grandparents. He’s a little bummed that it’s “only going to be in the 70s,” and I kind of want to kick him. Seriously? That’s what you’re complaining about?  Because if I look at the forecast here, I’ve got 5 degrees and a blanket of clouds coming up.

On the upside, each of my kids gets to spend this week with a set of grandparents, and Chris and I get a weekend to ourselves…and since it’s too cold to actually do anything, we’ll probably hunker down under a pile of blankets and watch Netflix and drink wine (well…I’ll drink wine) and wish we were on a beach somewhere…all the while being thankful (but slightly jealous) that our kids are traveling around the world and escaping from the blight of Seasonal Affective Disorder and hoping they bring some sunshine back with them…and hey…hunkering down under some blankets isn’t such a bad thing either…I mean, I can think of worse ways to spend a weekend…like training for a marathon or walking to the driveway, for example.

So, I’ll take my blankets and my space heater, my husband, and my Seasonal Affective Disorder and pretend it’s summer…and we’ll hold on until July 4th when we can break out the warm-weather clothes and get some Vitamin D for a week before starting the cycle all over again. And then we’ll buck up and cross our fingers that mother nature takes pity on us next year and makes up for this year’s snowy nonsense by turning up the global warming and turning down the cold. But until then, we’ll just look at pictures of our kiddoes enjoying their beaches and their deserts, their beachscapes and their canyons, and hope they bring some sunshine with them when they come back home.

Much love from a cold-and-very-jealous-of-her-kids Small Town Girl