Well, Christmas is over. Meaning life is basically over. Nothing to look forward to now except a bleak, never-ending winter and easily getting all my cardio in with the Herculean exertion it takes to stuff two squirmy tiny humans into snow suits and winter coats and mittens and hats and snow boots that were designed by engineers who have apparently never seen a child’s foot before.
Welcome to the most depressing time of the year! Cheers!
Every year it’s the same thing. I spend the next four months just trying to survive. I pretty much put my entire life on hold until the day I can crawl out of bed without mentally weighing the pros and cons of moving to a warmer climate, like Hell.
But this year on December 26, as I was doing my post-Christmas manic purging (you know, picking up all the wrapping paper, breaking down all the Amazon boxes, coping with the plastic Mount Doom in my living room after liberating all the children’s toys from their synthetic prisons, and then trying to stealthily burglarize the kids’ rooms of old clothes and toys to make room for the new ones…)
…it hit me. It doesn’t have to be this way. This year I could try to appreciate all that the winter season has to offer (besides making it socially acceptable to drink whiskey at 3 p.m. simply because “it’s so cold out.”). I could actually embrace it instead of just waiting for it to be over.
Of course, I didn’t come to this conclusion on my own. That kind of mature response to adversity is not in my nature (my nature being more drink whiskey at 3 p.m. and drunkenly yell at falling snow when it hits my face).
No, I came to this enlightened conclusion after reading an article by an old friend, Stacie Kenton, who is an outdoor enthusiast and lives on a 22-acre farm in Ohio (and was, like, a super chill senior when I was a freshman in high school and bought me beer that one time). She wrote a great piece about enjoying your connection to nature during winter and how we should all try “to live in this winter and not just through it.”
Now, I should mention that Stacie is the love child of Diana the Huntress and a mermaid, so, pretty much my complete opposite (I’m more like if Lorelai Gilmore and a bottle of gin had a baby). Meaning it is highly unlikely I will ever achieve her sincere level of love and light and calm when dealing with the world.
But, hey, who’s to say a girl can’t change in the name of self-growth?
I plan to start small. For example, usually this time of year, when a blast of icy wind hits my face, I unleash a torrent of curse words so harsh and horrifyingly creative it’s been known to make grown sailors cry. But this year, I’m going to try to embrace the fact that when the air hurts my face it’s letting me know I’m alive. Even though I want to die. Just curl up in a snow bank and wait for sweet, sweet death. And even though Father Winter is a vindictive douchebag who is targeting my face specifically. And even though winter is stupid.
But no! Not this year! I’m alive, dammit! Feel the freezer burn!
Winter also means all the bugs and mosquitos and ridiculously hairy spiders are dead. And they probably died a horrific death, screaming their tiny bug screams as they lay there and raged against a world so cruel before their tiny lives were snuffed out. Ha! Ha! So, the enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that.
Not to mention, this time of year offers a whole new slew of opportunities to make memories with my young family. For example, I want to take the kids sledding! Or at least the one who doesn’t currently flop over without an extensive chair support system.
I want to take walks in a quiet snowy wood (and not complain the whole time about how that vindictive douchebag Father Winter is a part of our U.S. system of patriarchy and is, again, targeting my face specifically)!
I want to build a snowman and drink hot chocolate and not stress out about the trail of snow and salt and grimy dirt all our freaking shoes drag through the house that is bound later to be licked up by the aforementioned infant who constantly flops over and makes out with the floor like it’s her job.
I’ve even Googled local skiing resorts where you can go and not actually ski but just drink booze in front of a fireplace and they don’t kick you out.
So, yes, I’ve decided I’m embracing this post-Christmas winter season whole-heartedly. And by whole-heartedly I mean half-assedly. But hey, it’s a start.
Life is too short, my friends. Too short to wish for an entire season to be over. Even if that season is dumb and cold and makes it impossible to find an effective moisturizer.
So, here’s to appreciating what’s in front of us right now!
Right after I finish this hot toddy under my electric blanket fort and cry for a few hours.