The winter has always been my enemy. I have always dealt with frustration and lack of inspiration during this time. Every time this season comes along I long to plot an escape from the dreary darkness and move somewhere consistently warm and bright.
I like palm trees a lot…I envision those in my head frequently. I feel a warm sun beaming down on a body that is considerably less bundled up than I am now. It is so tempting to dream of getting up and moving that sometimes it feels like that’s all I can do to survive.
The funny thing is that although I start dreading the winter at the end of fall, I don’t really feel hopelessly frustrated or a lack energy to do things until the end of winter. I knew this was a pattern for me but I had never paid enough attention to the actual month all this seems to happen until now.
I realized that this happens every February. February is usually the last month of the season that really feels wintery. Sometimes we get some “spring previews” of unpredictably warm weather that makes me long for spring even more.
A few weeks before February rolls around, I slow down a lot. I am stagnant. I feel the need to take care of myself above all else. I feel guilty for not being as active as I am the rest of the year and assume that means something is wrong with me or my choices. It can be especially hard when I’m in school and letting my work take a backseat to self care. It’s as if I am a bear hibernating.
When February comes, I am frustrated by this slowness. I am restless. I am suddenly much more aware that I have not been as active as I would like and it triggers some discomfort. As a result, I feel the need to make drastic changes. I want a rebirth of sorts.
The problem with that is that I seem to get confused by the type of rebirth I need to experience. Instead of seeing the winding down I do in winter as a natural cycle, I typically see it as a sign something is wrong with what I am doing and that I need to change that instead. But that is not the case. In fact, I need to realize that, when spring comes, I will be back to my normal organized, busy, focused, dedicated and active self. That is the rebirth I long for, not this other stuff I fantasize about.
I had never thought about it this way before. Now that I have I feel much more relaxed and can be easier on myself. It is OK that I have slowed down. In fact, it is necessary and good for me. Come March, I will feel a lot better about most situations. I will be able to focus on things other than myself again.
And when I realize that it’s February 12, that there are only a few weeks left of this historically crappy month for me, where I always seem to feel better soon after it ends, it makes me hopeful. Just a few more weeks. I can get through it even if I do feel restless and annoyed with myself sometimes. I need to stop feeling guilty for not wanting to do as much, because I know I will want to do it all and more come the beginning of Spring.