The winter blues are oh so real, and they have never been more real than this year.
The past three years I have spent the holidays with my husband (then boyfriend), and when he left there was always a low that followed for a couple of weeks but it was soon forgotten when college started back up again mid-January. There was so much to do again, working at least one job and attending classes full-time, that the winter blues disappeared rather quickly. And in Minnesota, although we can get nasty bitter cold, it usually follows by blocks of 20’s and 30’s that are sunny and pleasant and make for perfect winter activity weather.
Fairbanks is not quite as forgiving.
The darkness that plagued the holidays (thankfully we missed the worst of it due to our Alabama trip) still lingers, and the temperatures hit -30’s and ’40’s for about as long of blocks as the positive temps did in Minnesota. There’s also no college to distract me this year. Just the same 8-4 job day in and day out – which I’ll add I do still thoroughly enjoy but January is our least busy month because basically no one wants to leave their house (understandably so).
People warned me it would be. But I love my husband and he is the absolute light on the tough days. I don’t find myself blue every day. No on the days we’re above zero and I can see the sun, I can usually conquer any hurdle I face that day. It’s the bitter cold, cloudy days that really do me in. Yesterday was one of those days.
What bothers me most about the blue days is the fact that the next day, when I can see clear and not into a cloud of misery, I am boggled why I could ever be sad or upset. Today is one of the good days. Oh am I thankful for today. I just wish, so dearly, that this fantastic attitude I have today could somehow be found on the winter days that drag on. On the days that clients are irritable, and the weather doesn’t go my way, and my workout is terrible, and I cheat on eating healthy, and the sole dryer in our apartment complex is tied up for hours I wish I could shake my sub conscious and say,
“YOU ARE ALIVE. You are breathing, and you are living. And not only that but you are LOVED. You are so, so loved by not only the greatest husband you could ever ask for but an amazing family. TWO in fact since you married your husband . A best friend that listens to your every struggle and a multitude of friends who would be there for you if you ever needed it. You have a roof over your head, money in the bank, so many materialistic things you probably don’t need but you have been able to have through your own hard work. You are talented, pretty, and no you will not get fat because of one skipped workout and some chocolate ice cream. It’s okay. Relax. Dust yourself off. Kiss your husband. Stop crying. Today was hard, but life is so good.”
Man, oh man. Where is that voice on days like yesterday?
We’re allowed to have bad days. Every, single one of us. We don’t have to feel guilt or shame about feeling frustrated or sad. We’re only human. I just wish before the day was through, I could take a moment of reflection. I wish I before I could fall asleep I would dwell on all that I have, instead of all that went/is going wrong.
I think I need to develop a routine for the winter blue days that have been eating away at me more often than I like. A promise to not take it out on myself or my husband, and to accept that some days are simply hard. But there’s more to be thankful for. The day isn’t “ruined” because it’s going poorly. No, actually it could be saved by a laugh, in an indulgence in a favorite treat or activity, a quick workout before bed, a long bath with a good book.
I resolved for 2014 to become more optimistic, but maybe instead of trying to be super optimistic every day, I can just make a promise to try and turn around any bad days with reflection, gratitude, and something that makes me happy. Every day is worth making good. And the key in each day is to remember I make it. Not the weather, or the people around me. Me. I make the day good or bad.
I deserve to try and make every blue day, bright and beautiful.
Maybe I can resolve to refer to this blog post every day I feel blue.
So what’s making me feel full, loved, and thankful this week?
Aghhhh. Just looking at all five of these photos has me grinning. Self: refer to this blog post as needed.
“If you’re reading this…
Congratulations you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
Then I don’t know what is.”
– Chad Sugg