The Gray(tness) of Winter

The days are too cold, too short and too dreary. I’m shivering in my house. This, despite wearing a sweatshirt over my sweater, alpaca socks and being wrapped in a navy fleece blanket. I’m drinking tea with a vengeance. Eating food as though I’m actually hungry. Putting off outside errands, thinking they can wait till spring.

For the first time in my life, I actually toy with moving to Florida. (Toy, Mom, don’t get too excited). And I HATE Florida. This feeling sorry for my frigid Northeastern self is becoming well, rather unbecoming.

My niece just got into graduate school at Boston University. She’s so thrilled, and so is her aunt.

My daughter is at the Sundance Film Festival working, partying, getting very little sleep. She’ll call home infrequently; usually from a spot on a hotel sofa that she’s sharing with someone famous.

My son loves his new internship in Washington and his best friend from high school just asked him to be Best Man.

My spring semester started last week and, honestly I’m pretty excited about my new students. They seem energetic and engaged.

My latest blood work shows I now have the lowest cholesterol I’ve had in decades!

My boyfriend and I love nothing more than a snowed-in weekend in front of the fireplace.

Who cares if the Eagles blew their Super Bowl run, and we now have to watch the other PA team? The Phils signed Cliff Lee!

We see old friends this weekend and the next few coming up. Winter does that. It causes us to reconnect.

I’m starting a new book project that I am excited and nervous about.

The cardinals look gorgeous against the white snow, and I’m certain they appreciate that I trudge outside in the cold to keep the bird feeders filled.

My newspaper guy drives all the way up my driveway to throw my Inquirer right against the garage door. The Christmas tip paid off.

I’m starting to feel better. A little warmer. The feeling is returning to my fingers, my toes. The chill is gone.

Who am I kidding? It’s 11 degrees.


Bah Humbug – I'm So Over the Holidays

Admit it, as much as you loved entertaining family; unrestricted devouring of Christmas cookies; in fact, unrestricted devouring of everything; receiving and giving presents, and celebrating generally good cheer, you’re genuinely happy the holidays are over.

That is, if you haven’t further pressured yourself with a slew of resolutions. Let me give you permission to move away from the resolution, MOVE AWAY FROM THE RESOLUTION. It’s not that I don’t want to see you succeed. It’s that I want to see you succeed.

The mere act of returning to a normal lifestyle after holiday overindulgence is worth two resolutions in the hand. And all you need to do is put away the decorations, return to work, throw out the cookies (you know you’re totally sick of them) and return to your humdrum pre-holiday lifestyle.

That is an accomplishment in its own right. You might even consider it a gift. There is comfort in the sameness of everyday life. You know what I mean. If you’ve gone through a traumatic time or have been with a loved one who has, you crave mediocrity. What can be better than curling up in front of the TV to watch the newest Brothers and Sisters, or emptying the fridge of the spinach dip, twice-reheated mini-hotdogs and leftover turkey (where did that come from? Oh geez, not Thanksgiving…)?

There are no more cards to write or gifts to buy. Too late! Remember all those lists you made before the holiday: Presents for friends and family, tips for service industry folks. Damn, what is my letter carrier’s name? Parties to attend or to host? Toss ‘em!

It’s time to gently look ahead. The days are getting longer. December 21 is so last year. The winter will end, eventually, and the crocuses will sprout. And those resolutions that you feel obligated to make, and pressured to keep…to them, I say “Bah Humbug!”


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