February 3, 2016
The Winter Funk
It is January 28th and I am in full-blown winter funk.
Every year I forget how much I detest January and February. And every year, after the brief glow of the new year has worn off, I wander around in a half-asleep haze wondering why I feel so blah.
And then I remember...Oh, right, it's January.
The days are short and cold. Everyday looks just like the next. I'm now slugging through the routine that seemed a refreshing, new structure back in September. It's all I've been working on the railroad all the live-long day...
The kids and I are going stir-crazy. Okay, well, it's mostly me.
The only breaks from the routine are snow days--one is good, two is too many-- and I spend the whole time wishing they were sand days.
Can you imagine waking up one morning around February 1st to a school alert on your cell that reads SAND DAY!
Imagine looking out your window to find piles of warm sand, sunshine and lapping waves...and, if we're going to go with this delusion (and we are)...then a man named Pablo knocks on your bedroom door with a tray of hot coffee and lemon ricotta pancakes and says the kids are already fed and are doing crafts with their day camp counselor, Louisa.
But that never happens.
Instead, you (and by you, I mean I) get up tired, in the dark and cold, and negotiate with little people in an effort to get them dressed and fed and out the door for school and errands and whatever.
Blah, blah, blah.
But here's the thing, I don't think my day-to-day life is all that different in January than it is in April--other than the weather and the number of hours of daylight. Yet the feeling...and my attitude...are miles apart.
They just are.
That's the thing about this time of year. It's got a few extra downs to go with the ups. But, like I said, come April it will be a different story. Which brings me to one of the main lessons I've learned since becoming a parent. A lesson that applies to life as well as childrearing.
Everything is a phase.
The bad news about this is that when things are really awesome, guess what? Phase. But the flip side is also true. When things are really crummy? Also a phase.
When Tommy is waking up every night at midnight just to chat? Phase.
When Suzy is throwing temper tantrums every time you take her to the grocery store? Phase.
When Bobby eats everything on his plate without complaint and sleeps through the night every night and never wakes before 8am? Also a phase.
But the same thing goes for life in general.
It may be true that every year I fall into a winter funk sometime in January. But it's also true that every year, somewhere around March or April, I am reborn an energetic optimist.
Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas my workouts and healthy eating disappear...and then right around December 27th, boo-ya, they're back! Every so often my husband and I start to annoy each other for a week or two...then, suddenly, we're star-crossed lovers again (then annoy, then star-crossed, then annoy, then star-crossed...lather, rinse, repeat). Sometimes I go for long stretches of infinite patience with my kids...no, I'm just kidding, I've never had that phase for more than a few days!
But I've learned that I have seasons of blue and seasons of yellow and seasons of red. And I've learned that they are nothing more than that: seasons.
What better way to combat the times when things aren't great than with the knowledge that if you just hold out a little bit longer, they will be. You know, this too shall pass, the sun'll come out tomorrow, and all that good stuff.
It's my theory of Phaseology.
Something to ponder, until next time.