I still remember the first time I thought about the paradox. I was a Junior in high school (during the Bronze Age), sitting in my first hour class (English with Mr. Connor), and I looked out the window at the sun shining on the snow drifts. I thought, “Is February EVER going to end? It’s the shortest month. Why does it go on forever?”
I used to like winter. I still like parts of it. I like to watch snow falling. I’m still not too old some days to go out and play in it, but mostly I like to sit by the window with my coffee cup and watch. I have noticed, really noticed since we got back from Italy, that February is a hard month for me. It’s the coldest, prone to the nasty variety of winter weather (today it’s snow and sleet), and although the days are getting longer, it’s still dark. I’m more likely to be pessimistic, to want to run away to the tropics, to be irritable and sarcastic with my loved ones. Usually I throw up my hands, stop exercising, and eat whatever I put my hands on because I’m going to gain weight anyway, so why even try?!
I’ve installed natural light bulbs in my lamps to combat the low energy and emotional turbulence, and that’s helped, but it hasn’t entirely fixed the February Blues phenomenon. It is semi-seasonal; I have a summer version of the same irritability when the heat and humidity hang on for weeks with no relief.
I’ve been considering shifting my schedule a little, dropping some activities to accommodate new responsibilities. Honestly, I’ve considered dropping some fun activities in which I’m spinning my wheels. Yesterday, I decided not to decide in February. I’m going to stop thinking about it for a month. After Easter, when spring arrives and I’m watching a thunderstorm with a coffee cup in my hand, I’ll revisit the issue. Bears have the right idea. It’s cold, dark, and depressing–wake me up when it’s spring.