Beating the Winter Blues

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 23:00
Posted in category Outdoors
<div class=\"postavatar\">Beating the Winter Blues</div>

Post written by Tanya Doyle

Beating the Winter Blues

I hate winter.  I would be perfectly happy if January, February and March were eliminated from time altogether.  But since I don’t really see that happening in the foreseeable future I have to come up with some reliable alternatives to getting through these miserable months with a minimum of suffering. 

The gardening catalogues certainly try to help us along through the dark, cold months with countless magazines filled with virtual summer.  Page after page filled with glistening, delectable fruits and vegetables, pictures of toddlers grinning through sweet corn smiles and soft emerald lawns filled with exceptionally perfect flowers of every color, size and shape imaginable.  I can practically smell them.  I can’t help myself.  I pore over each and every catalogue, dreaming of transforming my ordinary garden into something akin to The Garden of Eden, without snakes, of course.  The magnificence of my virtual garden is restricted only by the boundaries of the imagination, which in my case is frighteningly limitless.  The magazines start arriving just after the New Year when there’s nothing more to do than wait for Spring.  I know that a lot of them are owned and operated by the same company and even have many of the same photos, but it doesn’t stop me from examining each and every one petal by petal.  They invariably have a really great sale that expires late in February so in order to get the most bang for your buck you have to order when cabin fever is at its worst.  It’s like going shopping for groceries when you haven’t eaten all day and you’re starving.

Exercise also boosts my spirits and helps get me through the bleak months.  I always bake like a fiend at Christmas time and there’s usually a lot of leftover cookies and sweets that either get eaten or go to waste – er, waist.  So the exercise also helps take off those few extra pounds.  The hardest part is setting the time to do it and getting started.  When it’s frozen and blustery outside I have a hard time getting up the chutzpah I need to get my mind set on it.  First thing in the morning, if I set my mind that this is exercise day I can usually manage something even if it’s just going for a walk.  A brisk walking pace can burn off upwards of 500 calories in an hour.  And fresh air, even though it’s frigid, is always better than the stale, dry air that the furnace belches out.

I do like getting out in the snow with my kids and sledding or building a snowman.  But when the temps drop down in the single digits we keep them inside.  We live out in the country and shopping malls, movie theatres and general entertainment venues are about a 30-45 minute drive for us.  After a week or so of nothing but coloring, Play-Doh and non-stop Noggin our heads are so full of silly toddler jingles that we are hearing “Don’t Bite Your Friends” in our sleep.  Of course, the ones that are the most annoying are the ones that keep playing over and over in your head.  Keeping one active 4 year old entertained is a challenge but managing to keep twins amused is nothing less than a major achievement.  What one child wants to do the other has no interest in and wants to do something else.  Or they both want the exact same thing especially if you only have one.  So what keeps us all from going completely barking mad?  It’s this wonderful thing called Preschool.  Two days a week they go off to play with little people their own age, size and mentality.  It’s such a liberating feeling to hold an entire conversation with your spouse where you don’t have to S-P-E-L-L the grown up words.

So I suppose I’ll keep plugging along with the occasional mini mind vacation into the tropical scenes on my desktop backgrounds. At least until my garden seeds arrive in the mail.

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