When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age.In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked…. I fear this disease incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself…. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
-John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley: In Search of America
Winter has a way of stirring the wanderlust inside me, a stirring which I usually quell with an interlude in a warmer climate, or in the least, a high-energy city with underground transportation. Despite my steadfastness in this snowy city, I must admit, this year, I’m rather enjoying winter.
The primary reason for my sanity in spite of winter’s longevity is my pup. Having a dog is permission to “act” crazy in the snow. Having a dog is the lesson in humility learned when routinely slipping on ice and snow with leash in tow. Julep and I have ventured beyond our normal paths to discover our very own neighborhood Narnia, where my imagination runs as wild as my little excited pup. Though her playful spirit has brightened even the coldest of gray days, cameras, ice and puppies do not mix. I had to remind myself to take a solo adventure and let a wintry trip take me.
In the cold quiet, I found numerous examples of winter’s wonders. Have you had the opportunity to walk outside on a wintry Sunday? The only sound is the snow crunching underfoot, and it is quite peaceful.
Just in case you do not have a playful pup to mitigate winter’s incessantness, allow me to offer a few non-canine ways I have discovered to “love” this frigid season [or alternately, humor me my delusions]. Fret not, none of these reasons include extreme snow sports. I am not that girl.
In no particular oder, let us begin…
Thanks to the Polar Vortex, anything hovering around 30 degrees feels like a tropical paradise, albeit a tropical paradise where I wear numerous sweaters. I must really love winter attire.
Winter is the perfect time to feel like an Olsen Twin and dive into Homeless Chic trends which justify layers of sweaters. A pasty white reality check could spell depression, but fortunately, I haven’t even noticed how pale I am under the multitude of sweaters I have managed to layer this year. With all my natural shivering, it’s also completely believable for me to wear a hat all day. It couldn’t possibly be because my hair is gross and flat. No, no, it’s the arctic tundra temperatures, I swear.
Hibernation is a totally legitimate excuse to avoid just about everything. Even if friends protest, they are secretly grateful to have an excuse to wear something frumpy and behave like a hermit. Ignore their protests.
It is perfectly acceptable to increase wine or whiskey habits and claim it’s for warmth. This is the purple-lipped, red-cheeked truth.
Love what you do. Winter enables a snooze button to reach new levels of conquest in the face of the best intentions. I have never loved my bed, duvet and faux fur blanket as much as I have this year, but if a miserable job is the impetus for the alarm, winter will be unfairly demonized. The memory of that miserable, morning feeling is visceral. On the bright side of this gray season, if chasing your career dreams means a freeze on finances, winter is the perfect time to buy box wine (they’re not all terrible), hole away and binge on Netflix [with cookies too]. Win win!
…and perhaps the very best reason of all?
Winter is when French bakeries offer Galette des Rois! Those layers of flaky puff pastry alone justify a few weeks of gray days and temperatures that freeze your nose hairs.
How do you survive the demoralizing months?
May your winter be buttery and bright!
Disclaimer: Yes, I am aware both winter and French bakeries exists in warmer places, but please, leave me my delusions.