Winter Jazz and Blues

Life, Personal Insight, Travel

I feel the cold. I never used to, but now I feel it in my bones. And the dark. The dark is the worst part of it all. No matter how hard I try to wake up early, something inside me just knows that the sun isn’t actually going to fully rise; it is just going to be a lighter gray kind of day.

Last week, I was wondering why it was so hard to pull myself out of bed and feel excited about the day when it hit me – it’s the winter blues! I had heard of this phenomenon before, but only from my friends who don’t particularly love snow. I’m finally understanding what you were all feeling, sorry guys.

As much we try, it can be quite hard to beat this “winter blues” nonsense, otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), when everyone and everywhere is also dealing with it. The symptoms of SAD are low mood, lack of interest in life, less desire to be active than wanting to sleep more. Check, check, check and check.

— Winter in the City — 

London is amazing; it has everything you could ever want in a city. It’s both old and new, lively and laid-back, fresh and classic, the list goes on. But… winter is not a time to explore London. It’s not the time to face the elements (just the wind and rain though, no snow) and sightsee or find new places to waste time in. It’s not the time to pretend you can hang with this weather. Rather, it is a time to cozy up with a glass of Malbec and sit by your fireplace melting winter away. If only we were all so blessed to have a fireplace.

Christmas in England was a lovely distraction with festive lights, mulled wine and Christmas markets everywhere you turned, but now the lights are down, the wrapping is put away and we are just left with the bitter, dark cold.

– – –

I know that the real cure is home – mountain towns and snow. Ah I miss the days when I could enjoy winter, with the glistening snow and getting up at 6am not because I had to but because I didn’t want to miss “first-tracks”. I miss apre-skiing and the long drives with my dad to Kirkwood listening to business tapes along the way. I miss running around in the streets at midnight when it started snowing, making sleds out of cardboard boxes and snow angels in whatever we were wearing not recognizing how old we were or were supposed to act.

As strange as it sounds, I miss getting done with work, frosty-hair and red-nosed, then warming up with friends over craft IPAs in cozy Tahoe bars. I miss my portable coffee mug and morning commute through the icy roads.

Back home it didn’t matter if it was cold because we would be skiing or sledding or doing something else that winter offered for fun. It didn’t matter if it was dark because we would be in a cozy mountain-town pub or watching movies with hot chocolate in hand by 5pm.

We lived with the weather rather than against it.

 — Embrace —-

Once I became aware that I was feeling a little SAD, I was able to face it and push myself to enjoy the day anyway. Embrace this time of renewal and reflection. Embrace hibernation. It’s going to be sad and everyone is going to look sad and it is going to be a battle every day.

For now I will embrace winter by enjoying hot yoga, spending time around warm wonderful people, drinking too much tea and indulging in Ben Howard’s sweet sweet voice.

 

— Update 1 — 

After I got the idea for this post, London was sunny and beautiful for five whole days. God has quite the sense of humour.

— Update 2 — 

It’s back to being dark, rainy and bitterly cold.

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