Winter Blues: Waiting for the Spring Thaw     by Marjorie Dorfman

Do you find yourself down in the dumps because nothing is happening except snow, ice and cold? Read on for a humorous attempt to remedy the situation.

Are you blown through the city streets only to bang head-on into a discarded Christmas tree or some forlorn tinsel floating in the freezing wind? Is there ice on the ground, more snow in the forecast and the heaviest coat you own upon your back? Do you watch people slip and fall on the ice from your window and secretly wish that you were there? If so, you probably don’t live in Florida, California or Puerto Rico and like me are anxiously awaiting the melt down of the great Spring thaw.

The problem with the cold is that it’s difficult (unless you are a Polar Bear or a little kid) to be motivated to go out in it. Making snowmen is one thing, but making a living and getting on with the errands of daily life is another. Also there is no pulse, no vitality to the Winter. The bustle of the holidays is over, it gets dark early and the cold seems to seep into the brain as well as the bones. A cozy fireplace alleviates some things, but only until a look out the window reveals the walk or drive through all that marshmallow fluff of virgin snow to get to and from work.

Winter sports have their place in the stout hearts of cold lovers, but Winter lives are another thing entirely. When you consider that even a quick walk to the mail box involves serious afore-thought, it can put quite a damper on things. There’s the socks and the boots and the coat and the muffler and the gloves and the hat. Underwear remains optional for such a short trip, but the countdown is still formidable. Going out for the entire day or the evening is even more complicated.

That’s why I get the blues. It isn’t bad enough that the view outside my window is dreary and depressing. I also have to contend with the treachery of ice and slippery roads, the flu season and those poor little seals being murdered every day for their coats to keep us humans warm. Maybe if it snowed different colors it might hold my interest a bit more. What about cobalt blue or magenta flakes drifting by the window and along the driveway? I am not a beach person, but the lure of the sun and the surf in Winter’s most depressing moments has few contenders. It’s difficult to see beyond the cold, to remember that Spring and Summer are just around the corner.

So what can you do while waiting for the Winter blues to melt into Spring? Pass the waiting time constructively. This might entail counting snowflakes or how many times you have to shovel your walk way or wipe off your windshield, but it’s a distraction none the less. Rent movies and read books. Good murder mysteries always work, particularly those set near the sand and the sea. Think warm thoughts and remember that you are only as cold as you think you are. If all of the above fails, you might consider a more aggressive conclusion; move somewhere where it’s always warm. Cheer up because even if you do, I’m sure the great spirit in the sky will inflict something else upon your person that’s worth getting depressed about!

Did you know . . .

Copyright 2002