the welcome winter

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I’ve been depressed lately. (Why is that such a shameful word?) I think I probably have Seasonal Affective Disorder. Winter is hard for some people. I feel the most alive in Spring and Summer. Autumn is nice because it is pretty and smells good. Then comes December, which is okay because of the holidays (although I’m more of a Grinch and could do without the hoopla for the most part). Next comes December 26. Home alone, put away the tree, and I sat in our cold apartment staring out at the grey sky wondering how I will live until April. How will I survive the cold and gloom while Andy is at school? What am I going to do for four months while it is too cold to go on romantic walks and bike rides? Sun shine and warmth bring me life. Gloom and cold make me want to eat all my Trader Joe’s dark chocolate and go cuddle up like a squirrel. I realized I can’t spend four months of my life wishing the time away and complaining (to who…God…he made the winter, Hannah!).

I realized I needed a thought change. I needed a theology change. I’ve been thinking about squirrels (because they’re my favorite) and how they store up and rest during winter. They cuddle in their little nests and stay warm. Then Andy said something to me yesterday and it all clicked. I said, “Why am I so lazy? Why can’t I get up early like I used to and get things done?” And he said, “Hannah, you walked home in the snow. You cleaned the refrigerator and made dinner. You are not lazy. You did something.” Sure, I didn’t do the million other things on my list and I still have not started on our January meal plan and I sleep a lot, but it’s winter and I did one thing. (Cleaning the fridge is important to me and might not be important to you. There are probably things that are important to you that I don’t care about spending time on.)

Why do animals hibernate in winter (and why doesn’t the world let humans do that, too?!) and why did God make winter when I hate winter? To rest. To snuggle. To eat more and gain 15 pounds so you don’t freeze to death. To catch up on sleep. To prepare for the next three seasons. This is the year I’m going to enjoy winter. This is the year I’m going to tell myself it’s okay to eat more (and that includes chocolate) and it’s okay to sleep more and it’s okay to snuggle more and it’s okay to wrap up in 20 quilts on the couch and listen to Harry Potter all night with my husband. Spring will come, but winter is here–enjoy it.

p.s. Andy, thank you.