Around this time in February I start thinking about how nice it would be if it were a little warmer and a bit more daylight. I start singing the winter blues.
It starts when we set the clocks back, but that is derailed by all of the excitement of the holidays where my mind is preoccupied with other things.
Before you know it, we are going to work in the dark and driving home in the dark! That’s when the winter blues grab a hold of me.
In the early days of Pine Aire Truck Service I performed all the emergency road service work. I was the youngest and felt bad sending someone else out there. I don’t really remember minding the cold that much. Of course there were a few times that I can vividly recall thinking I wouldn’t survive but those were rare occasions.
I was like the postman of road service, in the freezing cold, sleet, snow and icy rain. One night my back stuck to a roadway like Mikeys tongue in A Christmas Story. Another time I documented my rounds on VHS tape (the big ones!). I watched the video recently and I appeared so cheerful, I was so badass, what has become of me?
Doing things outdoors is fun, but not while freezing my buttocks off. I do enjoy skiing but even then there are days that are just too damn cold and I openly wish that I were somewhere warm playing golf. Or spending time on the beach with my granddaughter (pictured below performing the perfect wet willy).
Yet I know I’m not ready for Florida, I’m not even 60. I just don’t fit in there yet and it’s quite apparent. When I fly Southwest to West Palm they proof me for a beer and ask if my parents know I’m alone… not old enough for that move!
(easy snowbirds, I’m only teasing. You’re young at heart, right?)
Yesterday I was speaking with my very good friend Tobi, owner of Edmunds Import Auto in Palmer, Alaska. Tobi is a successful, innovative business woman and we always have constructive conversations about what is going on in our shops. She is also freakin’ nuts and that’s really why we get along so well.
It is dark and cold so much of the day that it drives some people out of their normal behavior patterns. Cabin fever can affect customers and workers which puts more strain on an already difficult business to run. In Palmer in December, the sunrises at 10:30am and sets at 3:30pm, yikes, and during what we call cold they still consider wearing shorts to work.
Wikipedia says: “Cabin fever is not directly fatal to an individual suffering from the peculiar disorder. However, related symptoms can lead the sufferer to make irrational decisions that could potentially cause them to lose their life. Some examples would be suicide or paranoia, or leaving the safety of a cabin during a terrible snow storm that one may be stuck in.” *
Sounds like the possible side effects from some of our new miracle drugs!
So I did some deep research into the subject. Well, okay I Google searched it. I found out that while I may joke around, some people have severe problems.
I really didn’t want to get this deep. What I did find out, and hopefully it is the same with you is that I’m okay. I just miss the sun, the beach, the boat, fishing, sweating and then that first cold beer. What I also realized is along the lines of “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. When we have the winter on Long Island it makes us appreciate the spring and coming of summer even more. Winter is great!
Maybe not that great… but you get the point.
Hang in there with me and try some of the remedies for winter blues. Bundle up and get fresh air and sun. Exercise and eat right. Open the blinds and get some light in the room. Schedule fun things to do and try not to veg out too much. Smile and know that spring will be here before you know it! It could be worse, you could live in Alaska or get a seat next to that cranky old woman that I sat with on that last flight to West Palm…I hope you’re reading this. You know who you are!
Let’s go with Punxsutawney Phil (the famous groundhog) who could not find his shadow a few weeks ago. (I’m sure it had nothing to do with the brandy he was spotted sipping that morning. Last week he couldn’t find his nest!) As the legend goes, this means we’re in for an early spring. Yeah Philly baby!!!
What gets YOU through the winter? Here are some tips to help you weather the chilly dark months.
Book a getaway. The important thing is to have it on the calendar so that you have something to look forward to.
Not the kind that these guys are doing…
– Go to the gym. Take a spin class. Even if it’s in your living room while watching YouTube.
– Avoid fast food. It’s absolutely the worst.
– Embrace the cold together. Schedule one day a week where you can do a family or friend related activity. It can be a family dinner or hosting a movie night together.
– Take a day to spend time with your older relatives.
Try not to do anything too dangerous…
– Read Books. Let the story transport your imagination to another place… a warmer place.
– Get involved in a sports league. Or if your kids are young enough, get involved in their sports league as a coach!
– Darts or Bowling. Have one night a week that you look forward to. Get out and have a couple of beers with your friends.
– Follow a sports team at any level. Could be your local high school, college or professional team. Get to know the team and players. Many games are televised either on TV or the internet.
– Take some time to do productive things indoors that you would not want to do while it’s beautiful outside. Clear the clutter in your house and donate clothes, canned goods and furniture to a charitable organization. The stuff that is laying around and cluttering your life is greatly needed by those less fortunate. The INN is a wonderful organization that serves to assist those challenged by hunger, homelessness and profound poverty. The INN is local to us but research other great organizations near your location and get involved in making a difference.
Recently, I have been exploring meditation and enjoying its powerful benefits. It helps with sleep, stress and overall energy levels. I don’t want to get too deep into this because I want to write a whole article on it. However, meditation is not as mystical or strange as people used to make it out to be. In fact, many high performers use meditation to maximize their life.
Do anything you can to avoid or break the monotony of;
Wake up, go to work, go home, eat dinner, lay on couch, snack, go to sleep, wish it were Friday, Wake up, go to work, go home, eat dinner, lay on couch, snack, go to sleep, wish it were Friday, Wake up, go to work, go home, eat dinner, lay on couch, snack, go to sleep, wish it were Friday, Wake up, go to work, go home, eat dinner, lay on couch, snack, go to sleep, wish it were Friday…
Stay busy, create things that you look forward to doing. When you are doing fun things you never look at your watch or calendar. When you are busy time goes quicker, we all know that!
Pine Aire Truck will send a pizza lunch to the company whose employee has the best suggestion. Feel free to send your suggestions in the comments section, through email or social media!
The winner will be picked by my friend, Tobi. The only thing we ask in return from the winner is a picture of you enjoying the pizza. *Winner cannot be born and raised below the Mason-Dixon line… your winters don’t count! Also, if you win and work for IBM we cannot send pizza for 50,000 people, limit is 5 pizzas and you must have a pizza delivery service near your company.
With the Warmest Wishes,