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Those Darn Winter Blues

 

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.

 

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this mechanic from the swift repair of his stranded trucks.”

  • Dave’s version of the the Postal Service motto

 

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.

 

Tobi tells me that a major issue up there is cabin fever.

 

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.

 

The Mayo Clinic calls it S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder. The Mayo Clinic goes through all the symptoms and a myriad of cures from taking a walk and getting some sun to synthetic light boxes and psychiatric drugs.

 

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.

 

Plan a trip.

 

Book a getaway. The important thing is to have it on the calendar so that you have something to look forward to.

 

Exercise & Nutrition.

 

 

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.

 

 

Family and Friend nights.

 

– 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.

 

 

Take up a new hobby.

 

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.

 

Give back.

 

– 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. 

 

Meditation

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.

The main thing is not to fall into a depressing pattern.

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!

 

Share your successful habits with us!

 

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,

Dave

 

Dave Bloom

Owner at Pine Aire Truck Service
Pine Aire Truck Service offers the best truck repair in the automotive industry. We are located in Bay Shore, NY and our services include truck repair and truck maintenance, truck consulting, and truck sales.
Dave Bloom

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Tobi EdmondsDaveLynn - Quogue-Sinclair FuelsSuzanne ShareefJuke Recent comment authors
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Lynn - Quogue-Sinclair Fuels
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Lynn - Quogue-Sinclair Fuels

Working in the oil and propane business winter always keeps me on my toes but definitely does not prevent me from experiencing the dreaded “Winter Blues”. Like others, I do all those routine things to keep me busy and get me thru – daily gym sessions or spin classes and cannot leave out the wonderful nights spent on the couch snuggling with my two dogs. But the one thing that works the most is embracing all the positive that the winter season has to offer…… I live in the most beautiful area of Eastern Long Island. A huge summer/seasonal tourist… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

I like the way you think!! It has become the only time of year that you can move around out there! Sounds to me like you have more of an issue with the Summer Time Blues!! Thanks Lynn, awesome perspective!

Tobi Edmonds
Guest

I think she’s just developed excellent Winter Blues coping mechanisms. Good for you, Lynn! You are spot on!

Suzanne Shareef
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Suzanne Shareef

Hi Dave! We here at Erlin Steel know that the only thing that can cure our winter blues is for you to come here and share your Middle East adventure stories with us in person! While eating pizza of course, and maybe some vino, and maybe a beer…

Dave
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Dave

Hahaha that’s a pizza that I need to personally deliver!! I can’t let my Erlin family down!!

Juke
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Juke

Thanks Dave!
I totally agree.
When I’m exhausted, my instinctual solution is not a fix.
I’ve found that during a rough week, going home and turning on shows for the rest of the night leaves me just as tired and frustrated the next morning.
Walking in the door and going on an adventure with the kids is grounding, gives a desperately needed sense of fulfillment, and makes me a better husband-Dad-coworker.
Of course some days need the spacing out of the brain, so long as it’s not the go to solution.

Dave
Guest
Dave

You would def be in the running for the pizza lunch, unfortunately the average temperature in Austin during winter is 70 degrees. Hahaha … I miss the times when my kids were that age and we had fun things to do during the week in winter. You’re a good dad, I would hang with you! (actually I do hang with you!)

Gary
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Gary

Strap a board on your feet and enjoy the ride !!! Go for a winter walk on the beach ( you might just run into a seal sunbathing[ 17 days till daylight savings time.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Do you know anyone with a ski house??? (I’ll get up there with you but you and Andrew will get me killed!) Waiting for some warmer weather for that beach walk, you know I’m into that!

Motor Head ♠♠♠♠♠
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Motor Head ♠♠♠♠♠

Pilgrim State cured me of the winter Blues Dave!! There was a time there was no building to work in so, I got put outside for about 6 years.!! Highly recommend Carhartt cold weather gear. Thankfully that time has passed. One time at the old Power Plant, they put a guy outside with a desk add telephone. There was no building either 2 monitor the boilers. 2. True stories and that’s how it was done there 🙂

Dave
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Dave

I hope you are enjoying the retired life and not having to fix equipment during snow storms! We have been lucky this year so far! Hope all is well and you are enjoying life!!

Karen Ahlers
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Karen Ahlers

Make time every night after dinner for a walk. There’s no bad weather; only bad clothing choices!

Dave
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Dave

Right on! Dress warm enough and you are usually fine! When you mention bad clothing choices it makes me think of skiing… there are some interesting decisions on those lift lines!! Stay warm up there!!!

Stacy Conner
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Learn a new habit! http://www.TheGreatCoursesPlus.com allow you to pretty much learn anything from Magic and Math to how to Watercolor paint (which I am doing now). I may never watch TV again..very interesting!

Dave
Guest
Dave

I am terrible at magic and good at math as long as I have a calculator… maybe watercolor paint is something to check out! Good suggestions!!