By Jackie White
Oh, those happy shiny people with their cute coats and mittens catching snowflakes on their tongues and singing the joys of the winter wonderland. Who are these people? How did they become happy winter lovers? How? Are you one? Help me understand. My view of winter isn’t positive. Ok, let’s not candy coat it, I just plain hate winter. I know, I said it. Sorry. Not Sorry.
I am usually a person who sees the positive side of things or as I like to say, the sunnyside of things, but winter is a challenge for me. I see white, grey, dirty snow that covers the bleak landscapes and colorless tundra. I see hassle. I see pain. The pain on my face because the cold is hurting it. My entire body posture changes when winter appears. My head is tucked downwards, my shoulders caved in because I am so cold and I cannot see anything but my feet as I shuffle as fast as I can from my home to my car to the location I am going to. I do not look up, I just shuffle back and forth and look at the ground.That’s all I see and experience during winter. Winter places blinders on my vision and on my soul. And the truth is this year winter actually made me cry. You say, oh! don’t be so dramatic Jackie! Well, damn it, I am!
Let me state my case against winter:
I have a theory that some of us just were not made for winter. Our bodies react violently against the cold. We immediately are “chilled” to the bone, no, we are actually FROZEN to the bone! We just can’t get comfortably warm and it doesn’t matter if we are outside or inside. We dread, absolutely dread going out in the cold. Some of you say,that people like me just aren’t dressed properly. Nope, believe me, we are. We just can’t wear enough layers to get warm. I pull out my fleece in Octoburrrrr and I don’t shed that layer until May. I am trapped in polar fleece for half of the year. I see my friends wearing cute little outfits and I look like the Michelin Man because I have so many layers of clothes on. It is not unusual for me to wear 3-5 layers of clothes everyday and I have been known to wear hats and scarves indoors and occasionally I may even wear a down coat indoors. I am a candidate for those sleeping bags that you can actually wear! Yup, that is really how cold I get during winter and winter where I live lasts almost half the year! Ugh.
Snow and Ice:
Now, let’s talk about snow and ice. Yes, it is different from the cold, but just presents in another form of hassle. It needs to be shoveled, scraped, brushed off, salted and removed before regular life can happen. It’s another job to do and it requires you to do it in the cold and I might mention, in the dark because there is no freaking sunshine in the winter! Ok, so yes, there is sunshine sometimes, but those days are the “cold days” because there is no cloud cover to keep the Earth warm. Ha! “Cold days”? Let’s be clear, those are the BITTERLY cold days. See, there is no winning here
Let’s talk about the fun winter brings about. I am not talking about skiing, sledding or ice skating. Which by my standards are not fun anyway because they involve the winter. I am being facetious when I refer to winter fun. There is no fun in the dismal winter time. Here are just some of the “fun” things you get to encounter if you live in the north during winter.
Do you see the anger this woman is feeling when she clobbers the snowman? This is how us Winter-Haters feel most days during the winter.
8 Reasons to Hate Winter
1.Frozen Car Doors: Sometimes you get lucky and your car doors are frozen shut and without having a remote start you are trying to de-ice your locks so you can even get into your car. Have you ever had to crawl out of a window of your car because the door is frozen shut or had to climb out of the back hatch of a car because none of the doors or windows would open? I have. So much fun.
2. Iced Car Windows: We can’t talk about cars and winter without mentioning half inch thick ice frozen to your windshield. That will require getting into your car somehow and starting it up to try to warm up the glass. You then take a frickin’ ice pick and try to chisel the ice off your windows. I can’t think of a better way I like to spend 35 minutes of my life. Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy.
3. Slippery Inclines: Here’s another fun thing. If you have ever lived on a hill and you try to walk to your car, it is very likely that you will slide...slide all the way to the bottom of the driveway. Have you ever tried to climb back up an iced driveway? Doesn’t happen, so then you get to walk in the ankle deep snow to get back to the top of the driveway. That’s when you finally reach your car and you can’t get it open because IT’S FROZEN SHUT! Oh and by the way, your feet and ankles are now wet and cold due to climbing Mt. Everest back up to your frozen car. That’s what you call tons of fun.
4.Snowed In: You know it’s going to be a bad day when you open your door only to find a foot of snow is blocking your way out. Not that you really want to go out, but life sometimes insists. You then try to figure out how you will be reaching your shovel to try and shovel your way out. You guessed it, you have to plow through the snow with your body to feel around for your shovel and when you are good and wet and cold you can then shovel out. Good times.
5.Black Ice: Have you ever slipped on black ice and for those of you Southerners, black ice is ice-covered surfaces that are invisible to the eye. I have slipped on it and my car keys have gone flying into a snowbank and I couldn’t find them...until spring thaw! Driving on black ice is also a joy that usually winds up with spin outs and ditch diving. More fun stuff.
6.Grocery Shopping: How could grocery shopping be affected by winter? Well. if you have a cart full of items and you are trying to get through the parking lot to your car you will find very quickly that grocery carts aren’t meant to maneuver through the snow. I have had full carts flip over in the snow leaving me to pick my groceries up out of the slush in the parking lot...in the dark! Why in the dark? Because I told you, there is no sunshine! One other note: when it’s going to snow the grocery stores are insane with people stocking up in case they get trapped in their homes by the snow. Jolly good times.
7.Driving: I referred this before by mentioning black ice, but there are far worse things than black ice. How about “blizzard-type” conditions, white-outs, unplowed roads, unsalted roads and idiots who think they can drive normally in winter conditions. These crazy drivers are usually trucks or SUVs who think they are invincible to the slippery conditions just because the have “4 wheel drive”. Wrong-O. White-knuckle driving in poor conditions is always a favorite pastime.
8.Random Hassles Brought with Winter: Scarves freezing to your face, wet hair freezing and breaking off, frozen pipes that burst, steamed over glasses, frostbite, legs that have been so cold they are painfully itchy when begin to thaw out, homebound children because the weather was too cold to go to school or outside, higher heating bills, getting a $130 ticket for not shoveling your walk within 24 hours of a snow, longer commute times and insane amounts of profanity spewing from my mouth! Wintertime is just a dream - isn’t it? More like a nightmare if you ask me!
Will She Ever Shut Up?
Nope. I try to minimize complaining, but not completely stop complaining about winter. Why? Because it’s my hobby! I have nothing else to talk about from October to May, so just let me have my slight bit of complaining now and then. I’ve tried Hygge and intentionally telling myself it’s not so bad, but guess what? It is that bad!
Wait a minute, there's an upside!
I can feel the energy from all you winter lovers. I know you are trying to send me the great positive vibes of winter delight and I thank you for that. However, I am old enough to know that winter isn’t my jam. Sometimes that’s the way it goes. However there is an upside.
I do have one favorite part of winter and that is when it’s over! I am overjoyed when the first glimpse of spring shows it’s happy face. The first robin makes me hopeful warm weather is on it’s way and I rejoice in the colorful buds that begin to appear. I can smell the air again (cold air doesn’t smell) and I shovel my lawn off just to get a glimpse of the brownish green grass below. I can go outside again! Yay!
On this first day of Winter, I hope for your sake that you love it. If not, you can join me in counting down the days until it’s spring again...FYI: 88 days and counting, Friends!
Shine On (no, seriously shine on, so you don’t freeze!)
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.