Winter Inside and Out

February 3rd.

I glanced at the calendar over the first sips of my morning coffee from my blue TARDIS travel mug as I packed my bag for work.
Three days into the second month of 2014. The Superbowl ended last night with a whimper for Denver fans, a cheer for Seattle fans, and a fat old “meh” from everyone else. Somewhere in the back of my mind as I made my mental notes for today’s work, I remembered the winter storm that’s working its way here, due to hit us tomorrow and into Wednesday. Total snowfall is still being debated, nobody ever really seems to know what we’re going to get. This time of year is the absolute worst for me, every year. Ever since I was a kid, I remember becoming depressed and downtrodden right around now.
I’ve never liked winter. As far as I’m concerned, it has no redeeming qualities. Even the warmth of Christmas is smothered by negative temperatures and snow that needs to be shoveled. Right about now though is the worst. Spring isn’t that far off on the calendar anymore, but with every snowflake, I feel like it might as well be completely out of reach.

The gloomy pre-spring season is a breeding ground for depression in my mind. I find myself brooding heavily on any any all issues, personal, financial, professional- for much longer than they probably deserve. The car always seems to start having problems when its too cold to climb under it and take a look, everybody is sick with colds or cabin fever, it is just constant misery.

The absolute pinnacle of ‘bad’ are days like today. Yesterday it was almost 40 degrees, you could step outside and stand there for a minute or two without feeling your nose hairs solidify. Tomorrow we’re due for the storm. Stuck right in the middle is today. The memory of yesterday, the threat of tomorrow. The temperatures are back to 20, the sun has said “Forget it” and refuses to come out, and the snow that had been melting is now solidified again, this time tinged brown with frozen mud with decaying leaf litter sticking through it like some sort of hasty biological mass grave. Looking at my list of work tickets for today is less depressing than looking out the window.

There are a few things worth waking up for of course. The boys are still young enough that they have that youthful enthusiasm for…well….anything at all. The oldest is excited about everything. He watched the first half of the game last night with us, stoked to no end, although he hadn’t even the slightest clue what was happening. The baby, (who is almost 18 months old, I should probably stop referring to him as such) the wife and I refer to as a ‘tiny crazy person’ he’s always jabbering constantly, with no real words yet, but he ALWAYS wants to play. And when I say play, I mean he wants to wrestle with daddy. He wants to be knocked down and tickled, he wants to jump on me and bounce on my back while I’m laying on the floor after he ‘knocks me out.’
Its this stuff that makes it impossible to be Eeyore all day, every day. The boys know sadness from when things don’t go their way, but they don’t yet know depression. Any malaise they feel dissipates with some graham crackers, a good hug, and ten minutes to forget what was bothering them in the first place.
Their ability to bounce back from whatever ails them at any given time is keeping me from the brink of insanity, even if their exuberance does get on my nerves from time to time.

I think that is one of the benefits of having kids in the first place. As we get older, our problems get deeper and more plentiful. Having small people around who get excited and insanely happy about something as trivial as a box of Angry Birds fruit snacks in the cabinet is truly therapeutic, because if they manage to take my brain off of a problem or the gloom and doom that I feel as February drags itself on with plodding footsteps through snow and ice- even for a minute, well then I guess it can’t be all bad.

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