Tag Archive | wintertime blues

Who Misses Grocery Shopping?

grocery shoppingOur corner of the country is still in the grasp of this never-ending winter. Every night the weather man (who I am beginning to hate), forecasts colder than  normal temperatures and of course, snow. Yuck!

I’ve done my best to fight back with writing and painting, but honestly, the gray sights outside my window and the mounting bills of snow removal are getting to me. Enough already!

Ken and I have a fear of falling on the ice. I can’t pick him up. In fact, last week, I had to call 911 to get some help to pick him up off the floor after we struggled together for an hour. Having him fall outside would be tragic, and if I went down, we’d both be in hot soup.

So, winter has kept Ken and me in stasis. We work on our computers staring at each other across the room. He’s become a Spider Solitaire junkie as I entertain myself with reading, writing, and Candy Crush (as well as other FB games). To break this monotony we promised ourselves, on a good day we will leave these four walls at least once a week to enjoy a nice dinner/lunch together. . . even if we only go to Burger King.

Yesterday was our day.

Temperatures soared rose into the 20’s and off we went. It always amazes me a change of scenery has such a positive effect on both of us. In a restaurant we ponder over the menu to find that special dish that will send our taste buds into a happy place. We use our restaurant manners, putting napkins on our laps. We joke with our server. We take our time and make conversation about what is going  on around us. Best of all, when we are finished, there is nothing to clean up. We pay the check, put on our coats, and leave. Who would think such a simple outing would perk us up the way it does?

I share this snippet of our simple life as a reminder life can’t be taken for granted. Because life is in a constant state of flux, you never know what surprise waits for you around the corner. Ten years ago, Ken and I would meet for dinner after an exhausting work day because neither of us had the energy to go home and cook dinner. We would joke with a Greek owner of a family restaurant we were going to “let her cook” tonight. We satisfied our hunger and went home to “let it all hang out.” Going to a restaurant at this point in our lives was to fulfill a need; it was not a social event.

As Ken’s Multiple Sclerosis progresses, doing simple things have become exhausting for him. Taking a shower, getting dressed, and driving his wheel chair to the living room tires him. Having energy to go out and enjoy a meal has become rare.

As I watch him struggle everyday,  I wonder what will be left for us tomorrow and the next day. We have lost so many simple pleasures already. Even enjoying a hug and kiss has become difficult. Do you realize we used to enjoy grocery shopping together or going about our Saturday chores together? It strikes me funny I miss those simple activities. But I do.

If any of you learn anything from me by reading this blog, I hope you understand it is important to live in the present. Don’t take simple things like grocery shopping with your husband for granted. Make parties out of ridiculous things like “it’s Tuesday.”

Enjoy every minute even if you are in pain or feeling lonely. You’re present circumstances may be pleasant or miserable, but I assure you, they are temporary. Hopefully, the sun will come out for you tomorrow.  Find joy in every minute . . . no matter what.

The Day the Lights Went Out

unhappy faceMother Nature has provided a “January thaw” today. The day I’ve been waiting for since the beginning of December. Temps near forty. No rain. No snow. A perfect day to dismantle the outdoor lights and put away the Christmas decorations. So why am I feeling so down?

My melancholy mood is due to the fact that I know this “warm” day is a fluke. Soon the winds will howl again, and the white snow and slush will cover the landscape like it did before the thaw. I’ve lived here all of my life. I know winter is far from over.

If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know I love outdoor lights. I think my fascination with them is because winters in the North are so darn dark and long. The lights take my mind off of wishing I had been born a bear so I could sleep through the whole season.

I’ve gotten to the age where playing in the snow is not an option. Nowadays I’m more afraid of falling and breaking something to venture out into the fluffy stuff. I’ve never been a skier. I gave up tobogganing years ago after I broke my tibia in an accident when I was fourteen. Long story short, winter’s fun alludes me.

After the holiday decorations come down, my world is barren. There’s little fun to anticipate. Everything ends by the end of January. Holiday celebrations are replaced with mundane routines. Decorations are packed away. The exorbitant electric bill from December comes. Football is over. Days still end at five in the afternoon. Temperatures are still frigid, and we have three more months to go before things will drastically change for the better. I just want to sit and veg.

I think that’s why we’ve invented short holidays like Valentine’s Day and St. Patty’s Day to break the winter monotony. Maybe that’s why the Super Bowl has been pushed into February, too. We must do something to keep the parties coming. We must gather with friends to console each other that in spite of bulky coats and heavy boots, spring will emerge, and we will once again enjoy the sun. Yeah. Right. It will only take ninety plus days to get that done.

If you’re having the Wintertime Blues like me, you have my sympathy. The only medicine I’ve found to combat the funk (besides sleeping in)  is to call a friend and commiserate over  a hot cup of coffee. Believe me, it helps.