I’m totally estranged from my family. For a number of reasons I won’t discuss here, things got more and more tense until it reached a breaking point at which point I stopped answering their phone calls and didn’t give them a forwarding address when I moved and now, 6-8 moves and almost 20 years later we’ve lost touch.
And now I feel another similar thing coming on in my life. Things are awkward between me and a former loved one. Where years ago we enjoyed each others’ company, I’ve strayed and now when it even looks like they’re coming around I start to tense up. And when they’re around I find myself depressed and watching the clock waiting for them to leave.
It’s pretty horrible, because their visits are pretty long. Usually they show up about now and stay until sometime in March or even as late as April. That’s a long time to be sitting around poisoning one’s mind with frequent thoughts of “I hate you, I wish you’d just go.” And as you can imagine it takes a bit of an emotional toll.
OK, to all those people who came here through a search for “Sage Todd Divorce” on google a couple years ago when my company sent me off to Quebec City on business for 8 months, quit nodding to yourselves, you’re wrong. The one I’m having trouble getting along with is winter.
I used to like winter. As a kid growing up in Vermont I would spend hours outside with friends sledding. I remember going hiking in the woods in the middle of winter, breaking holes through iced over brooks to get a drink. But now the cold drives me crazy. The same level of discomfort that has Sage running screaming for air conditioning in July (while I bask in the 35°C day imagining myself to be storing the heat up for the winter) makes me do all I can to avoid going outside in the winter. The end result is a pretty dismal 5 months spent mostly indoors – except for those times I’m outside on the way somewhere – usually as quickly as I can to minimize the amount of time spent in the cold.
It gets me through the winter for sure, but every year I dread the time more. It’s to the point now where I’m having fantasies about work assignments in the southern hemisphere – or better yet somewhere where it never goes below 25°C. And I see the pattern emerging. As you can see I’m already considering changing my phone number so winter can’t come calling. Except, unlike the family I no longer am in contact with, winter’s not an asshole. In fact, many folks I know really love it and don’t see it as a time they spend with cold extremities starved for daylight wishing it was over.
So I’m thinking of trying an experiment. I know there are a lot of people who like winter. Perhaps you could help me find a way to enjoy the season. What is it you like about the season? What do you do to make winter enjoyable? Make your suggestions and I’ll give them a shot and report back. (OK, if your suggestions involve “Get on a plane to Cuba sometime in February” I can’t really do that.) Leave your suggestions in the comments and I’ll start putting them into action right away.