Monday, February 04, 2013

February is the cruelest month

I've often felt February is the cruelest month. Short, dark, grey, cold and dreary. We often see little if any of the sun during February in Portland, Oregon. The winter greys weigh heavily on my shoulders, and I do have an arsenal to combat the tough month. My tools:
  • exercise—cardio boosts my mood, and combined with blaring of my favorite music while doing cardio is even better
  • vitamins—multi vitamin plus Vitamin D, fish oil, and calcium
  • lightbox—I use the the small GoLite for 20 minutes early in the morning while checking e mail, my calendar, and schedule for the day.
  • escape—to Mexico, Hawaii, or even Southern California. Go to the sun if it isn't coming to me.
  • give in—hibernate in blankets, escape into a TV series (hello Downton Abbey)
But most importantly, get outside as much as possible. I'm not a fan of walking in the rain. I'm just not. I've been a Portlander for 20 years now, and I haven't given in that much. I mean getting out during bouts of non-rain. And if a moment of sunshine occurs, by god, do whatever you can to be out in it.

This is what it feels like to Portlanders when the sun comes out in February:

Oh my god the sun is out in Portland

We are but moles who are blinded by the glowing orb in the sky.

We've been doing a lot of walking and running lately. (Winter carb craving requires exercise.) And Saturday began with fog that then emerged to brilliant blue skies and sunshine. We ventured to a favorite park for our regular loop, and the sun did two things. 1. I could barely open my eyes in the brightness of it all; and 2. I was filled with a happiness of such great proportion that I verged on the edge of crying with gratitude and joy. Gratitude and joy to simply be healthy, out in the world, with the person I love most in the world, experiencing a brilliant day. We did two loops through Cathedral Park, instead of one, weaving under and around the glorious St Johns bridge.

This may sound very silly to people who don't live in the darkness of winters like we do here. A recent Portlandia episode captured it perfectly.

And so it was this Saturday: we were living inside a Portlandia episode. The thrill of sunshine, the brightness of it all, the awakening of our lives from the blue air and dark grey.

I'm going to get through this winter thanks to moments like these, and my arsenal listed above. I'm also counting down the days to Maui.



Yep. That Portlandia snippet is dead-on. And not just for Portland either. Us mid-valley folk spent the better (worse) part of January socked in with fog. Although I'm not a fan of the East Wind, it does have its merits. We could have used it down here.

Despite the gray sky I did some gardening yesterday. It felt great but of course, my body is sore today--a small price to pay for fresh air.

Great post!

MulchMaid said...

Nailed it!
I haven't done much gardening lately, but at least I get outside when it's nice (as in, not pouring down rain incessantly!)
And I'm planning on a March gettaway of some kind.

Tammi@1914house said...

Haha! That fiery thing in the sky - what is it? My three year old actually said, "I need shade" this past Saturday.

Anne said...

Aloha.... Been a while and just wanted to say hi.
Peace. Annie