Two things: It’s the bleak mid-winter, and our BFF (the biggest asshole in the world) Mercury, is in retrograde (again). New England has been buried with record levels of snow in the past few weeks, and the rest of the country seems to be blanketed in an “it’s February, f this.” state of mind. I call this part of winter, “The Dark Days” because there are no holidays, it’s colder than ever, and no matter what we do, we all feel like we’re living one long, wallowing Sam Smith song.
Winter is not so much a season, but a condition that manifests one giant mental guessing game after the next within its harsh temps and storms. Will my flight be delayed? Will my train be cancelled? Will my office even be open? Will I sleep through another alarm? Will my friends show up? Will the kids ever go back to school? Will my blood sugar be 350 after a day of no carbs at all? Yes, probably, duh, obviously, more than likely, and absolutely.
Anything that can, and will go wrong, is going to. Not to mention it feels intensely more frustrating during the winter months since we’re all deficient as all hell in our friend, Vitamin D. After my first NYC winter, I can relate more than ever to a big ol’ dog cooped up in a crate all day. And though I’m not peeing on the floor (that I know of), the anxious pacing around the apartment isn’t always the easiest thing to bare. Every day feels long. There’s a negative undertone to almost every conversation. We’re impatient. Everyone is exhausted. And, more than anything, it feels like things are just perpetually tripping up, or falling through.
Being easily disappointed and angry instead of accepting a situation for what it is, is something I’ve struggled with virtually since the beginning of time (ask my mom). And, by slapping diabetes on top of that, my sensitivity to change has definitely heightened. Circumstance, agendas, and outcomes are going to change from the moment we wake up, until the second we go to sleep at night, no matter how much control we claim to have over our lives. No matter the severity of said “plot twist”, it’s often painful to see the truth to that in the moment. And we live in a world where moments are rarely accepted or recognized as they are. If we’re even paying attention to a moment – an act that is exceedingly rare, especially for phone-obsessed hooligans my age (guilty) – we agonize over moments. We scrutinize moments. We complain, panic, act out of fear and anger. Rarely do we step back and process something for long enough to even know what it is that we’re experiencing. All of that sounds deep and complicated, but it’s something I’ve thought a lot about this winter. I always think about “if X hadn’t happened to me would Y be true now?” or, “Since Y hasn’t happened to me yet, will Z ever happen?” “What does it mean to feel like this for so many months out of the year? Am I wasting time with myself? Could I be doing something else?”
If the bad never happened, we would never feel the good the way it’s meant to be felt. Being grumpy for a few months because it’s cold is somewhat of a choice, but if things really are that bad or challenging, maybe on the other end of it all is a tremendously rewarding sense of growth or self-discovery. Maybe whatever it is that we’re going through right now truly is excruciating, or maybe it isn’t and we’re just simply scared by how bored we are. Nothing is ever permanent, the weight will shift eventually.
The days are getting longer, the sun will finally rise above the buildings again, and soon, things will feel like they have life in them again. The snow will melt, and the leaves will grow back. People will make plans with each other again. And, most importantly, we’ll soon be able to go outside and breathe fresh air. We’ll pull through. We always do.