Tuesday, January 30, 2007


As usual, the end of January signals the beginning of the winter doldrums around here. After a month or more of unusually mild winter weather, we are now experiencing the usual freezing cold and snow that is our expected, but mostly dreaded, winter weather. The fact that we most likely have two or more months of this, is what precipitates the doldrums I find myself in now.

You would think that having lived in Wisconsin my entire life, I would be used to the cold and snow and seemiingly endless winters we have. But for some reason I always think that this time it will be different. You can call it ridiculous optimism in the face of unrelenting fact, but each year I hold out hope that it will be not just tolerable, but even enjoyable here in the cold. I am always dissapointed.

I know there are those among you who are saying to yourselves, "why doesn't he get his ass outside and go skiing or skating or ice fishing or anything to take advantage of the season instead of whining about it?" Been there, done that (except for ice fishing. I hate the idea of fishing under the best of circimstances, but to be outsmarted by a fish while having my ass frozen to the ice is the epitome of humbling foolishness). I just don't enjoy being cold. Give me 100 degrees and 99% humidity and an unrelenting sun, and I would be in heaven. Particularly if I had a golf club in my hands at the time. Can you say Arizona?

Of course I could use this time when I'm stranded indoors to good effect if I could only summon the ambition needed to spur myself into action. But knowing that I am locked indoors because of the cold and don't have the option of a sojourn outside, makes getting into anything indoors a chore rather than a pleasure to be savored. When you have only one choice, it is like having no choice at all. And while I have three different projects in the works in the workshop right now, I can't seem to convince myself that it is alright, even desirable and admirable, to descend those stairs into the workshop and lose myself in the creative process. I can't escape the feeling that to do so would be taking advantage of the situation, and that would be somehow sinful.

So instead of using this dictated time indoors to good effect, knowing there is no other option, I find myself dawdling at the computer, putzing around in the kitchen, lingering over a book at lunch time, squandering these minutes that in other seasons I try to steal from a busy day. I do little or nothing and so get little or nothing done and so reap little or no satisfaction from these winter days.

Hibernation seems a worthy choice. I feel a nap coming on. I willl dream of Springtime.


Kat Campbell said...

I used to feel like that too, even though I doubt Ohio gets half as cold as Wisconsin. I need lots of light in the winter to keep cheerful, and I try not to think of writing or reading as wasted time. I wish you sunshine, Bob, even on a winter day.

The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

I'm with you on the hibernation thing. Wake me up when the lilacs bloom!