January Funk

Posted on January 30, 2010

I’m kind of cheating here, because it’s February 4th, though the post date says otherwise. I started an entry the other day, but after revisiting it now, decided to start from scratch. To the untrained eye it will appear I at least posted once during this long, cold, abominable month.

This is my 20th winter in Minnesota. I’d like to say I’m used to it by now. There are a number of things I like about a “real” winter: stark, spectacular scenery, bundling up with impunity before bed, and walking in not-too-frigid weather, when the break presents, come immediately to mind.

I’m fond of saying I don’t mind the cold, just the duration, but even that is a bit disingenuous. Because, every January, somewhere during the month, I fall into a bit of a funk.

Perhaps it’s the maximum 31 days. Or that there is almost always a three or four (or eight) day stretch where the temperature never rises above zero. It might be post-holiday blues.

Regardless, it happens. I know when it hits I’ll have to summon the will locked deep inside to turn perpendicular, post alarm, and square my feet to the floor. I know I will laugh with 35% less gusto at something amusing. I know I will think to myself more than once a day “…remind me why I moved here in the first place”.

I am allowed to admit these feelings, because even though I’ve weathered 20 winters, I’m still a transplant, and, sorry, I “just don’t get it”, according to the desperately, suspiciously upbeat natives.

Fortunately, it doesn’t last too long, maybe a week. Then I start thinking optimistic thoughts, like “today has four minutes more daylight than yesterday”, and I begin to think about springtime, and that first, glorious day when I can unroll the car window and breath a deep breath of not-frigid air, and I’ll begin the slow, protracted process of forgetting the funk, so I can unwittingly prepare for winter number 21.

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