Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Hate Winter. How 'Bout You?

I hate winter. I mean really really hate it. Each year when September rolls around I get this small anxious rumble in my belly and I start to fight the very idea of winter any way I can---full spectrum lightbulbs, tanning salons, vitamin supplements—you name it, I’ve tried it. Yet, by the time the leaves start to change colors on the trees, I still go into full-on panic.

The only thing worse than the pissing-rain winter of Eastern France is winter in Upstate New York. Here, it rain’s everyday for 4 months. Upstate, it SNOWS everyday for 4 months and to make matters worse Beaujolais Nouveau costs $12 a bottle! So I try to console myself with this as the days grow shorter and the nights last longer.

Now, over the years I have devised several strategies for surviving winter---some more effective than others. The year I swam all the way to November on a sea of Grey Goose vodka was not one of my better strategy years. I have long since learned from my mistakes. I may never truly enjoy winter, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let it put me into a creative coma for 4 months each year.

Now that I am older and, well, wiser, I’ve taken to making my winter coping mechanisms more productive-- I have projects! I make a list of stuff I want to do get done, and then one by one I work my way through them over the winter. The theory behind this is that by setting up these insanely ambitious deadlines for myself, I will feel as though the winter is passing faster than it really is. I mean after all, nothing seems to make time vanish faster than an approaching deadline.

So, since I’m a desperate over achiever I set up the following impossible goals for myself:
- Do the 29 days of giving challenge
- Learn to play the guitar
- Write my first novel in 30 days
- Finish an entirely new body of work either paintings or works on paper
- Bribe my hair into growing another 4 inches
- Lose 30 lbs.

And I have to do all this by March 1st, 2009. No problem right?

So, thus far my project strategy is working miracles! I am so busy every day doing “stuff” and working towards my goals that I feel as though I’ve practically been robbed of the month of November. Yippee! That means Christmas will be approaching soon, which means more busy holiday work, which means that New years will creep up on us in no time, which leads to Valentine’s & St. Patrick’s day and then TA-DAAAA It’s April already.

You see where I’m going with this?

But just yesterday I realized something. The problem with speeding through 4 months out of the year is, well, you speed through 4 months of your freakin’ life. And life is so short and precious and blabetty-blabbedy-blah-blah-stop-and smell-the-roses- blabbedy-blah-blah. So I’m just gonna try to focus on my projects, and let winter worry about itself. So help me God, I’m gonna focus on the enjoyment that’s the reason behind why I chose these particular tasks in the first place.

Also, on a hilarious note, my project goals aren’t exactly going swimmingly:

- Twenty 29 days of giving stuff away is hard when I don’t actually leave the house for days on
end, and the neighbors get mad when I toss stuff off the 4th floor terrace.
- The farthest I’ve gotten in the guitar playing venture is to buy a guitar case for my guitar so I
can haul it to the shop to have the strings changed.
- My novel which involves a murder and magic charms is a bit stalled at 10,000 words.
- And do NOT even get me started on my hair and my weight issues today. My treadmill has
dust on it and who knew it would be so difficult to bribe hair?!?

All that said. I’m optimistic. It’s only November. I have months and months to meet a few of these goals. And I’m not gonna freak-out or beat myself up if I don’t complete them all.

I will however, have a freak-out attack which would require me to be hospitalized and put into a padded room for my protection if it snows this weekend.

So, wish me luck.


Megan said...

haha. Good luck. I'm not a big fan of winter either, but it is better here because there is no snow. I get October blues, but by Nov. they have usually gone away.

rhonalala said...

That was hilarious! Winter officially started here with the dreaded first snowfall. There were losts of car accidents, cars sliding off the road and white knuckled driving (and I'm black!) to be had by all in this winter wonderland.
I abhore winter also. Right now I have so much going on that when I do go outside, I pray that I get home safely. But in a weeks time, I might have to take a page from your book and create a list also.

Travel said...

I am headed to the Bahamas Friday, and it is cold there.


Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

I hate winter with a passion and I HAVE to go outside because I have horses. Plus this old farmhouse is freezing. But it's a great time to write! I think this is the month where a bunch of writers get together and write a novel in thirty days. Good luck on your novel!

By the way, I got a kick out of where you said you were from. I'm from Virginia by way of Oklahoma by way of New Jersey.

Camille Acey said...

Hurray for goals! Hurray for 10,000 words towards a real novel. I keep thinking I should try that novel writing thing but I haven't even gotten as far as reading the guidelines (I've now added that to my to-do list).

For hair, you might check out one of my favorite Youtubers Empress Ri ( is a wealth of hair tips and product advise. Natural hair grows best with natural products.

For weight, I am working on a small weight loss goal of about 10 pounds. The best advise I can give you is to eat the same stuff as much as you can. Get enough protein and as much as it sucks do a food journal (I use I have set my diet up such that I work out (weightlifting mostly) 3-4 times a week and eat pretty much the same boring stuff everyday (beans and eggs for breakfast, salad with a whole can of tuna for lunch, chicken and veggies for dinner) and one day a week is set for wilding out and eating sugar sandwiches and whatnot. I am one week in and so far so good.

Xoán-Wahn said...

I know exactly how you feel. Spain isn't that much better when it comes to Winter, despite its reputation as a sun-filled paradise. It was 2 degrees this morning.

Personally, I think you should do the 100 day challenge ( instead: three months of attracting positive change into your life, and you sooo don't even have to leave the house to do it, unless of course you end up manifesting a trip to the Bahamas!

Love your blog, by the way!

Camille Acey said...

This might also be helpful

Madame K said...

Travel---I bet you 2 trillion euros it's not as cold in the Bahamas as it is on my terrace at this very moment.

Debi- Horses scare me! And yeah NaNoRiMo is the name of the one month writing project. They do it every November.

Camille- Hey thanks for all the awesome links. Personally the novel writing process has taught me that perhaps I'm a short story writer, so I'll structure my NEXT novel to be a grouping of short stories that make a novel. (also LOL@ my NEXT novel.)

Xoán-Wahn I can't do anything for 100 days straight...except eat cake maybe.

Camille Acey said...

Mmmm, 100 days of eating cake. Where do I sign up?

Shanster said...

Whatever you do - don't freak out. Being locked in a padded cell? Days CREEEEEP along.

Not speaking from experience. Well, as far as you know anyway... ha!