Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Embrace Winter

Winter is upon us once again. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the snow is falling, the air is crisp, and the days are ridiculously short. I don't know a single person who waits anxiously for winter to arrive. At best, everyone is giddy with excitement about the holiday season, and then that excitement is destroyed on January 2nd by a quick and painful realization that there's little to look forward to for several long, dreary months.

Now, I know that not everyone lives in the bitter cold. For all of you who live in Florida, Hawaii, Southern California, parts of the South, or some tropical paradise, you get a pass from this lesson. But if you are a resident of one of these warm places who enjoys bragging about your balmy temperatures while the rest of us are bundled head to toe in our warmest clothing - and I say this in the most loving way possible - FUCK YOU.

Now that we have THAT out of the way, the rest of us must embrace winter because it is a cyclical part of life. Why would you choose to spend a good portion of your year bitching about the miserable weather while counting down the days until summer? In case you haven't heard, our time on this planet is finite. Wishing some of that precious time away? Fuuuuuck that.

So how do you develop a loving relationship toward the season that everyone loves to hate?

1.  Prepare for it. Get some gear to make your outside ventures more pleasant. Warm waterproof coats, cute scarves, rain/snow boots, hats, gloves are all must-haves. Contrary to your wishes, you can't sit in your house all winter waiting on spring thaw. So have yourself some retail therapy! I have at least 25 cute scarves in my closet right now.

2.  Find shit to do. The best lesson I learned when moving to Germany after spending years in Southern California was to participate in winter activities. Mr. ZJ and I learned to ski. We put on our warmest gear and fired up the grill at least a few times a week (and the strange looks we got from our German neighbors was priceless!). We took the trip of a lifetime to Lapland, Finland to see the Northern Lights. Through these fun activities, we actually look forward to winter.

3.  Self-improvement. If outdoor activities aren't your thing or are not feasible, work on yourself. Spend your evenings curled up with a warm blanket reading a good book. Take a college course that interests you. Learn to play the guitar. Go on coffee dates or wine dates with your tribe.

Winter isn't something to dread, Janes. Think of all the awesome things that go along with winter: fireplaces, the peaceful beauty of a snowfall, fuzzy blankets, hot coffee, and the SCARVES! Let me tell you, nothing is better at hiding a few extra pounds or a bad hair day than cute winter clothing (and have I mentioned SCARVES?!). And if you've never been introduced to gl├╝hwein, I highly recommend it. You'll be wishing for cold weather all year just to get your hands on it.

Happy Winter!

This is a picture of me lying in very deep snow waiting for the Northern Lights to appear near Ivalo, Lapland, Finland.

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