I try really hard not to complain. Really I do. Each morning I list the 25 things I’m grateful for. I know that my life is easy compared to the lives of most people in the world (even most people in the U.S.) But I have never experienced life in Darfur…so the relevant comparison is my life in January vs. my life in not-January. And my life is so much harder right now vs. what it was like in, say, October.
First, there’s the lack of light. I get up in the dark, and I go home in the dark. I catch glimpses of daylight as I look out my office window, and when I run across the street to Subway to get my lunch. But that’s about it.
Then there’s the cold. Bone-chilling cold, particularly when there’s snow in the air. (Don’t get me started on the wind.)Not only do I have to wear a hat, which I hate (I’m no Aretha Franklin, in case you hadn’t noticed), but I’ve been wearing the same pair of boots every day for a month. It’s a hassle to carry shoes with me, so I bought boots that are actually acceptable for the business dress code that we have in our office (don’t get me started on that either) and I wear them all day. Every day. For a month.
And not only does the cold affect my own personal attire, but it adds approximately 20 minutes to our morning routine, between the added clothing elements that have to be located and donned in the morning (putonyourbootsputonyourbootsputonyourboots) to the extra time it takes getting to and from the car, to the time it takes to take off all the added clothing.
Next, there’s the difficulty in walking down the street. I am not known for my gracefulness, and I never learned to ice skate (or even roller skate, for that matter). I have not fallen yet this year (knock wood), but I have come dangerously, embarrassingly, gracelessly close, as I’ve lost my balance and looked like an idiot while regaining it.
Finally, there’s the difficulty of getting the kids in and out of the van. The curbs are covered with about 18 inches of snow/ice. There are narrow shoveled paths, yes. But if I position the van so that Margaret’s door is in front of the shoveled path so that it’s easy to get her in, then I have to climb over the snow/ice banks to get into the street to get into my side of the van. (I think I’m not explaining this particularly well. Just think about a big mountain of snow the entire length of the street between the sidewalk and the street.)
I’m going to put my head under the covers now. Wake me when it’s March.