Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Regarding Winter

This is not a happy post.

Winter and I, we ain't friends. I hate it so much that I can’t even begin to understand or empathize with anyone who loves it. And while I know everyone's physiology is different and it’s no one’s intention to make me feel angry and marginalized with their winter-love, that’s usually the end result. I struggle not to snap at people who romanticize this bloody season.

Now there's snow on the ground in my part of the world, I figured I’d give myself one long form, not-directed-at-anyone snap in the hope that posting it will be therapeutic. If not, it’ll at least it’ll give me something to point to when people start telling me I should just put on another layer and drink some fucking cocoa because hey, winter’s totes the best season.

So, yeah. I hate winter because:

My hands don’t work properly when they’re chilled, and my poor circulation means they freeze in no time flat. If I wear gloves, I have trouble using my hands and they freeze quickly. If I wear mittens, I can’t do a single fucking thing with my hands and they still freeze almost as fast as they do when I’ve got gloves on.

Outwear severely restricts my mobility, and no matter how much of it I pile on it never keeps the wind from freezing me to my core. On top of that, the constant pressure scarves place on my throat leaves me feeling ill unless I tug them out so far that I lose all warmth-related benefit. I can barely move, I want to throw up, and I'm still too. fucking. cold.

The sidewalks here are always slick with ice, so I can’t walk at anything approaching a decent pace. I have to pick my way carefully from crunchy patch to crunchy patch lest I fall and hurt myself.

Which is a legit issue, lemme tell you. My left knee sometimes gives me grief because I slipped and smashed it into some bumpy ice about ten years back. (Bumpy ice is what happens when the snow thaws into slush then immediately refreezes into slick, shiny mounds devoid of the crunchy patches that make for safe walking.) Most of the time it’s fine, but every so often it decides it’d rather not bend without pain, or it refuses to raise my foot far enough off the ground, or it just plain aches. It’s been acting up these last couple of weeks.

Thanks, winter. Thanks a fucking lot.

I need physical activity to keep on an even keel, and I need a goodly portion of it to be outside, in the fresh air, with green, growing things all around me. I can’t take long outdoor walks in winter because of the aforementioned freezing issues and the icy sidewalks, and everything’s either pure white (if it’s just snowed) or filthy brown (if the snow’s been down for an hour or two).

Speaking of snow, I’m certain most of the people who romanticize it never have to actually deal with it. It’s wet and heavy and terrible, and I usually have to shovel it in shifts because of how quickly my hands freeze. It’s pretty for that hour or so. After that, it’s a fucking hellscape.

When the snow’s fresh and the sun’s out, I’m basically blind from the glare. When the snow’s dirty and the sky’s cloudy, I still have to deal with watery eyes and fogged glasses, so I can’t see anything. Guess how well that jives with the issues mentioned above.

I have shitty lungs, so I cough all. winter. long. On occasion, I’ve coughed so hard that I’ve burst back-of-the-eye blood vessels my optometrist says you're really not supposed to burst unless you have a serious condition.

My nose turns into a tap when it’s cold out. I constantly have to take my mittens off so I can fish a kleenex out of my pocket, and you can guess how that contributes to the frozen hands issue.

And most of all, winter fucks with my mental health. It steals the things I need, like the outdoors and the ability to use my body in anything like my usual fashion, and it confines me to indoor spaces that are never warm enough to suit me.

So if it’s all the same to you, I’ll pass on the rhapsodic rants about how great sweater weather is and how delicious people find cocoa and how winter is the best, just the best. You wanna say that stuff, you say it to somebody else.

(I'm serious. Save your thoughts on how much you love winter for somebody else's comments section. I don't want us to fall out over your winter-love.)


  1. Well then I wish you some distant future in a winter-less place. Or a not too distant future, though I assume you would have moved long ago if that was an option. Let's just all hope it ends quickly.

    1. One wishes countries would grant residence visas simply because people hate being cold.

  2. I so very much agree. My loathing for winter grows with each passing year. As soon as the first day of crisp fall weather arrives, I begin to become depressed that winter is practically upon us. Snow was fun back when I was able bodied and a few inches granted us a snow day from school here in "There's three inches!" panicland. Now snow is just an exercise in fear of falling, of throwing my back out clearing snow off the car again, and with a recently repaired broken ankle, my terror of slippery surfaces only grows. By February my mental health is such that I pretty much want to crawl out of my skin from utter madness if I'm not too busy being depressed.

    So yeah, when some perky winter lover says, "Oh I can't wait for it to snow!" and you start to feel homicidal, know that you are not alone! ;-)

  3. Yesterday Z said that he was going to be miserable until April. He absolutely hates cold and dark days. He got it from me!

  4. So I guess the only positive of winter is all of Murchie's most festive outfits coming out.

    Here's to hoping you get a short one this year. Poor circulation/joint problems/stir craziness is no joke.

    1. Murchie's little sweaters are pretty durned cute, and he's got a jingly collar he wears on extra-special occasions.

  5. Aw, I'm sorry! I wish our postal rates were reasonable so I could send you a rice bag to help you out. HUG.

    1. Fear not, friend; I am rice bag equipped.

      (Assuming it's one of those bags you heat up in the microwave. I think mine actually has beans or non-popping corn or something in it.)

  6. I am with you 100% on these feelings toward winter!