January 10, 2011

the winter (not so) blues.

Right about now--a week or two after New Years, during the coldest and darkest of days--is when I tend to start feeling the winter blues. You know what I mean--the oh-my-gosh-the-holidays-are-over-and-there's-still-two-months-til-spring?! feeling. In the past, I've allowed myself this time as a designated hibernation period: a span of weeks when leaving the apartment could be seen as some sort of brave accomplishment worthy of a high-five.

And I was worried that this January would be one of my worst. After all, I came home last week from California to find quite an ugly picture: an apartment to be cleaned, suitcases to be unpacked, presents and decorations to be put away, six hundred pages to read, and the start of the winter quarter for my final semester of grad school... Um, yikes.

So I did what I usually do in these situations: I panicked. Freaked out. Felt anxious and overwhelmed, buried beneath the giant mound of my responsibilities. There's too much on my plate, I insisted. I can't do this, I said. Can't, can't, can't

But you know what? I did. Miracle of miracles, I got through it all. And not only that--I finished all of my work early. Two days early, to be exact. Despite the Chicago cold and the early darkness and the sheer volume of it all, I survived--thrived, even.

And I immediately thought--or I hoped, anyway--that this was a good sign. That maybe if I could handle the toughest of weeks in the beginning, the rest of 2011 would be smooth sailing... But then I realized that no, I don't think it's a sign. I don't think it's suggesting anything about the week or month or year ahead.

I think it's just me learning to handle things. Learning to suck it up and push through and trust myself. Learning, in other words, to act almost-24. 

And it might seem so small to some people. So you had a busy week, you might think, big deal. And yes, I know, getting things done during a busy week really isn't such a huge accomplishment in the scheme of things. But it was this week. It was mid-January. It was my annual time to hole up and withdraw and escape. 

But I didn't. I stepped out. I stepped up.
So, for me, yes--it was a big deal. 

I'm curious: Is this a weird time of year for you, too? 
How do you keep away from the winter blues?

(Photo: My Flickr)


mskanorado said... [Reply to comment]

Growth is such a beautiful thing and its even greater when we surprise ourselves! I can't say that I have winter blues, although, I have been reading about more and more people that seem to get it so I guess I am lucky! Sometimes the weather gets to me when its glum outside but that is throughout the whole year, and one these days I simply find something to pull me through the day may it be closing all the window, and turning on the lights in the house and turning up some music, or just something that keeps me positive and busy!

Ana* said... [Reply to comment]

Go you for finishing all your to do's "early."

I tend to forget i am an adult but my responsibilities are kind enough to always remind me. Have a nice week!!

Neely said... [Reply to comment]

Getting things done is always a big accomplishment. I am the type who puts a lot of pressure on myself and Ive had to change that. Growing is so important! Good Job Laura!! Hope you have a great last semester of grad school! Its my last semester too! Well then I have to student teach...

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

It is such an odd time for me. Really, the only way I get through this time of year is exercise. It really just grounds me. If I start wondering what I will be doing when I graduate in June I get so overwhelmed. That photo is absolutely gorgeous!! XO!

melevision said... [Reply to comment]

Luckily, living in Australia means that post christmas and new years is still summer holidays so we're able to head to the beach and relax! :)
Well done on getting through what souns like a bit of a hectic to-do list!

julierosesews said... [Reply to comment]

I get the winter blues, too... I started using a sunlight-lamp with a negative ion fan every morning. It's really helpful. And I drink lots and lots of tea!

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

This is a weird time of year for me. I never want to go outside - it's so cold! I would rather admire the pretty of winter from inside my apartment, wrapped in a blanket with a good book or movie and huge cup of hot tea. And I let myself do that a lot. Probably too much. Luckily, my dog does force me to go outside and for walks. It is really hard to fight the urge to hibernate, especially at the beginning of the quarter/semester when all the work seems like too much! Congrats on powering through!