Winter Makes Me Squirrelly

Winter Makes Me Squirrelly

Katie O'Connor

“Summer is coming.” I tell myself this everyday and if it is snowing outside, I repeat it multiple, multiple times. Despite hating the cold and growing depressed over the piles and sheets of ice that take up parking spots and walkways, I’m used to it. I do truly cherish the way we experience all four seasons, winter of course being my least favorite. Yeah the first snowfall is magical and hot chocolate on a snowy evening is awesome but enough is enough.

Once the holidays are over, everyone seems to hunker down and disappear. The endorphins are at an all time low and my pale Irish skin is see through. I hate it.

To me this is the hardest time of year with barely any sports on and the lack of daylight along with the bone chilling cold. Working in a bar and a restaurant I cant help but notice that the shifts are dragging by because people are staying home. A combination of bad weather and piled up credit card bills keep folks at home for a good 3 months after Christmas, a very long, drawn out 3 months. I get social anxiety and tense when I lack human interaction with people I usually see all the time.

There are those out there who take great pleasure in the winter months and could bask in the snowfalls, slush and ice. Getting stuck inside the house because of the conditions outside is enough to drive me to insanity unless I have work that evening in which case, I have to venture out. I don’t like to be cooped up, I get nutty.

On the other hand, if I have work at the restaurant, it’s a seven mile drive, seven deadly miles of inclines and hills and that makes me wish I did stay home. The amount of unnecessary car accidents that are caused by bad weather and the idiots who don’t know how to drive in it is astonishing.

It took me 45 minutes to break up a thick blanket of ice that my cars wheels were spinning out on last week at 5am after closing the neighborhood bar. I have the blisters on my hands from the shovel and the frozen tears on the street as proof that winter sucks and is unforgiving, Throughout that time I thought of how I wouldn’t even have driven my car to the 5 blocks if this were summertime, I would have walked.

Grasping at straws, I’ll look for any excuse to keep my head up like psyching myself up for baseball season because spring training has started. Daylight Savings time is near and I will gladly trade an hour of sleep for an extra hour of daylight. St. Patrick’s Day is coming and that’s always a hoot, even if there is a huge possibility of a snowstorm in March.

Just to make things clear, I live for summer, everything and anything that goes along with it. Never would I ever complain about a heat wave because I’m mentally scarred from the winter months and how I was never able to stay warm. Everything from my sunburn to the AC in my car not really working, it is all a reminder that I am not miserably freezing my ass off on a short depressing day in the middle of winter.

Summer means so many things to me that it’s difficult to just focus on one feeling, emotion or memory. I accomplish things in warmer weather, my attitude is better, I’m nicer to people and maybe I’m just elated from seeing the sun but everything just seems better.  I am at ease.

This is the homestretch people. This is where we hit the gym and get motivated for those beach bodies, or for people like myself, pretend we are going to.  This is the time of year where you buy that bathing suit for motivation for a better diet and exercise.

As I am ready to put the shovels away for the year, my father told me the Farmer’s Almanac predicts two more major storms in March before we’re in the clear.  Feeling like a three year old who does not understand, I immediately feel the urge to cry because I do not want it to happen yet I know I have zero input with Mother Nature and her plans. All I can do is tell myself, “Summer is coming.”