Some people claim there are no seasons in California. But having lived the majority of my life there, I can honestly say those people are wrong. Sure, the changes are subtle, particularly in Southern California. With the shorter days come frosty mornings and chilly, damp afternoons. The midday sun sticks around for just a few hours rather than blaze all day. Some days the fog hangs around only to lift at noon and reappear just before dusk, and some days it never leaves. The irony is not lost on us native, beach loving Californians. And yes, the trees lose their leaves, unless of course you can witness the majesty and grandeur of the evergreen giant Sequoias in the High Sierras. We even had a lawn that was…wait for it…Kentucky Bluegrass, meaning it goes dormant in the cooler months of the year. Perhaps a bit of foreshadowing?
Since moving to Nashville, I have made many changes and learned new habits. But the toughest, by far, is learning to adapt to the cold winters. It is all relative, I know. My friends from the Northeast and upper Midwest feel like they have died and gone to heaven. But for me, the cold months are my own private H#@@! In fact although I simply adore the Fall here, by October I am already counting the days until the beast of Winter will arrive and in January I begin the countdown until the buds appear on the trees.
But lest I sound like I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (at least I don’t think I do), I have developed some tools for getting through the dark cold winter:
- Shopping: Yes, I will find just about any excuse to enhance my wardrobe and what better way than adding a splendid array of coats, jackets, sweaters, scarves and boots. I confess I do not love bundling up in layers but if I have to, I am going to look fashionable doing it! In fact, my favorite purchase is the plaid coat I found last year and absolutely adore.
- Go outside: The first few years I avoided going out unless absolutely necessary. But a couple of years ago we brought home a new puppy, which necessitated taking him out for potty training and exercise. I learned that by braving the cold, I am actually adapting, just a bit, to the sensation. Last winter I even trained myself to bundle up for outdoor runs with the dog. It only really hurts the first few minutes until I start to sweat. I also find the time spent in the sunshine, even when it is cold, helps lighten my mood and I feel strong and brave.
- Embrace cozying up inside: On those icy, wet days when I just cannot bear to bundle up, get out and face it, I hunker down with a blanket, a hot cup of coffee and some great music. On those days I find I am at my most creative and can spend hours at the computer writing. I have learned that rather than fighting what I cannot change, I can find the gifts in the opportunity to stay inside and lose myself.
Happy Winter everyone! And, let the Spring countdown begin!
How do you deal with Winter? Are you like me, just getting through or do you thrive in the cold? HerSavvy women want to know! Send us your comments and suggestions.