Although I was born and raised in north central Indiana with frigid icy winters that often had temperatures that dipped well below zero Fahrenheit, I was born in July, the midst of summer and love hot, humid, sultry weather. My feet feel numb when the temperature dips below 55 F. I need shearling lined boots, down comforters or duvets, cashmere shawls in the house and office, a fur or shearling long coat and hat, a fireplace, a scarf that wraps around my head, face and neck, and a cat to sit on my feet. That is, until I get a hot flash. Then I have to shed the layers, turn on all of the fans, and walk outside in my yoga clothes, barefoot, until the heat subsides. Then – I’m back to freezing. And I’m sweaty. Yuk!
So, the change in weather affects my mood. Despite the good fortune of having a lovely Indian summer this October, the approaching winter makes me want to hibernate. I feel tired, out of sorts, discombobulated, off-kilter, frustrated, overwhelmed by work and somewhat apathetic.
While I know I am extremely blessed and do feel gratitude that I no longer have to spend 6 hours in a car or train commuting each day, that my job affords me a significant amount of autonomy, that I have the respect of my team, and that I truly am at the top of my game, I’ve had to actively remind myself of my good fortune and let the stress go. It has been a struggle the last several weeks. I do not work outside in the elements. Nobody will die if something falls through the cracks. I do not have to fear illness from treating Ebola patients. So what is the source of my angst?
It is the change of seasons. While there is beauty around me as the leaves turn vibrant colors and the air is till somewhat warm – I know that just around the corner is winter – when the trees are bare, the air is cold, the mornings and evenings are dark, and the landscape is gray.
I know this too shall pass. And I have to accept what is. But I don’t have to embrace it with gusto. I just need to adapt and look forward to the spring that will come, the daffodils, roses, iris, and tulips. That will get me through the darkness. The memories of what will come.
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