Facebook status on February 12th, 2014:
While freezing my butt off walking around the city last night and this morning, I made a very important decision. I’m setting aside $20 a week in 2014 to fund a Caribbean vacation in January/February 2015 because if next winter is anything like this winter, I don’t think I’ll get through it without a break. WHO’S WITH ME?
6 hours later, I had three spreadsheets worth of data on Caribbean destinations. Which destinations have direct flights for reasonable-ish prices, what the going rates are for hotels in said destinations, and a sheet calculating the estimated total costs for a 4-5 day break from this frozen wasteland that is the Mid-Atlantic. I don’t care if I can’t find anybody to go with me. As God is my witness, I’m going.
Winter and I have never been friends. During the college selection process, I was considering a few schools in Boston, until I went up to visit. It was late April, practically May. I took one look at the still completely lifeless trees and said, “NOPE.”
My friends from college still remember the Niagara Falls trip of 2007 as the most miserable they have seen me in the entire time we’ve known each other. We were in Buffalo for the NCAA tournament and somebody decided it’d be a super great idea to walk across the bridge that links the US to Canada so we could look at the Falls. I had not packed enough layers to accommodate such a venture and wanted to punch every single person in our group who strolled along like it was a gorgeous spring day and stopped frequently to take photos.
Yes, summer can be unbearably hot, but it’s a lot easier for me to cool down than it is for me to warm up. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I have low blood pressure. But once I’m cold, it’s game over. I just can’t get warm.
It occurred to me a few years back that I may have some form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD–how appropriate). It’s not that I’m depressed in the winter, I’m completely functional, but I don’t realize just how “set in low gear” I am until the first warm, sunny day in the spring. When that day comes around, I feel like a million bucks. I grin from ear to ear. I feel like I could run a race. Do a jig. I rush for the outdoors, breathing in the balmy air deeply. I drink up the sun. I want to hug it. I feel it bringing new life into the very cells of my body, awakening it from some long slumber. I really feel like I can do anything when this beautiful, perfect day arrives.
(And before you suggest I get one of those natural light machines for the winter, don’t. They aren’t the same. I don’t care what anyone says.)
This is why this winter has been slowly sucking the life out of me. I, and I think most other people if my colleagues are any indication of the broader population, just feel defeated. Completely and utterly defeated. The one thing that is getting me through is the fact that the days are getting longer. Twilight not setting in until 5:30pm really makes a difference.
So that is why I plan to make my Caribbean escape next winter.
Oh, and in case there was any question, Dude shares my sentiments.