you can only complain once

I have this philosophy that a person should only be allowed to complain about one season of the year. If you complain that summer is just too hot, you better be prepared to be happy about the change that winter will bring.

I allow myself to complain about winter. Because, well, it is the worst.

It’s taken me several years to even pinpoint that I didn’t like winter. Classically, I fall into that horrible seasonal funk that grabs so many of us and I don’t even realize how heavy I’ve been feeling until the first sunny day in March rolls around. And oh, that is a glorious day! 

I moved to the suburbs of Phoenix when I was in sixth grade and lived in warmer climes for the next six years, throughout all of junior and senior high school. I never learned how to drive in the snow. I never owned a winter coat. I never tried skiing or snowboarding or any of those insane winter sports that some people claim to enjoy. When I moved to Chicago for college, winter became something to be avoided. I dashed from my apartment to the train. From the train to my job. From work to a warm and cozy bar to meet up with friends. If I had to wait for a bus for too long in the frigid January chill I would hail a cab. No one enjoys winter in Chicago because it’s dirty and ugly, brown slush spattering on your jeans when a car drives past the bus stop. But I survived it.

Then we moved to Minneapolis and I thought I might die. We moved there in October and immediately the heavens opened up, dumping a suffocating blanket of snow on our heads that aimed to keep us pinned in one place for the next seven months. I tried to walk my dog only to have her and I comically slip and fall repeatedly on the unbelievably icy sidewalks. Public transportation required standing in place, stamping your feet to stay warm for thirty minutes or so until the next bus decided to show up. Why would anyone choose to live like this? We moved away.

Boise has been better. The winter is shorter and there is less snow. But this season still weighs so heavily on me. The people who seem to enjoy winter enjoy the activities that it brings. But these things are so expensive. They require gear. Skill. Effort. I have none.

Yesterday our yard was covered with several inches of fresh snow. A friend emailed to say that she was bringing her kids sledding at the neighborhood park and did I want to come? In my mind I know I should try to get my kids (and myself) outside in the winter, but it’s so easy to talk myself out of it. I don’t own proper snow gear and when it comes to spending money, that’s never a priority for me. Plus, why would I want to go and roll around in something that will only get me cold and wet? It doesn’t help that both of my kids hate the snow as well. I can’t blame the baby for not liking it. He can’t walk yet and I know that I would be miserable, stuffed into an uncomfortable snowsuit and left to just sit in this bizarre shaved ice.

All this to say: SUMMER! COME QUICKLY! I’ve been dreaming of shorts and sundresses. Walking through the neighborhood and playing at the park. Going camping and eating dinner in the yard at the picnic table. A glorious string of months where if I want to spend time outside, I can simply step into our yard, no need to struggle on an uncomfortable amount of layers and try to not slip and crack my head open on our treacherous back porch.

Summer: seriously, come quickly. Or I am likely to lose it.

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