just want to be here

Well, it finally happened. I thought I could escape and outsmart it this year. I thought I could outrun it, and I thought I could will it away with positive thoughts and good vibes.

But the winter blues have hunted me down like a lion stalking its prey, and they have thrown everything they have at me. If it's not bitterly cold, it's a snowstorm. That is not a complaint, though. That's stone cold reality. Now, as a mostly stay-at-home-parent, this means there is no escape. Most days, the temperature makes it truly unsafe for a baby to be outside for any real length of time. This means no walks, no adventures, and no jaunts about town. Our apartment gets little to no sunlight, and for the love of all that is good and holy, if I have to plan my outfits around wearing snow boots for one more day, I'm going to lose it.

Wow. That was a super negative paragraph. People, don't think I haven't tried my usual positive thinking tricks. I'm well aware how fortunate I am to have a home to be trapped inside, and how awesome it is that I have 2 pairs of warm boots to protect myself from the elements. But somehow those thoughts have not staved off the lethargy, carb cravings, and little desire to do anything but wrap myself in a blanket like a burrito.

The weather affects me. There, I said it. It makes me feel and sound weak. And I hate that. But it takes a mighty strong person to resist the February in Minnesota (or almost anywhere else in the country right now) blues.

I think admitting that helps. I'm trying to be aware of what I am feeling, put a name on the feeling, and let myself feel it.

So now the question remains. How does one get out of the winter funk? Naturally, I turned to the internet for solutions. Some of the suggestions made my brain think in angry emojis. "Try to get some fresh air and be outside." WELL IF I COULD DO THAT THEN I WOULDN'T BE GOOGLING SOLUTIONS FOR THE WINTER BLUES. The rest were pretty standard. In fact, I probably could have written any one of the 50 articles that gave the same 5 pieces of advice: eat healthy, exercise, get outside, buy a light box, take it easy on the caffeine.


Honestly, one of the most helpful pieces of advice came from Matthew McConaughey of all people. He is talking about a piece of advice he got from Jay Leno years ago. What he has to say here is profoundly simple.

Want to be here.

I heard that, and I just thought, "Well, alright then. I want to be here. Even if here is Minnesota in the winter."

My day wasn't automatically perfect after hearing that, but I did notice that I felt a little less anxious and a little more peaceful. I felt a teeny bit more motivated to get off the couch and work out. I enjoyed the scent of my incense a little bit more. My baby's smile was a bit more endearing. I was extra happy to see my husband come home from work.

Ok, winter. I'm here, so this is where I want to be. Do your worst.

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