When I was younger, snow was a novelty. I used to get excited for snow days, doing a “snow dance” of sorts and anxiously awaiting the call that school would be closed. I loved playing in the snow with friends, making snowmen, animals and forts, and having snow ball fights. It used to be fun. It used to be more tolerable.
Then, this year happened. All of these “polar vortexes” and blizzards with names like “Hercules” and “Nika.” First of all, I don’t understand the whole polar vortex concept, because I thought vortexes were circles, like the eye of a hurricane. And also on that note, why did the Weather Channel decide that last year these snowstorms were worthy of having an identity? They also act like each one is the end of the world, with breaking news alerts telling us we are going to get another inch or two.
I don’t completely despise snow, surprisingly. At the right moment, I look out the window and think, that’s pretty. It’s also nice when it decorates around Christmastime. But sometimes, enough is enough. And that is where we are at now. Sure, living in Michigan means there’s an end to it somewhere down the line (unlike, say, if you lived in Alaska or Greenland) but right now, that end feels nowhere in site. And there are many things that make winter (especially this one) particularly annoying, even though I don’t live in the snowiest of places.
1. The roads
When it snows, the roads get bad. They’re slippery, and making a turn often leaves you feeling like your car is spiraling out of control (a true polar vortex). Snowy roads require a different kind of driving. If you never lived in an extremely snowy climate, it might come as some what of a shock. But even in snowy states, it seems like every year, people forget what this white stuff is. They either drive way too slow (<10 mph) or act like a residential road is an expressway. Isn’t there a happier medium to snow transportation?
2. The clothes
Winter fashions can be fabulous, but at the same time, there are many things you can’t wear. For example, I wore my moccasins in the snow, and it left me with cold feet and salt-covered pants for the rest of my workday. You have to make changes, and honestly, investing in at least a mid-calf boot is important, preferably a lined one for warmth. But you can’t always wear these all day, so you’re going to have to take a pair of shoes with you. Winter coats are cute, and can be accessorized with fun scarves, gloves and hats. But the bulky feeling of wearing a wool sweater with a cami and a puffy down coat is often very unbearable. Then sometimes you get in the car and start sweating on the way to your destination (first world problems, I know, but still annoying). There isn’t really a solution to it, because it’s something that must be done.
3. Flu season
The colder weather seems to be the time when flu and colds are more rampant. And even if you drink your daily orange juice, take vitamins and use a ton of hand sanitizer, if you’re gonna get the flu, you’re gonna get the flu. When the weather is cold, it’s tempting to stay inside, because stepping into subzero temperatures makes you sniffle and cough a ton. It’s just inevitable, but I guess there’s not a better time to be stuck inside sick than when the weather is unpleasant.
4. Brutal temperatures
As mentioned above, winter, obviously, is very cold. This year has been no exception. Many days have been below zero, with very cold “wind chills.” Which gets school cancelled (even more than in the past, when I was young, wind chill meant indoor recess. what is all this?) but most people still have to go places anyway. For me, the cold temperatures and constant snow of this winter has made me lazier when it comes to exercise. Sure I’ll hit the treadmill occasionally, but I love running or riding my bike outside, neither of which are really possibly with the icy sidewalks (if they are even shoveled). This also gets me to another point– new year’s resolutions. People always go to the gym and start a new diet in January for the upcoming summer season, but these colder days are the most difficult to cut calories, so it doesn’t make much sense.
5. Lack of sunlight
Something about the sunshine disappearing makes it harder to feel chipper. Everything is bright with the glowing snow covering the ground, but the skies are usually grey in the winter. We are lacking in that much-needed Vitamin D that only the sun can provide, and thus, feel a bit more down. So it’s important to keep busy– exercise inside (even though it might not be as great as a nice outdoor walk), take up a new hobby, bake, clean, START A BLOG– whatever you need to do to distract yourself and give yourself goals that you can achieve.
Not everything is bad about winter though. It’s pretty, it makes large insects go away. And most of all, it makes you appreciate the warmer seasons more. While it is cold, seasons make the year more interesting– you know something new is coming, eventually.