Losing the battle against winter

Moreso than in any year prior, I’ve been steadfastly resisting winter since it began late last year. I told my Mom I was calling it “Operation Ignore Winter,” and up until now, I think I’ve done pretty well, considering how much I hate the entire season.

I ran all through the fall and into the end of last year. Outside. Added layers, warmer clothing, invested in a balaclava. Soldiered on through a good bit of January. I drove slower and more carefully and layered up my daytime clothes and have been mostly successful in blocking everything out. Go to work, come home. Life life. Ignore it. But I’m losing.

Now we’re into the very toughest part of winter, and it’s really, really tough this year. School has been closed about 8 billion days so far, it’s probably going to be closed again tomorrow, and there’s more to come after that. My last long run, two weeks ago now almost, screwed up my lungs so badly (exercise-induced asthma) I’ve had a very hard time shaking my wheeze, and have had several layers of treatment for it now. It goes away for a bit, and then returns. More inhalers, more meds. I’ve never had it this long or this badly. Today it’s ok. But I was told to avoid breathing through my mouth at all out in the cold as much as possible, and that I should breathe into a scarf. I feel like an old lady with this advice, even though I know lots of winter olympics athletes suffer from EIA. My back just hurts now, like it hurts to lay down, it hurts to exercise, it hurts to sit at my desk all day. Like my body is just DONE with all this cold and shit.

The windows have been encased in plastic for about three weeks now, but the battle between me getting some light and the cold coming off the glass is like a cruel mistress who doesn’t listen to your safe word, and is giving you what THEY want instead of what YOU want. I NEED the light, every day at this point, but sitting anywhere closer than at least 10 feet away from the windows is just really damned cold. The heat in my apartment is terribly inefficient. I just keep turning it up and up. I can get my legs warm with blankets, but no amount of slippers, socks and shoes warms my feet. And typing with cold hands is not fun. And a cold face inside my home makes me super crabby. Like, eat all the bacon, drink all the wine, and never work out again crabby.

Now there’s a warning up on the apartment building door that the pipes may be freezing, that they are freezing elsewhere in the complex. If this happens, I will have to take the boy and go. Perhaps to my Moms, to cram into her tiny spare bedroom, though that would make for a nightmare commute in the morning and we’ll all be late to school/work unless we get up at the crack of dawn. Assuming there is school. I still have to work, so yeah, he has to go somewhere. He went to a daycare center today as I am trying to learn an enormous amount about something I know nothing about in a very short amount of time, so that I can write about it and sound like an expert – such is my work life. D could go to his Dad’s, but I can’t live with no running water.

Winter is all, “I won’t be IGNORED, DAN” and is smacking me around a bit. I’m trying not to lose my resolve but it’s been a tough few weeks and stress is not helping matters. My days right now seem an endless stream of coffee, laundry, work at the computer, wine, nonstop eating and desperately checking the weather for signs of improvement.

I once took a vacation. I remember it. There were jackrabbits and quail with funny feathers on top of their heads, and I climbed to the top of a mountain despite the warnings about snakes. I felt warm to my core and I went running at 7am when it was still “only” in the 80s. I ate lunch at a swim-up cafe where I was misted by cool water while I enjoyed a light salad and white wine, and I went inside my cabana when I got sunburned. I napped in a suite with the patio doors open and a fan blew a breeze around in my room, which smelled of flowers and fresh linen.

It almost seems like a dream.


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