March can be the cruelest month for a north-easterner. Technically, it's spring. The clocks have sprung forward. The lion is destined to become a lamb at any moment. Any moment now. Waiting for the lamb. The snow flakes are still floating through the air these past few days, in spite of the increase in daylight and the arrival of spring.
I've gotten back to the gym following a prolonged winter hibernation and healing process. At the end of a particularly grueling hill climb in a recent spinning class, I watched snow-laden clouds gather over the billboard that now features a car instead of shirtless Abercrombie models of months past. As the sweating masses on stationary bikes (going nowhere) anticipated cresting the imaginary hill and being rewarded with the sweet feeling of an imaginary flat road on the other side, we were instead instructed to sit down and "push through."
That is what I feel I am doing now that I am once more encased in down from head to toe. Pushing through. I'm making note of every robin, every tip of crocus leaf, every bud. I'm searching desperately for the smell of damp earth beyond the chill in the air. It must be there somewhere, just around the corner of April.
I used to be opposed to texting because I thought it allowed people to too easily avoid a phone conversation. Now I love texting because it allows me to easily avoid a phone conversation.
I used to talk to my friends on the phone for hours, locked in my room with the cordless phone until it died. Now we email.
I used to talk to my parents at least once a week. Now they are all international and we'll meet on Skype.
Now I say "I'm not a phone person." My friends all say to each other, oh it's ok that we don't talk that often because we're not really phone people. And, it's true.
Technology is a gift in that it allows me to send a pal a quick "I'm thinking of you," passively keep up with old aquaintances I would otherwise know nothing about by reading their walls, I have the freedom to write to the ether about my random musings, and I've even made a few "internet" friends. But...
Today is a snow day. I think I enjoy them even more as an adult, except now I have my computer and email and phone at home with me. Still, it's a reprieve. And so, I am paying attention to the storm that has granted me this quiet time at home in my dimly lit apartment, baking bread, sipping mimosas, watching snow swirl.
Last night, the wind woke me up. It sounded like a living being, moaning, howling, shrieking; I listened to the millions of unique six-pointed snowflakes batter the glass. I thought about how strong the forces outside my walls are, and how warm and safe I am inside.
Davy Jones + penguin = love
Rather, P + penguin = love
At long last, I have my own personal penguin. P has adopted me a little blue penguin from the New England Aquarium and I love, love, love him/her. Please enjoy the vocal stylings of Davy Jones (whom I would have asked to the prom if I weren't 32 and didn't already have a fabulous husband) to celebrate.
While not a formal resolution, a proper lunch seems to be making all the difference to my mental health so far this year. It is not helping me save money, lose weight, or drink less, but it does create a structured amount of time to step away from my desk, spend time with a friend, and relax for an hour (or an hour and a half if I'm feeling bold).
Yesterday, while debating whether or not to enjoy a cocktail at my proper lunch with the delightful J (Me: No, I won't. I won't, no. Well, I'm going to the gym tomorrow so maybe), she enabled me in the most effective way: "Whatever," she said, "I'm having champagne. The French drink wine with lunch, it's normal."
Indeed! I looked around at the other people having lunch and wondered why we deny ourselves the small things. And so, we had a glass of champagne, we clinked glasses, and even returned to work with time left on the meter. In 2011: I resolve not to deny myself the little things.