I am supposed to study lecture One of my Anatomy and Physiology course for tomorrow but I got distracted by the huge amount of snow I saw looking through my window. And it keeps on snowing. Winter in Canada is no joke. This is my second almost fully experienced winter here in Ottawa; almost because I spent three weeks last year of December/January in Germany. It is not even the snow, ice and insane cold (- 38 Celsius for now) that is distracting. It is more the duration or length of it all. Winter literally starts here by the end of October. It gets cold and uncomfortable first and then the snow comes. And it lasts until March/beginning of April but there was still some snow early in May. This snow never melts. It stays and more gets added. If it melts in May, everything is flooded and then it snows again shortly after or freezes over.
I love sunshine and warmth. Sun makes me happy and I can almost literally feel how my Vitamin D tank gets filled up while laying in the sun. For some reason, the same pattern appears every year. I am at the playground with my son by the end of September and we are playing. The sun is shining, we are laying in the grass still, I look up and see some red and brown leaves. Suddenly something inside of me turns off and reminds me of who I am, where I am and that I live and exist. The leaves remind me who I am. Is this weird? Colder months are approaching and it is visible now. Yet, Australia is still an option. 😉
Now, for me, winter means staying inside or more being trapped inside and not being able to move around freely. I am not a winter-sport person. I like ice-skating but skiing or snowboarding: no thank you. The thought of being outside in the cold just does not make me happy. Don’t get me wrong, I do have all the Canadian winter survival outfit. From Ski-mask to goggles to winter pants to put on thousands of layers and of course my Canada Goose Jacket my mom bought for me. It all still sucks and is cold after a while. I spent countless hours outside with other moms and their kids building forts, igloos, and slides but c’mon… all we really wanted to do was to go inside and warm up ( and drink wine or eat chocolate and smoke). But, according to the universe, things like this aren’t up for debate once you have a kid, eh.
Another thing that bothers me about winter is that I feel constantly thirsty and dry. My skin feels itchy and my hair feels frizz or dull. Everything takes forever and it feels like doing anything spontaneously needs a lot of planning. Just getting my kid ready in the morning: wow. To put on his snow-suit takes up ten minutes easily. Getting this kid ready: first major task in the morning.
A friend told me the other day that she loves winter because she feels that there is always a certain kind of safety in the cold. Something that makes you stay indoors and keep to yourself and distracts from this feeling that you need to party. I just looked at her blankly because what does “need to party” feel like? I need a little reminder since I forgot after I had my son. Going out always means to call a babysitter/desperate teen from the neighborhood in need of money. The little things. But hey, it is so easy to raise a kid some say. Anybody can do it. This is all so much easier than to work in Somalia for example I reckon. It is the daily stuff of being a parent that catches up slowly. Of being a parent. Of being present. Of being off the phone.
Staying in brings comfort yet doing so in the summer incites guilt: one has to go outside and play. Especially here in Canada. Kind of: When the sun is out we are outside because winter is just around the corner. At this point I am just tired of layers of clothing and that the cold seems to separate me from everything. But one good thing about this winter is that I was able to work on my thesis and was somewhat more productive since I could not do anything else really but work on this project and type along. My thesis analyzed genuine suicide notes and I read a lot of research that suggested that suicide rates increased in the winter months here in Canada since people are generally more depressed; especially up North of Canda where the winter is even worse. The seasonal changes here in Canada are another topic really. There are several emotions that I dealt with last winter. To name a few, there were sadness, laziness, malaise and even loneliness. I do not think that this will be the case or an issue this year since I have support that I have not had before. The help of Intellilink and one special person who gets me Premium Gold if I really want to install it even with red lights blinking and water pouring through the sprinklers and that students do not get grades.
There was a tiny sunset earlier today when the sky just opened up quickly for five minutes or six and it meant my happiness faucet just kept pouring joy realizing how amazing spring and summer will be.