During the first few months of the new year, the north-eastern part of North America are immersed in a cold, dark existence that sometimes seems hard to face each and every day. A lot of things appear uninspiring and depressing. Fresh food is imported or greenhouse grown, a lot of people are sick with flu or strep, traffic is worse due to weather slowing us down…you know all that.
But instead of dwelling on the crappy-ness that is February up here in our time zone, let’s inspire each other with things that will help life our moods.
What inspires you during the dreary February months?
This is my list:
It helps if there’s snow about because sunshine will make snow sparkle and that will help lift most people’s moods, even if the polar vortex is punishing us with nasty windchills. Dig out those long johns and take the poochie for a walk! Or go pick up a kid at a bus stop and detour by the local library branch. Or, walk to a bakery…
Speaking of bakeries, I’m obsessed with custard. I made some once and it was way better than the store bought stuff. In a pinch, I’ll buy some if I don’t have enough eggs on hand, or time to make homemade custard. Yesterday, while waiting for a prescription to be filled, I visited the bakery next door and picked up Portuguese custard tarts. Tea and custard tarts will lift anyone’s mood!
Minor Hockey playoff season
Ok, this one is a bit of a catch-22. We’re almost in playoff season and we do a lot of running around. But I have to admit, once we’re at the rink and the puck drops, there is an excitement in the air that pales to most other excitement. Cheering on our offspring out there racing around like maniacs, it’s a mood lifting experience no matter the outcome of the game.
That’s for us introverts who don’t crave constant social attention. I’m quite happy to spend more time indoors typing away at my laptop, reading anything I can get my hands on, putter around. The idea of dressing in layers and facing the chill outside isn’t always pleasant, unless the sun is shining (see 1). Most of the time, if I have no where to go I’m perfectly content to stay in.
I love my le Creuset sets, and my slowcooker (crockpot). My mom bought them for me as various birthday or Christmas gifts and I use them a lot during the colder months. The roasts and stews, sauces and chili, and especially the hearty soups, they’re all constants in our gastronomic repertoire. I love the smell of my beef stew simmering away in my orange pot when I’m sitting at my little work desk…
By late January, once the Christmas debris has been disposed of or packed away, I start to crave colour. Sometimes, when my daughter joins me on a shopping trip, we might buy ourselves some fresh flowers. Other times, my mom may drop by and bring some. Flowers on the dining table sure do some magic in lifting the mood.
By the time hockey season comes to an end, March break is imminent and after that, spring can be and often is in the air. Sure we may get hit by snow and ice a few more times through April but it never seems as lasting as during the months of January and February. Right? Just look outside and watch the birds in late March. The birds will tell us that hope is not lost because they are preparing their nests for their babies.
Your turn. Tell us what you enjoy while passing through the winter months.