“Congratulations,” a colleague told me yesterday.
He smiled and pointed at the cloudless blue sky through the window behind him. “For surviving the winter.”
His statement implied two things: that it was no longer winter, and that I had survived.
I do not consider myself a person of weak constitution, but I have spent more days over the last four months fighting various viral and bacterial infections than I have not. I am just now recovering from a bout of laryngitis that, when I was able to form audible words, made me sound like a child predator.
It turns out I was not alone this winter. Wall Street Journal reporter Sumathi Reddy faced the same struggle, but she went and documented why so many of us struggled with a great article titled “Sick Again? Why Some Colds Won’t Go Away.”
I entered this winter with great plans. I had new creative writing pieces to draft, others to edit. I had high ambitions on submission plans for completed manuscripts. But I also found myself struggling to get out of bed, and then to formulate complete sentences in my mind. That coupled with something I’ve already chronicled on this blog, my struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Somehow I managed to keep up a reasonable blogging schedule during the illnesses, but a lot of to-do’s went undone.
I suppose my colleague is right in saying I survived, because I am here now writing this post. But is the winter truly gone?
I’ve told myself that it is. On Sunday I took my fast-growing teenage son shopping for some new shorts. We found a few pair, but had to navigate temperatures in the 30’s and a bitter hailstorm that left store parking lots filled with icy slush. Yet while my colleague was commenting on yesterday’s blue skies and relatively warm weather (highs in the 60’s) my son was playing basketball with friends in one of his new pair of shorts. Has this winter-spring swing that keeps recurring finally stopped on spring?
As I write this ode to a spring-that-I-am-desperately-trying-to-manifest-with-positive-thinking, my whiteboard wall looms behind me. There are far too many tasks related to my art-committed life that do not yet have black dry-erase lines through them. But I must allow myself to accept that, and look forward. I can dive into that to-do list this weekend.
But perhaps I’ll also take a moment to join the throngs of tourists that will be descending upon us here in D.C. for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. A live cam of the tidal basin shows the blossoms are not yet here, but the National Park Service thinks they’re only days away. I’ll be more productive with my creative time if I also allow myself to enjoy the spring once it’s finally here, yes?