A Winter Without the Blues

February 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

Beating the winter blues—a topic I’ve seen around a lot lately. And: disturbing fact. Women are 4x as likely to get Seasonal Affective Disorder than men are. Good news for us, though! Because my solution is a female-oriented one, which involves… 

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…Having a baby! Preferably towards the start of the season (say, December 2) so that the babe is just big enough to go out after the holidays, but small enough that you are still mostly house-bound through the dreariest months. Not because it’s the most special, magical, exciting experience of your life—obviously, creating a life is all of those things—but because you’ll laugh at people who complain about the weather. Winter weather, you realize, is the least of your problems.

Whenever I have a chance to walk outside—whether it’s in a winter wonderland or the sleety city—I’m thrilled to do it, especially when I have help. Hail balls the size of grapefruits? No problem! I’ll just jog faster. See you in an hour, Max!

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Here’s my guilty maternal admission for the day (more on Vodka & citrus drinks later): sometimes I’ve just got to get away. Even the sound of a siren on the avenue can be a relief from the Little Yeller who, on any given day, seems intent on giving me tinnitus. Sometimes Max cries so loudly while I’m holding him that I literally feel my eardrums quake. On those days, I unabashedly pass him off to the sitter with a great big smile.

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And on the days when she doesn’t come, I take Max out for hours—hail balls permitting. On Tuesday, we trekked through Central Park from our apartment on 95th street to the boat pond at 72nd. We did it first in the morning, just after the sun came up, and again in the evening as it set. It makes me feel so alive to be out in the cold, and Lupe, of course, is living the doggie dream. Most importantly, a stroller walk keeps Max entertained for as long as he feels like looking at the snowy treetops, but eventually it lulls him to sleep. He reacts to his stroller in the same way that I react to riding on Metro North train: I watch the landscape for a while until, despite my best efforts to stay awake, my mouth opens, drool pools, and sleep sets in, heavy and luxurious. In short, all three of us are at our very best during a crisp winter walk. And I got bonus points for exercise, since maneuvering the stroller in the snow was a serious arm and thigh workout.

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The above are photos from Tuesday’s jaunt. As beautiful as those walks were, I relished every icy puddle and mucky snow bank I braved on Wednesday when freezing rain took over and ruined the landscape. I went away from my boy for a workout, lunch and a cup of coffee, and felt just about as thrilled as I would have a year ago on a trip to Paris. You’ll see, if you have a baby in the winter, that the small things can do wonders for your sense of contentment. And when you see those little eyes and those little lips looking for you when you come home, again, well… that’s the greatest feeling of all.    

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