I'm craving the outdoors.

Dear 30,

I don't know what I'm talking about either. This doesn't sound like me. "I miss outside?" I don't' know where that came from. But I know I mean it. Especially tonight. 

Snow squalls made tonight's commute stressful.
The kind of stressful where you:

  • have to turn the radio off even though The Cuckoo's Calling is on the final chapter and you FINALLY find out what happened to Lula
  • curse at the road ahead of you and that jerk who is driving on your bummer as you inch your way up the Hickman hill fearing you'll be stuck in the middle of the road like the 4 cars ahead of you
  • shift into D3 (whatever that means)
  • call your boyfriend hoping he'll be able to magically make the situation less nerve-wracking, then get frustrated with him in addition to road (For no reason, because clearly HBF does not control the weather or the road conditions. Wait, does he? Sorry Kev, terrifying snow driving brings out the crazy in us all.)

Once in my own driveway, and after peeling my hands off the steering wheel, I thanked my sweet Honda, aloud, for not slipping all over the road and carrying me safely home, and then I poured myself a Basil Hayden's on ice.

Remember days like this? The days of lawn beers and tank tops? Days ending in sunsets at 7:47pm. I do. I remember.

Remember days like this? The days of lawn beers and tank tops? Days ending in sunsets at 7:47pm. I do. I remember.

I just want to take deep breaths of outside air without spit freezing on my teeth. I want to drive with the windows down. Hell, I want to wear chacos. I would even like a cold beer to get warm a bit too soon because the sun is beating down on my hands. This article tells me that 10% of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I would not, until recently, have counted myself as one of them.

I'm a life long Iowan, and damn proud of it. I know winter. I know that kind of cold that feels like it's seeped into your skin and is now inhabiting your bones. I know snow driving, an embarrassingly painful ice fall and the value of Netflix in January. But I also know the beauty of snowglobe style flakes, the way snow gets caught in your eye lashes making you feel like a Covergirl commercial extra with rosy cheeks and perfect eyeliner and effortless winter hair. I know the coziness of sweaters and the silent perfection of a winter night.

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This year, however, I miss the streams and the decks and the sundresses. I might even say I'd miss fishing, but I won't. This year I miss patio drinks, sparklers, wind blown hair matted to my face and, dare I say it, shorts. I miss sunshine and outside-ness. Does this mean I'm seasonally affected? Or does this mean I have a Vitamin D deficiency? Maybe it means i'm still recovering from the drive home? Whatever my affliction, I'll be paper-chaining my way to springtime. 

How do you stay sunny in a winter slump?

While I'm waiting for your advice, I'll wear more layers tomorrow, be warmed sun thru windows and stop cursing snow squalls. And this weekend I'll lighting sparklers in the snow.  

xo-LP