Friday, January 29, 2010

Suck it Up. Go Out. Live it Up.

The older I get, the more I understand why so many people retire to Florida. Yes, Florida sucks, but maybe it only sucks for those in my age bracket. If most of the people that live there are 60+ then it might be a jolly old time when I'm old and retired, too, right?

I don't think I'm alone here when I say the winter (more specifically January 1st - April 1st) is my LEAST favorite time of the year. The months of November and December are still very fun and exciting to me. Throughout the holiday season people everywhere seem to be in a good mood and I still wake up giddy on Christmas morning. What can I say? I remain a kid at heart. And if I love it this much as an adult, I guess it means that I truly enjoy spending time with my family. But after the holidays are over, there's always that feeling of disappointment. It's the same feeling I got right after our wedding, on any flight back to Boston, after pretty much any concert and when Avatar ended (thank god for sequels). I am President of the anticipation fan club.

But I haven't always despised winter this much. When I was a kid, I loved it because I was an avid skier and just like any other normal kid, I loved snow days and playing in the snow - going sledding, having snowball fights, building snowmen, building forts, etc. When you're an adult snow takes on a whole new meaning: shoveling, digging out your car, dangerous driving conditions. Last time I checked none of those things is fun for anyone. And, sadly, I've come to realize that I don't enjoy skiing anymore. Not so much because of the cold, but because it scares the hell out of me. I guess I've passed that whole risky behavior stage of my life.

The obvious question is, well, why not move? Just like most people, my talk about "moving" is just that - talk. Moving is not an option for me at this point in my life because a.) I like my family too much and b.) I just don't have the balls to do it. So, the question then becomes how do we get through another New England winter?

This year my New Year's resolution is geared towards answering this question. (For the record, I HATE New Year's resolutions and I very rarely make them. I'm onto you people who crowd my gym for the month of January only to lose 5 pounds and never return). So, what is my resolution? To STOP wishing my life away. We all do it, week after week. In the winter we can't wait for spring and Monday through Thursday (year round) we can't wait for the weekend. The majority of us hate going to work. Not everyone has the balls (or the money) to quit their lame job and pursue their "dream job" and then go on Oprah to talk about it and tell America how they, too, can follow their dreams. I don't care how much you say you LOVE your job. In the words of Loverboy, everybody's working for the weekend.

So, how DO we get through this long, cold New England winter or, in the shorter term, how do we get through a LONG ASS week like the one we are finishing up right now? Well, I'm not about to split the atom here. The answer is simple: find little things to look forward to each day or each week and don't NOT do something because it's a Monday or a Tuesday. Don't wait until the weekend to see a movie or go out to dinner. Trivia on a Tuesday? Sure! A beer dinner on Wednesday? Yes! I know it's lame, but even looking forward to certain TV shows (e.g. final season of LOST!!) can help you get through the day. But for this to work you have to be somewhat of an optimist. Constant complainers aren't going to succeed. And it helps if you actually like the people you go home to each night.

I'll tell you some of the things I'm looking forward to...

1. Today is Friday, so that's a start.
2. Tomorrow is Mexican night with Matt and our own homemade habanero infused tequila.
3. Burger tasting on Monday night.
4. Lost season premiere on Tuesday night.
5. Olympics begin in 2 weeks.
6. Oh yeah and in 2 weeks it will be February vacation which means I'm off to Florida. Yes, I'll be amongst the blue hairs and the diabetics once again, but at least (hopefully) it will be warm. I'll take anything that's a step away from the normal routine.

You get the idea. Try not to spend the whole winter wishing it was summer. It's counterproductive to complain about things you can't change, like the weather. And stop wishing it was Friday all the time. Instead, just live your life as if every day were Friday. (Seriously, did I just write that?) There are 7 days in the week and they all deserve your undivided attention. Most importantly, when everything around you seems to suck, try to be Mr. Brightside. In doing so, maybe you'll make someone else's day too. Now if I can just heed my own advice...

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