Last week, on New Year’s Day, I was fighting a crippling bout of depression and hanging by my fingernails onto a slender thread of hope that things might get better in 2019.
Today, I’m feeling (almost) like myself again.
I know I’ve said it before, and I know I’m probably a little bit crazy, but I have to give most of the credit to winter.
Unlike the rest of the world, I seem to thrive on arctic blasts of wind and nightfall coming even before my dad and I eat our early-bird dinner sometime around 5:00 p.m.
The crisp, cold air; the gray skies keeping things looking (to me, at least) calm and steady (as opposed to too much sunlight, which I always find painful to the eyes and distracting to the brain); and, of course, the fresh start of the New Year: These things always seem to combine to leave me feeling terrific—at least most of the time—until the hot weather comes back, sometime around May (if not earlier, these days).
I’ll take whatever mood boost I can get—and I’ll enjoy it even more because I can see that most people around me are feeling exactly the opposite:
Where I’ve become chipper and cheerful, everybody else has turned surly. And seeing just how grumpy everyone is makes me notice even more how good I feel (after being down for so long).
And I need to feel good because there’s a lot of work ahead, not just with my actual writing and editing, but in my personal life.
Here’s a confession:
I finally mustered up the guts to step on the scale for the first time in almost 2 years, to discover that I’ve gained nearly 20 pounds (gasp!), only a handful of which I can legitimately blame on the huge calf muscles I’ve been developing from all my running over the past several years.
I should probably feel sadder about the 20-pound gain, but if I’m being honest, I kind of expected the number to be 30 pounds, so I won’t complain. I did enough of that in 2018.
And the fact that a jarring piece of bad news like this big weight gain hasn’t soured my mood—and has, in fact, increased my motivation to run more, eat better, and keep working harder every day—tells me I’m finally back on the right track.
Thank you, 2019—and thank you, Old Man Winter.