thankful, but S.A.D.

‘Tis the season to be jolly and thankful and chilly and all that.

Usually for holidays my husband and I make our way down to central Florida to celebrate with my (small but fierce) family. But this time around, my mom actually came up and stayed with us for Thanksgiving. For the first time EVER I actually got to help prepare the meal! Dan was in charge of the turkey and my mom and I split the sides. I’d like to think I’m getting closer to my goal of ultimate wifely perfection, but to be honest, I think I’m just getting really good at throwing random food items into casserole dishes and operating hand mixers (though roughly five minutes after the above photo was snapped, we had to throw the mixer away because it caught fire. I’m really hoping that isn’t my fault but, let’s be real, it probably is.)

We set up our table out on our back porch and the three of us enjoyed each other and our Thanksgiving spread al fresco. It was really nice. The weather was hovering around 80 degrees, but we found comfort in a light breeze under dancing shadows of leafy (and still green) tree limbs. After we held hands and thanked God for all our blessings, my mind rested in the moment. My usually chipper and bouncy demeanor noticeably shifted to a calm, quiet, and pensive disposition. I realized that I do have a lot to be thankful for. A loving God, a cute (albeit extremely quirky and creaky) house, a sweet and loving husband, a wonderful mom, an adorably obnoxious cat, good health, great friends, incredible church family, beautiful weather…

And all of a sudden I started to feel rather melancholy for what seemed like no particular reason.

My 25th birthday was six days later. The day itself was great. I came in to work to find my cube had been decorated by my coworkers.

My boss also bought me a birthday present: a grande skinny cinnamon dulce latte from Starbucks. Yum!

Then, my good pal Randy took me out for sushi for lunch. It’s my favorite food, you know. But when I stepped outside the office at noon and was greeted by the chilling 50-degree-air, my birthday spirits were crushed by the dreary feeling I’d felt only days before on Thanksgiving.

Freaking. Cold.

I think I usually give late fall/winter a fair chance. I start out so optimistic! I think of all the turkey, birthday cake, and Christmas presents coming my way and I get so excited! Each November I start out full of hope and anticipation for what the holiday season brings. Feelings of thankfulness, joy, love, peace…

But as soon as I get a text message alert on my phone that reads, “FREEZE WARNING THROUGH 9 AM TOMORROW” everything changes.

Seasonal affective disorder is real. And each year, despite my best efforts to combat the S.A.D.ness, I become the most inconsolable person during the cold months. Going outside makes me sad. Staying inside makes me sad. Wearing eight hundred layers makes me cranky. Realizing I don’t have any suitable winter clothes makes me upset because WHY would I spend any money on such things when eight months out of the year the low temperatures barely touch 60 degrees? Drinking a hot coffee in order to warm up makes me happy only until my mug is empty. Then I am sad again, and even pissed that I found joy in a stupid cup of coffee in the first place, as if it would do anything to bring summer back. Hearing about freeze warnings and flurries in the Florida panhandle makes me absolutely livid because, WELL, it’s Florida. If you live in Florida, you’re (in my mind) naturally exempt from any winter BS. But winter proves me wrong almost every year.

I can see that I’m getting carried away.

So anyway, I’m going to try and focus on the positives this cold season as much as humanly possible. It’s going to be difficult, but each time I get pissed at the weather I’m going to attempt to counteract it by being intentionally grateful for all the awesome things in my life.

Here’s a start:

Today I’m very thankful for over-sized hoodies, under-the-covers cuddle sessions, the SERIOUSLY EFFECTIVE heater in my 2000 Camry, and the fact that no one at work judges me for wearing a Snuggie.

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