Soon, winter will be here, and you know what that means: chapped lips, dry skin, cabin fever, and the desire to maim and dismember those nearest and dearest to our hearts.
Although we hear reams about how to winterize our homes, we hear little about how to winterize our souls. This oversight flabbergasts me. Having endured a slew of brutal winters, I can say with certainty that our beleaguered spirits take a far greater hit than our brawny thermostats.
Until recently, I’ve never really considered what prophylactic steps I might take to ensure a happier winter. But all that’s changed now that I’m on it. Having a column deadline has also tightened the screws.
It’s not that I’m unhappy during the winter; it’s more that certain things drive me batty.
Take noises, for example, the kinds that humans make. During the summer months, when the windows are open and all kinds of sounds are flooding in, I’m truly oblivious to the racket someone makes while eating. But during the winter months, when the windows are shut tighter than a chipmunk’s coin purse, I can barely tolerate the sounds of mastication and its byproducts.
So, rather than sit and fester – my usual approach when someone is chomping Doritos like a horse at a trough – I’ve decided to insulate my ears with sound-deafening cotton balls.
Pesky habits also irritate me more during the cold months. Forget to close a kitchen cabinet in the summer… so what? Leave your wet towel on the floor…no big deal. Snork that post-nasal drip like a goose gone wild…go for it! Come winter, though, oy vey: These same habits warrant voodoo-doll correction.
Bracing myself now to ward off annoyances then is a toughie though. Sure, I could air my grievances – you know, clean my emotional ducts – but who’s going to remember anything I’ve said months from now? Right, no one. That said, my only recourse is to hightail it out of here before someone ends up in the wood-chipper. I figure a quick trip in February should restore my good nature. Perhaps somewhere warm. A one-way ticket is not out of the question.
Lastly, I’ve been bandying about ways to shore up my physical self to fend off winter’s onslaught. I could make like a yew and wrap myself in burlap – but that doesn’t seem realistic. I could lather on the emollients – but I’ve never been into lotions. No, I think my best bet is to own it, as in: “Yeah, I’m as a dry as a crusty sock – get over it.”
I do believe my family’s in for a real treat this winter, now that I’ve got my happiness strategies in place. That they’ll be dealing with a hearing-compromised, scaly individual who may go AWOL is their problem.