Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How I Fight Off The Winter Blues

Today it's nippy outside. The high temperature reached around 60 degrees and a nagging drizzle fell all afternoon. Overnight, we'll experience 44 degrees. The sun is setting earlier each day. The Autumnal Equinox is only nine days away. I can already feel my energy changing. I am less energetic. I am craving heavy comfort foods like soup and mashed potatoes.

Winter in Chicago is in a word, brutal. Freezing temps, snowy mess, and frigid winds off Lake Michigan make outdoor life a kind of hell. Most people do lots of complaining about the winter weather, me included. Don't judge--we have to complain or we might go stir crazy. 

In my family we gauge the seasons by jigsaw puzzles. I could come home from school on any given winter day and find our dining room table covered in a work in progress. Around the unfinished puzzle border there would be stacks of shallow boxes full of tiny pieces grouped by color and visual texture. It's just something we do to pass the time when it's too cold to enjoy the outdoors.

As I grew up I discovered my own way of fighting off cabin fever. I paint. I'm self-taught but I do love it. Colorful smears of acrylic paint cover almost all of my winter pajamas and sweatshirts. I recently rearranged my office/creative space to maximize room for the upcoming painting season.  Below is a creation of mine from last winter that now hangs in my living room. I call it "Reach Beyond Grasp." Reach Beyond Grasp

Seeing as I'm in the process of finishing a NaNo novel, I don't know how much painting I will be doing this year. It will take work to find the proper balance between writing and painting. November is entirely scheduled to my novel for NaNoWriMo. After that, I'll allow myself plenty of time to indulge in my favorite cure for the winter blues--a brush, a palate and a canvas.


  1. I just left Evanston and having lived in Maine for many years, I can say with confidence that the winters in Chicago are so much worse. The wind makes winter so miserable. We just moved to Colorado for my husband's job and I think I will love the weather here. But I feel for you.


  2. "If we had no winter, spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." Anne Bradstreet, 17th Century poet

    There are lessons in everything we experience. Find the right perspective and life shifts to something a bit more sweet.

  3. Winter is the perfect time to do the caterpillar
    into the Butterfly thing. Use this time to make
    lots of Art and Writing to show people by the end of Spring. I bet they won't be as creative as you :}

    Please "join" me back.