But that life is over now. It is best to forget it ever existed. Instead, delete any evidence of springs and summers past, and embrace your new existence of enormous down coats, water-damaged boots, and constant grimacing.
Truthfully, though, there are 41 days until the first official day of spring, but that may as well be a lifetime away. Here in New York City, we've gotten to a point where the snow is no longer cute. It's no longer fluffy, white, and Instagram-worthy. It's black and brown and sometimes yellow, and I hate it so much.
I remember reading a story as a kid wherein the main character didn't want bubbles in his bath because they somehow reminded him of snow. I don't even know what the book was called, but I remember this odd illustration of some kind of anthropomorphized rodent lying expressionless in a bubble-free tub of water. I imagine him now listening to Joni Mitchell with a glass of white wine balancing atop his toilet lid as he lay perfectly still in the soothing bath.
Growing up in Texas, this idea seemed insane to me. Snow is this magical, once-in-a-lifetime wonder element, right? Wrong. Snow is this thing you play in once and then you simply must endure it a thousand times after that. Now that I live in a place with snow, I can safely tell you that I have taken that very same bath. I have sat there motionless, my expression glazed in a pool of scorching hot water. No bubbles, not because they remind me of snow, but because even squeezing the bottle into running water seems like it would take too much energy.
The winter is draining, friends, which is why I would like to provide you now with some defenses against it. The following is a list of things that I personally endorse, most of which aren't even really winter-specific. These are a random collection of things that make me happy, and happiness is the only way to defy the evils of this season (that's what I learned from all of those claymation Christmas movies, anyway).
1. Having a pet
Cuddling with this little guy is the equivalent of nuzzling a small space heater, only much safer. Having a cat has gotten me through many a snowy day, and I am sure you can substitute this scenario with a dog and it would be just as effective.
If you don't know what Birchbox is, prepare yourself because I am about to rock your entire world. Birchbox is a fantastically brilliant service that sends you samples of high-quality products every month RIGHT. TO. YOUR. DOOR! My mama in-law signed me up for a full year of fun packages like the one shown above, and I await my next one like it's Santa Clause. It fills each day with anticipation, even in temperatures that should only exist in a meat locker.
Are you just done? Done with the concept of going outside entirely? Well, you know who doesn't have the freedom to make that decision? Delivery men/women! Braving the elements to bring things to people is literally their job. That works to your advantage, though, because instead of dawning all of your itchy layers, you can sit stark naked at home and wait for delicious, hot meals to be delivered right to your door. I have no shame in letting you know that I do this kind of thing a lot, and I always use grubhub.com to place my orders because they offer fun perks like FREE DESSERT. Yes. Yes. Yes.
4. Anthropologie Candles
I bought a bunch at Christmas time, and now I am just burning them away as though they were my own personal campfires. Every woman worth her salt knows that Anthropologie has the best candles.
Forget chili (no, actually, never forget chili. Chili is delicious)! Thanks to my sister, Jo, I have discovered a new cold weather food that will knock your socks off. Polenta. Polenta polenta POLENTA. Use tons of butter and eat it straight out of the oven. I've made this recipe from Joy the Baker twice with absolutely no regrets.
When the sun sets around 4:30 PM each day here in Brooklyn, it's pretty easy to feel drained of energy (remember, I'm too exhausted to even put bubbles in my bath water). A great way to level-up, to get that boost of energy we all so desperately need is to laugh. Laughter triggers endorphins which is that same rush you get when you scale a mountain, have sex, or do anything particularly exhilarating. A lot of things give me the giggles, but for a good laugh-on-the-go, I would highly recommend listening to my favorite podcast, Professor Blastoff. It features comedians Tig Notaro, Kyle Dunnigan, and David Huntsberger discussing matters of "science", but really it's just them hanging out. I frequently find myself laughing suddenly on quiet subways while listening to Professor Blastoff. Like, deep belly laughter. I look like an insane person, but it helps me to forget, if even for a moment, how awful winter is. Do yourself a favor and go listen to it now.
And speaking of laughter...
7. This video of this girl saying "How about cupcakes?"
You've likely already seen this video, but I truly believe it has magical powers. I don't know, it just gets me every single time. So far, it has yet to disappoint. I dare you to watch it every single day for the rest of your winter, and I defy you to get bored with it. It's just not possible.
Hopefully these things will help get us all on the fast-track to an early spring (screw that groundhog and his stupid predictions and his stupid shadow). How are you getting yourself through winter?