This week has been warmer and I love it. I’m not ready for summer to be over and I feel like the mild temperatures this summer and unusually cool August weather gypped me of some of the prime summer weather. I wish I could uproot my entire family and in-laws from New England and transplant us all to a warmer climate. However, the importance of family supersedes the importance of living in a more agreeable environment, so alas, I’m staying put. More than just a routine case of seasonal affective disorder, I seem to feel physically unwell the full duration of the winter months; the inadequate sunshine, natural vitamin D, and perpetual frigidness decrease my immunity and overall physical and mental wellbeing. I’d like to find an affordable way to do one weekend getaway per month this winter to a warm and sunny place. Despite mountains of research, so far, this doesn’t appear to be financially feasible for us, as I’m certainly not the only one seeking this type of winter refuge. Flights are cheap, but lodging is not. Also, because of the limitations of my food allergies, planning travel isn’t as simple for us as for some.
My inclination over the past several weeks has been to fall into panic mode and start stressing over how I will get through another winter. One of my new daily tasks is to prevent myself from scouring the internet for hours trying to find winter solutions. While I’m certainly a proponent of doing adequate research and planning ahead, this degree of anxiety so far in advance is clearly unhealthy. I shouldn’t have to bribe myself to not look into winter coping strategies or affordable vacations every day; similarly, I shouldn’t be so worried about the impending season that I can’t focus and my quality of life is suffering to the degree that it is.
My primary goal for the upcoming week is to make more of a concerted effort to live in the moment and stay present enough to fully enjoy the extremely lovely weather we are currently blessed with. I will allow myself a cumulative total of two hours over the course of the week to spend however I deem necessary to think about winter, whether that’s fretting, researching coping strategies, or looking into tropical escapes. It’s pathetic that I need to set such limits but that’s unfortunately the beast that is my brain that I need to wrangle. Obsessiveness is hardwired. It’s more complicated and involved than just overwriting installed programs; rather, it’s like completely modifying the operating system and original componentry. Even with good intentions and the best laid plans, I am often unable to override and ignore my drive to fixate on something, however counterproductive it is.