The Challenge of Getting to Spring
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you will probably agree that February is a rough month. When I moved to Chicago a few years ago, I knew fully what I was in for. Cold, snow, punishing windchills. Old Man Winter in the Midwest tundra does not play around. But by the time February rolls in, I’d say that we citizens of Chicago are done with wearing two layers of pants and scarves up to our eyes. We don’t want to keep thinking that 30F is a warm day. It’s a challenge to get to spring.
I’m not above mental tricks to cope with the cold. Pineapple in my morning smoothie tastes like a tropical vacation from all the hearty stews and casseroles I’ve been whipping up. That kind of fruit, of course, is nowhere near the spectrum of eating locally, but the bright flavor does perk me up a bit, and I trust that the locavores will forgive me. I know it’s not seasonal, but I have a feeling I’m going to need some basil pesto soon. I’ve got to remind myself that this last hurdle of winter will be done and gone before I know it. Bring on the fresh corn on the cob and ripe heirloom tomatoes. What about those days when it’s too hot to eat? It will be time to languish in the humidity (and complain about it) soon enough.
Speaking of challenges, I’ve read a lot of blogs lately that are gearing up for spring with new approaches to self-discipline and commitments to better eating. I like these tactics. I also want to reshape my outlook on these next few weeks so I can plow forward into the full throttle of spring awakening (no, not that one, though I definitely enjoyed the show), ready for renewal.
When I started this blog, I thought I could post every other day. I whittled that goal down to once a week. Soon that became once in a long while, and then writing a blog post was so far down on my to-do list that it erased itself. Well, I erased it. Like just about everyone I know, I’m constantly negotiating the work/life balance, and work always seems to take priority. Can I really spend my time dithering about at the keyboard, boiling down my thoughts to their essence so other people can read them?
Writing a blog post is an investment of time. I need to find a snazzy picture or video. I have to, you know, get to the point, preferably somewhere in the vicinity of 500 words. I need to make sure, to paraphrase my college poetry teacher, that I say something relatable about the universal human condition, so my readers can connect with me.
I’m not about to make any bold declarations or strict resolutions, but I am reframing my commitment to writing blog posts. My challenge, as I count down the days to tank tops and sunblock, is to think of writing and blogging as a nonnegotiable creative outlet, which still falls under work, of course, but really is vital to my life. The balanced life I’m searching for.by