Thursday, February 3, 2011

Getting Through The Heart Of The Winter Blahs

The title of this post is a prompt from for their upcoming blog carnival. It felt especially poignant considering the rough winter we're experiencing in New York City! With storm after storm, inches of snow piling onto the streets, chilly winds, and icy, wet conditions, one could certainly say I'm starting to feel the "winter blahs." While most people feel worn down by this weather, there is a deeper component for someone living with Spondylitis. Ran, snow, hail, humidity...this is my kryptonite. I've joked that I'd be the world's best weather forecaster because, without fail, my body aches and burns as this weather approaches. 

While I enjoy the beauty of the snow and the coziness of the winter season, I'm ready for it to be over. The groundhog did not, in fact, see his shadow on Groundhog's Day 2011 and so I'm hoping that really does mean an early spring! In the meantime, I'm trying to stay above the "blahs" in some important ways. For starters, I'm focusing on helping the people I love also get through the winter blahs. It makes me smile to do fun or unexpected things for the people in my life. John's 26th birthday was on Monday and I decided to continue an adorable tradition that has mom began many moons ago. She made him an annual birthday train cake! I spent most of Monday constructing my own version and I'd say it was a hit with both the birthday boy and his roommates. Here is a photo:
Another of my "anti-blah" tactics is trying to say yes more than I say no. Last year I was anything but spontaneous - I just couldn't be. My pain made me cautious and overly concerned about my energy level. I was more practical than I'd ever been when it came to plans and, while practicality isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's good to disregard it once in a while. Be it a meal with a friend or a weekend away, this year I'm vowing to take advantage of more opportunities that come my way whenever I'm able. I'm trying to go with the flow and just see where that takes me. An example of this was the weekend trip I took with John and 6 other couples to my parents' ski house in Vermont last weekend. Here's a sledding snapshot of yours truly:
It's okay to let go once in a while and push the envelope - pushing ourselves reminds us that we're still very much alive. There is almost no greater thrill than having a new and exhilarating experience. That sled? It's not really a sled at all. Our more sensible inner tubes deflated from the icy cold and, instead, we used a snowboard to zoom down the hill. It was probably going a little (or a lot) too fast and if I were being cautious, I might have passed on the experience. But I didn't. And guess what...
I had a total blast!  
Love, Maya


  1. Maya, I love the photo of you sledding down the hill. When I put my butt on a sled, I instantly feel years younger and the laughter just pours out. Yay for you!!!! And the cake? Amazing!!!

    For me, I ordered a new swimsuit and beach hat already. It came in the mail late Tuesday night and I opened it and tried it on yesterday, right after we shoveled 18-20 inches of snow! It totally took me away from the frigid temps that we have today. In fact, I may put it on again today just to fast forward my brain to spring/summer and warm temperatures.

    Stay warm and keep smiling! Your smile instantly brings happiness to others.


  2. Yay Maya! I love that photo of you:D and I love your positivity. I think the idea of saying 'yes' is a brilliant one: sometimes it's just far too easy to say no to things, when really it can be better for our health to actually say yes:)

    Keep warm, and think of the coming Spring!
    Kate xxx

  3. Looking forward to disregarding practicality with you!

  4. Cathy: Thanks for your comment - amazing as always! I LOVE that you bought a bathing suit in the winter :) It's always a great idea to have something to look forward to and a tangible reminder. Your smile is also pretty contagious, my friend <3

    Kate: I learned that from you, so thank you for helping me be happier and better. Send some of that warm weather our way, okay my friend?

    John: I can't wait, my love <3

  5. I love the cake. I've been baking more cookies for my hubs this winter, 'cause he loves them. Since he is diabetic, I make them lower sugar for him using Splenda sugar blends. Love making him happy.

  6. Have you seen Yes Man with Jim Carrey? Hahaha... That movie is really funny. He has to say Yes to everything that is offered to him. I think the movie has a great point (even though it might be a bit over the top), about how most of us say No all the time and we should really open ourselves up to new things and opportunities. I love the idea of how saying yes, can help us get that child like feeling back and reduce stress!

  7. Your picture on the snowboard is priceless. If it were my picture I'd crop it, blow it up and put it on the wall to remind myself to smile and enjoy whatever is available.

    Even tho it's your picture it brings a smile to MY face and a reminder to take the time to push the envelope.
    Thank you!

  8. Hi Maya, I just discovered your blog because of Chronic Babe. Thanks for reminding me that winter blahs are not inescapable. I'll be checking back to read more!