Friday, March 26, 2010

I Hate Winter

Siberia, Ohio, Hawaii,'s all the same to me when it comes to winter.  I know a Siberian (i.e. Ohio) winter can not be compared to winter in the tropics.  But Siberia and Ohio are prepared for freezing shitty gray weather half the year.  Houses in the tropical zones are built to stay cool in the intense heat for most of the year.  We don't have insulation, heaters, fireplaces, or wardrobes for every season.  It isn't often Old Man Winter kicks us in the ass like he did this year.  Instead of our usual 20 cold fronts per season, over 60 colder fronts passed through.  The cold kicked in during October and it's already the end of March when we are finally seeing some hot and sunny days.

I've been giving this some serious thought.  Why do I function so poorly when the temperature is cold?  What is it I hate about winter?  Here goes:

The days are way too short once we mess with the clock in October.  They get even shorter before they get longer again, five months later.  Daylight in the tropics doesn't last that long to begin with.  In the middle of summer it's dark by 7:30pm on the longest day.  When the darkness of winter nights sets in at 4:30pm - it's just not enough daylight for me.  I consider dark as time for dinner, hammock and probably TV. 

The nights are too cold.  The temperature is reported in Centigrade which makes it sound worse.  9°C sounds pretty cold, doesn't it?  It is!  It's 44°F.  Even though some days warm up to 70-80°F, by nightfall I am digging out sweats, socks and afghans.  It's hard for these old bones to handle the radical temperature changes from hot days to freezing nights. 

I must confess that I don't like to close doors or windows.  I need air, light, and I like to be able to see "outside".  I'd rather put on a 2nd sweatshirt and complain than close the doors or windows.  So I COULD really make it warmer in the house....but I would feel so closed in!

I finally found an exercise I will actually DO: swimming.  We heated the pool so we could swim all winter.  But even with the water at 80°F, I can't get into the pool when it's 50°F outside.  I spent two days in the pool last week, after only looking AT it for nearly five months, but then a couple more cold fronts came through and sent me back into my lazy funk, back to the farm, so to speak.

I generally have a 4 month panic attack from January until my birthday in April passes.  My head fills with self-doubt, occasional self-loathing, I worry I've got some illness or my teeth are going to fall out.  With the cold nights my body aches in the chill of the morning and I feel lousy.  Usually once I've survived another birthday I feel just fine.  An added plus is that the temp is usually high in Mérida by April.  That puts me in the pool where I get all sorts of things accomplished.  I like to write and read in the pool.  When I feel too warm I get wet, move around the pool a bit to loosen up, then sit in the shade on a float and work. 

I have other gripes about the winter season, but I think this has been long enough of a rant.  I am sitting outside with my miles of piles today.  It's hot and I am sweating  perspiring and planning a dip in the pool.  I keep having to move my chair to stay in the shade of the mamey tree.  The sun feels hot, and the sky is clear blue.  I think today I can finally vent my winter months' frustrations because I believe it's over.  Spring officially began five days ago during the (hopefully) last cold front of the year. 


Anonymous said...

Hot water bottles are the way to go under the Afghan when the chill sets in.

We are trying to plan our Merida life change next year. Being from the northeast of the USA, I was hoping seasonal depression would be a thing of the past once we get to Merida.

Really enjoy your blog.


Theresa in Mèrida said...

I agree. I also need sunshine, the heat is back but I could use less humidity. I guess nothing makes me happy.

Linda Dorton said...

Anonymous, If you are coming here from the northeast USA, you will find winter refreshing. I am just whining because I am spoiled.I have lived in the tropics for 30 years and I may exaggerate some when I rant! Thanks for reading.

Linda Dorton said...

I think we will reacclimate to the humidity. I prefer it, in the dry months my skin looks like a snake....with the humidity I don't feel so shriveled. Shriveled is a problem nowadays.....

What you need is a good 100 walks around the pool everyday! Hint hint.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Linda, you are right! I will call you later (maybe today, maybe tomorrow). My skin also looks better when it's humid.