I know that winter is a tough season for most people. I’m finding it tougher as I get older myself, to be honest. I live in a cold house, one that is poorly insulated. During the winter, I frequently huddle at my desk under blankets with hot water bottles tucked in alongside me, typing in fingerless gloves.
But there comes a point each summer in which I look in front of me and see the days lined up ahead in an unending dreary march of time. Months to go before autumn (my favorite time of year) when we can expect things to cool down again. Even longer if we add the prolonged late summer we’ve had for the last couple of years, and summer’s heat lasting well into November. Long days at work, for which I can hardly complain, as they will feed me this winter (and with any luck, buy me a new laptop, one in which the space key doesn’t stick). Days in which I come home too tired to do much of anything else and it is too hot to indulge in my usual de-stressors of taking the dog for a walk or heading out to the barn. In fact, we’re bracing for a heat wave here next week, with temps 10 degrees above normal.
I am so not looking forward to it.
When it is this hot, I can’t sleep at night and end up dozing through afternoon tasks instead. I have almost no appetite all day until the sun goes down, then I start eating to make up for lost time. I alternate between being too hot to do anything outside and too cold indoors, where businesses have the air-conditioning cranked. Camera lenses and eyeglasses fog over when I leave the house. I got to the barn today and had to wipe the mold off my saddle. Mushrooms are growing everywhere.
I find that I am more irritable in general. I’m quicker to assume a silence has negative connotations. I’m unhappy with my life and circumstances, and more and more I’m taking it out on those I love best. If it wasn’t such depressing subject matter, I would incorporate this mindset into a story–surely one of my characters must feel this way at some point in his or her life! I catch myself thinking about doing something drastic–like cutting off all my hair or going on some fad crash diet–anything to break the monotonous lock-step I have on these days–days where I simply must put one foot in front of the other and keep marching because I have no choice. That’s how you get to the other side of the desert.
Even as I type this, I know that autumn will eventually come. I’ll have a few weeks in which I am reasonably comfortable, and then the cold weather will come in and no doubt I will bitch about that too.
I also know that most of my ‘situation’ is of my own making, and I am the only one that can get me out of it. I also know that summer is the bleakest, most uncomfortable part of the entire year for me, and that maybe I should cut myself a little slack here.
But not too much. Because I still have a desert to cross with limited resources. All in the hopes there will be an oasis on the other side.