It’s February and this weather is the worst. Everyone in NYC is impatient. There’s something cleansing about the bracing cold air; it’s way better than the smell of rotting food and semi-empty beer cans that pepper the streets during the summer months. But people don’t linger on sidewalks in this weather; we rush from one location to the next. We’re protecting ourselves by piling on the layers, but somehow the frosty wind makes its way through our winter coats. We swear a lot in February.
These are my tips for getting through the shortest but longest and most tedious month of the year: homemade soup and strong black tea and hot toddies and blankets. Lots of blankets. Books. Many, many books. The longer, the better. Now is a good time to reread Middlemarch or finally tackle War & Peace. Gchat conversations with friends in which you can complain about everything and anything. Salted caramel hot cocoa. Dark chocolate with sea salt. Anything sweet to counteract the bitterness in your soul.
It’s a good month to set easy goals and check them off of your never-ending to-do list. To feel productive in whatever way possible. To not feel like you’re frozen and stuck and trapped because of this damn weather.
I took this photo a little over a week ago when I was walking home from a friend’s birthday party. It’s a reminder to myself and to all of you to look up, to notice, to observe. Not everything is ugly about this month. The beauty of new snow won’t last long. It melts away, it gets dirty, but if we don’t notice it and appreciate it, we’re living our days with woeful spirits. We’re preoccupied by the cold instead of the moment. Right now. Right here. And if finding something to appreciate means freezing your ass off so you can stand there for a few seconds and take it all in, then do that.
I still long for the sweet and less grueling days of spring, but there’s something about winter that makes you a stronger person. Winter tests you. Winter wants you to stand the fuck up and do something with your life. Winter wants you to see things you don’t always want to see. Winter is uncomfortable and necessary and perhaps when we’re most alive.