The winter blues

I’m stuck in a holding pattern. Although spring has hit, it’s not quite spring weather. Winter is still here and the temperatures are still on the cool side. There’s been plenty of sun this winter which I’m thankful for. But I can’t lose this feeling that I’m just hanging on to survive another winter.

Maybe this has something to do with my upcoming birthday as well. Turning a year older when I’m not feeling 100% isn’t a great feeling.

I saw a couple of geese last week that must be thinking the same thing. I tried to capture a shot of them, but they flew away on me. Picture this, two geese on the running path, surrounded by snow. And I saw the geese (in my mind) with a caption above their heads “WTF!?! I told you it was too soon to head back to Edmonton!!!” (Picture credit to pixabay with chat bubble by yours truly.)

I see I posted a similar post in January 2022…The January Blues. So apparently, feeling blue is a regular thing for me in Q1 of the year.

I’m sick of winter activities. I’m sick of running and cycling inside. I’m sick of icy roads. I’m sick of cold weather. I’m ready for SUMMER! Spring is really just a speed bump on the way to SUMMER for me.

I don’t think that being sick helps. I’ve had a sinus infection and or bad allergies since early February. My nose is running, I have some nasal drip into my throat, and my lungs feel a little tight. My asthma feels active. It’s never a pleasant feeling when you don’t feel at full lung capacity.

BUT…I’ve been able to work out again. I’m walking again every day with my morning coffee. I’ve started long work out Sunday activities again. I have 5 hours on the indoor bicycle over the last 3 weekends. And I completed runs of 8km and 10km on the last 2 Saturdays after virtual golf. It feels great to be active.

But the increase in activity is tiring me out more than usual. I’m finding myself very low on energy. I think the issue is threefold:

  1. My eating habits are still stuck in “sick” mode not in “athlete” mode. So perhaps I’m not getting enough proper calories.
  2. My hydration habits are still stuck in “sick” mode not in “athlete” mode. So I’m drinking too much ginger ale or pop instead of drinks with electrolytes and other boosting properties.
  3. It’s hard to believe that I’m tired again after a big vacation at the end of January. But because I got sick right after, I didn’t really get that post-vacation energy push. I went right into being sick with low energy. And it’s continuing. Honestly, it’s tough feeling like you can do so much but you simply lack the energy or brain power to do more.

My intentions for the year kind of disappeared because of being sick in February.

  1. Gratitude journaling has been difficult. I’m sick and tired and finding myself cursing the universe. Why am I still sick? There is a lot of positive still happening around me. But I’m focused on feeling sorry for myself and being mad that I’m still sick.
  2. Meditation has been non-existent. I just don’t have the energy for it. It seems funny to say that I don’t have the energy to meditate. Meditation is just sitting there and doing nothing, right? Well, no and yes. Meditation does take energy and it’s hard to be alone with your thoughts. It takes dedication and energy. And I feel like I just don’t have it right now.
  3. I’m not being nicer to myself. I’m not balancing life very well. I haven’t been blogging.
  4. I’ve started to ride a little more again with a 42 km ride last Sunday and a 2 hour ride this Sunday. But that’s far from the training plan I expected to be doing right now. I lost 6 weeks of training and there is a lot of hard work left in front of me if I’m going to succeed in completing a 140 km bike race this summer.

At least I’ve been enjoying my specialty coffee more and have finally gotten back to virtual golf with my buddies over the last 3 weeks. I’m still very excited for golf this year. But even golf has been a bit of a struggle after numerous weeks off.

I hate this feeling. I feel like I’m in a slump. I’m not myself. I’m sick and just want to be a hermit and hide away. It’s hard for me to even look at those intentions. I feel so guilty that I lack the energy to stay on track.

Being home alone every day doesn’t help. My wife returned back to the office in early March. That leaves me working from home by myself for the first time since the pandemic started. I didn’t realize what a joy it was to work with my spouse at home every day. I’m now craving human interaction. I don’t get any in person human contact during the day anymore. I might not see someone for an entire day. And yes, that’s happened this month, multiple times.

So, I’m at home and things are different. I feel a little overwhelmed that I need to manage everything because I’m at home all day. It’s not true of course, but perceptions and inner thoughts are more powerful than reality. There is dinner to worry about, dealing with the dogs, laundry, grocery shopping, vacuuming, etc. I’m feeling pressure to do it all and keep up. It’s stupid and not logical. But I’m here, and when I see something that needs to be done, I’m usually the type of person that does it. And I find it hard to stop myself.

Every morning, I’m getting up, I’m working out and making the most out of the day. I’m stuck in a bit of a rut right now but it’s nothing that spring into summer cannot solve.

And sometimes you just have to search for the little things that bring you joy. Like these dog toys. My poodle Jack loves stuffed toys. But he rips thru the exterior. We keep buying more toys. But it’s getting expensive. I hit the jackpot in Winners last week. Apparently, Easter is a great time to buy bunny toys. And they were all a reasonable price. Amazing! I can’t wait to start rolling these out for Jack. He’s going to love them; especially the two at either end, they are his favorite!

Bunny toys for Jack

So February and March have been super challenging. Summer cannot come quick enough for me. Summer brings more sun! Summer brings warmer weather! Summer brings outdoor runs and rides and plenty of walks with the dogs! Summer brings more BBQs and mocktails on the deck! Summer brings golf! Summer brings fresh air! Summer brings activities that I love that bring me joy! I was born to love summer and I cannot wait for summer 2023 to start.

In the meantime, I’m trying to be mindful and thankful for spring.

I have to constantly remind myself that life is hard. Every day is a new day. A new start. A time to be grateful. I saw this post on Facebook the other day. It’s fitting for me:

If you love spring, I’m happy for you. But I’m ready for the end of winter & spring and I’m ready to welcome Summer! In the meantime, I’ll be here, hanging in there, trying not to look ahead 3 months when I know things will be better. Sometimes that’s the best we can do, hang in there, knowing that brighter days are on the way!

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