Occupy ... the winter
In our little corner of the world, this time of year winter becomes a bit of a burden. Even though each day brings us more daylight, having endured a little over two months of short days and long nights, we can feel a little ground down. In simple terms, we get a little depressed.
Some take a vacation in warmer climates. At best it is only a temporary solution. A few days after arriving home the same malaise sets in again. The depression returns and along with it the grumbling about winter.
We have forgotten our enthusiasm for the first snowfall which covered the ground and the trees with a beautiful pristine coat of white. Those first few snowfalls hide the drab debris of late fall. It was a happy time and stimulated thoughts of the upcoming Christmas holiday season. We spent those days in a happy frame of mind which occasionally even became euphoric for some.
After the holidays we begin to notice the dirty sand-encrusted snow banks beside the roads. Our muscles are sore, and shovelling snow has become a drab chore. We watch the weather forecast and add to our gloominess as more snow is predicted.
No longer are the joys of central heating, electricity and other modern conveniences enough to make us happier. Our bad mood is deepened by our effect on those around us and the effect of their equally gloomy moods. The downward spiral begins to pick up more speed with each passing day.
There is a solution to the winter doldrums and it is a lot less expensive than escaping to warmer places. Simply embrace winter. Give winter your love and look forward to all the fun you can have during this wonderful season.
There are lots of activities only available during our winter. Take a trip out to the Otway ski area. Cross-country skiing is good exercise and the quiet surrounding you is very therapeutic. Join the club and, if you are a beginner, do take some basic lessons so you will enjoy the experience more. By this time of year the trails are well groomed. There is a great variety offered from a quiet recreational ski to intense racing.
If skating is your thing, there are choices. Public skating at our local arenas is fun and when you take a break you can buy a coffee or other refreshment to consume while you relax. If you want a real old-fashioned skating experience, head down to the speed skating oval. Outdoors and basic, it is very similar to skating on a lake or creek. It has a fun element to it that arena skating doesn’t have.
Then there are the snow machines which allow you to explore wilderness areas. If I had my way I would ban those noisy machines, but I am outvoted on this issue. Be sure you know what you are doing and go where it is safe to do so. Take the courses and equip yourself properly it is a recreation that has some dangers.
There are lots of activities to occupy your winter. We have good downhill skiing, snowshoeing and other activities. For the more sedate, go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Sit by the fire with a hot chocolate and a friend. Take a course at the university or college.
Explore a craft activity. Learn a foreign language. Arrange games nights with friends and family. There are dozens of winter time activities that give satisfaction and joy.
Don’t grumble; embrace the winter months as a great time to have fun.