It's the Weather, Stupid

Trees in bloom.

I freely admit that I am absolutely terrible at making small talk and often resort to talking about the weather because I have too much social anxiety to be interesting with acquaintances. But lately it's not so much that I'm resorting to talking about the weather, it's that I'm already thinking about the weather anyway.

When I went to college in Boston in the early 90's, I used to go hiking. In the winter. For fun. Even during the worst winter I survived there, which, admittedly made it easier for my then-fiance to convince me to move to Oregon, I walked during my lunch hour. All winter.

And now? I will wear fleece if it's under 70 and there's a breeze.

In all the things I've read about turning 40, no one mentioned that I would no longer be able to stand the cold. I thought that was for 70 year olds.

This winter took years off of my life, I swear. Mostly because it feels like it's still not quite over. It's been in the fifties and raining (what used to be March weather here in Jersey) for the last six weeks or so. Before that, it was freezing.

I just want to go outside without a jacket on, is that too much to ask?

I don't technically have Seasonal Affective Disorder, well, I've never actually been diagnosed with it, anyway. But I have struggled with depression before, and I swear the way I felt when I woke up today and saw that it was chilly and rainy again . . .it felt the same. It was the opposite of when I moved from rainy Seattle to the much sunnier Kansas City. Even though I didn't know anyone and I was newly separated and my job was overwhelming and I had never lived alone before, I woke up happy on a far more regular basis.

Clearly I need to move to the southwest. Though I'd settle for anywhere that has a shorter winter. Except that I don't have that option right now (all bets are off when Hugmonkey graduates though). So, I'm begging you, internet peeps, give me some tips on how to cope with this weather. I know some of you live north of me; how do you stand these long-ass winters?

And if you can't answer that, then please give me some tips on small talk. I need a topic besides weather.

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