Seasonal depression sucks, and Spring is awesome!

Sometimes I forget how to slow down and enjoy the moment. I forget for a long time. And then, suddenly… I remember. And everything feels instantly awesome.

After this past winter (YES I know, I’m still talking about it because I’m still shaking it off) I’m still remembering how to be happy because it’s a day. Such a long time with so much snow, being stuck at home, feeling cold, more dark than light, and the stale air really takes it’s toll. I didn’t realize just how bad it was until the weather got warm yesterday. I have way more energy, I’m happier, and since we changed the clocks I’ve been waking up naturally earlier in the morning when the sun comes up. It’s all around a pretty great time.

Well, yesterday we spent all day outside. It was a truly gorgeous day and we had a fife and drum muster (do I need to do a post explaining what that is? Let me know people… if there is anyone reading this…) so I was all hyped up, all day, because of performing and socializing. The vitamin d didn’t hurt either. Well, the boyfriend and I stayed up late watching movies – ok, we stayed up until about 11:30. We’re old and get up early during the week, we stayed up crazy late last night! – and I still woke up around 7am. That’s not a lot of sleep for me. Usually I’m a 9+ hours girl. But today? I basically annoyed the boyfriend out of bed to make coffee, even though he had been asleep (sorry babe). And we were productive! Usually I hate being productive, but today? Groceries were done and put away by 10:30, I started organizing my closet/getting rid of the huge surplus of clothing I have that I actually hate, we had lunch, I practically took a nap, and we went for a run! It’s been absolutely magical… And I feel more relaxed and well-rested than I did a month ago after a week of full nights of sleep.

All I can do is chalk it up to the weather and sunshine. And maybe my recent return to working out. Endorphins are pretty magical that way.

It makes me sad to think how miserable I was all winter. It scares me to think that the same thing could happen next year. Clearly I need better winter coping skills. I never realized I get seasonal depression… Or maybe this was the first time it got that bad. I’m just so grateful that it’s spring now. I feel absolutely amazing. I feel ALIVE!

I’m finally enjoying daily rituals again. And it feels great. Do you notice these kinds of changes connected to the weather?

Excuse me, I need to go hug my boyfriend again. Because it’s the afternoon, it’s sunny and warm, and I can.

Springtime

It’s getting to be that time of year. The ground is mushy, there are patches of snow (but in most places there is FINALLY more brown than white!), the average temperature is above 30, and the birds are chirping up a storm. But, most important of all:

REENACTING SEASON IS UPON US!

It is the time of year when what I do for fun is actually cool for a minute! We are gearing up for Patriot’s Day, that wonderful day where Boston is off work for the marathon but really we’re commemorating the Battle of Lexington and Concord. As a Concord native (no, I don’t live there anymore) and a history nerd I adore this time of year. It makes me feel special and like I’m from somewhere that matters. But let’s face it, I really actually love it because I can correct people who believe myth over fact. I love being right.

I hate that people think we have that Monday in April break off because of the marathon. THE MARATHON HAPPENS THEN BECAUSE IT’S A HOLIDAY! Grrr….

This year I won’t be in the reenactments for Battle Road. This year I am sad. It’s for a good reason though! I’ll be in rehearsal for MCV, because we are preparing for going to Nova Scotia this summer for the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo!!! I’m super excited about that (my poor tendinitis-y wrists and arthritic toe hate me, though), but it’s always weird to not go to the Battle Road reenactment. At least I have the usual parades that Monday, otherwise I would be TOTALLY confused and lost in the world.

I’m not sure why I love this stuff so much. Part of it is it’s the only time my patriotism actually gets sparked. July 4th? Nope. 9/11 commemorations? While very meaningful and sad, and important to remember, it doesn’t spark my pride. Patriot’s Day in April though, boy oh boy do I get pumped up. I’ve always been that way. When I was little I would practically count the days between my birthday (January) and April 19, and then I would figure out if the Monday holiday would actually occur on the 19th….

Yes, I know, I didn’t have a life. Still don’t, really, since I spend most of my time in rehearsal and sewing new clothes for reenacting…

I’m pretty sure the only reason I have friends at this point is because they all do the same weird hobbies I do. Thank goodness the boyfriend does too!

Anyway, I am so excited for the start of this reenacting and fife and drum season! MCV’s first parade was last week, and this weekend we have a full two days of performances! I’m not going to be excited for it once it’s on me, but for now I’m completely bugging out.

I love marching down the street as a part of a larger group. I love playing music with people and wearing the same uniform. I love that I’m a part of a group I saw when I was little and swore I would join some day!

Gosh I love springtime!!!!!

Another reason I live in MA

Something that will become ridiculously clear to anyone who talks to me or reads this page is that I am pro love and free living. I am liberal. I listen to both sides of the argument before I make a decision or state an opinion, but to my core I am very liberal. It works for me. Because of this I follow some interesting things on Facebook, like The Beer Party. They find all kinds of cool links to articles that make me think, or make me rage. Today? It’s rage.

According to an article The Beer Party shared from Patheos.com the Oklahoma House is trying to take away the right to marry from everyone who is not religious. It’s really a bill to prevent marriage equality, but on the bare face of it the purpose is to prevent town clerks from having to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Apparently those clerks would have a huge moral dilemma if a couple who was atheist or gay showed up asking for a license. Instead licenses would be issued by an approved member of the clergy. Oy.

Now, I don’t require everyone to be gay, and I understand (entirely objectively, because obviously I’m totally different) that some people are creeped out by homosexuality. I wish they weren’t, I don’t like it, I don’t really understand it in my heart, but there it is. All I request is you give everyone equal opportunity under the law and don’t discriminate. Don’t like marriage equality? Don’t marry someone who identifies as the same gender as you. That’s pretty darn simple. Married gay people represent no threat to you. I don’t want someone else’s morals ruling my life, therefore the law should allow the most freedom for people to choose (i.e. marriage equality).

The Oklahoma lawmakers pushing this legislation think that marriage is a mandate from God. Ok, sure, getting married is a mitzvah. It is in the Bible and the Torah and I believe the Quran (although I’m not well versed in that particular holy book). Representative Johnson, a supporter of the law, thinks that because it is in the Bible the government has no place in the institution of marriage. But, as the article states, there’s a difference between a marriage and a wedding:

“Johnson and other Republicans are confused. For the record, marriage is a legal contract between two consenting adults, and as a legal contract it is governed by the state. A wedding, on the other hand, may or may not be a religious ceremony, depending upon the wishes of the couple.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Marriage has always been a contract, since before monotheism and everything. For a very very long time marriage has been a contract. In fact, part of Jewish weddings is the signing of said contract. It is legal. Since we live in a system that legalizes everything for the state, well… The state needs to be a part of it. And because our government is separated from the church (legally. Hi there, Constitution) this law is royally unconstitutional and mean without even getting into all the amendments it violates because of discrimination. It is trying to create a theocracy in Oklahoma, which isn’t technically allowed.

I get very annoyed with this sort of thing for a variety of reasons. First of all it’s just not fair. Second, when I get married there won’t be a religion aspect to it. There will be Jewish touches here and there, but there won’t be a religious ceremony. Why? Because I identify culturally as Jewish, not religiously. I don’t believe in G-d, but gosh was I shaped by Judaism in general. So I couldn’t get married in Oklahoma, even though I’m going to marry a man and I technically belong to a religion. Third… it’s bigotry. It’s wrong. It’s mean. And I don’t like it.

Go read the article, it’s a great one. And someone, don’t let me internet for the rest of the day because I’ll just start raging more.

Winter feelings

I have serious cabin fever mixed with winter blues topped with pure bliss because of the weather this week. It’s all very confusing and exhausting and I am ready for spring. Why? Well, of course I’ll tell you…

As we all know, New England has had a ridiculous amount of winter this year. It’s old news at this point and most of the country is, I am sure, tired of hearing about how Bostonians are going mad with the cold and snow. Why can’t they just deal with it and move on? There must be something else to talk about, and we haven’t had a proper snow fall of more than a few inches in almost a month I think. Except, speaking as someone who lives in eastern Massachusetts just south of Boston…

The snow is still a problem. It’s not old news for us. We still have to put our cars in 4 wheel drive to get out of the driveway. We still have to move our cars from streets overnight for snow removal efforts. (You haven’t lived until you’ve seen tens upon tens of dump trucks lined up in streets that are only one lane wide due to snow, ready to take snow away for wider streets.) We still have to peer around corners and dive out into traffic we can’t see because of snow banks. It feels like we may as well close our eyes and pray instead of try to actually see… Vision is futile. And we still have narrow sidewalks, games of chicken with bicyclists, and random ice patches everywhere to take out unsuspecting moms with strollers. Snowmageddon isn’t over yet, and it won’t be until some of this crap melts.

Except it’s not going to melt, ever, according to an article I just read on CBS.com, one of my friendly neighborhood Boston local news sites.

Why is the snow never going to melt, and we will be stuck in eternal winter? Because we still have an average of 2 feet of snow everywhere. Yup. That’s just the average. To all you Midwesterners, Alaskans, and people from everywhere that usually gets significantly more snow than Boston, I applaud your winter abilities. Your stamina is impressive and I bow to your yearly trials. I hope I never have another winter like this… But I digress.

The snow is never going to melt because it’s March and we are never going to get enough days in a row that are warm enough AND sunny enough to make a difference.

According to CBS, Monday through Wednesday this week the temperatures will be in the upper 40s. By Wednesday afternoon we will have some places in the low 50s. It’s a veritable heat wave and I’m ready to put away my winter coat. I left the house yesterday with just a sweater/scarf combination. I even wore shoes that aren’t fleece-lined without wool socks. It was madness. I thought all day yesterday that maybe this meant that, despite the cooler temperatures predicted for later this week (and the awful wintry mix mess we will get over the weekend) the snow would drastically shrink. We have no such luck. We live in Massachusetts, we’re prone to bad luck in weather. And bad luck this time means that three whole days of lovely warm(ish) temperatures isn’t enough to shave much off our snowbanks.

The way snow melts is kind of super cool and sciencey. I do not speak the science, so I will try and explain this in a way that I would understand if I were reading it. Thanks for the happy explanation CBS. Snow melts from top to bottom, which makes sense. The top layer absorbs heat/temperatures that snow feels are heated. The heat works on the bonds in the molecules, which eventually break. Broken bonds = water, which trickles down through the snow pack to the bottom, which leaves a new layer open for heat and sun. I think that’s really cool, especially because apparently the physics behind this is way more complicated and detailed and scary, because science. Anyway…

Apparently, under normal circumstances over three days of temperatures like these we would lose only 2″-4″ of snow pack. That’s under normal circumstances, when it isn’t too windy to blow the moisture away that helps the snow to melt. Also, that’s three days that are presumably reasonably sunny. Yesterday was pretty sunny, and today isn’t exactly cloudy, but I’m not hoping too hard. For tops 4″ of melt I don’t get my heart too set on things because I live at the top of a hill that is almost always windy, and our house blocks the sun a lot of the day. And, well, here’s the kicker. Snow color also impacts the rate of melt. Brown snow, like the disgusting stuff along the streets, melts faster than white snow. So those giant snow banks along streets that have brown feet and beautiful pearly white peaks? Those are going to be around for a while. The bottoms will melt, because they’re spread out into the street, but the heights will be pretty consistent for a while.

Also, my entire house is surrounded by pure white snow.

I’m never going to see grass again. I’m convinced that this winter will never end and I’m going to have to bundle up forever. At the same time I am SO HAPPY that it is this warm out! 45 and partly cloudy? IT’S PRACTICALLY TIME FOR SANDALS! …Except for the snow that would make my toes cold. Maybe sandals are a premature move. I’m conflicted and exhausted, because this winter has been long and usually I love winter. This winter I’ve hated it since the second snow storm. And the amount of snow has been exhausting in and of itself, have been the abnormally low temperatures.

Basically I’m tired of weather and I’m moving to Las Vegas to live with my grandparents. Except not, because the boyfriend wouldn’t like that. He probably wouldn’t come with me, even though if I stay here I will have a psychotic break because of the snow.

To help offset the crazed trapped feeling I turned down the heat and opened a bunch of windows in my house yesterday. It got kinda chilly, but oh boy does it smell beautifully fresh in there now! Maybe my pessimism is overkill and we’ll actually see grass before May.

Or maybe we’ll just be buried by more snow in the next few weeks. Either way, a trapped Beth spells more rants on here. Oh joy.