in which i try to cope with january.

01.2015 nsk sunrise

not sure if i took this picture because of the pretty sunrise, or to prove that it is possible for me to get to work before 8AM.

This post was originally going to start out with the emphatic statement, January fucking sucks but then I remembered that one of the things I am most proud of over the last year has been my vastly improved capability to see silver linings. So I will back off that statement and simply say, January is a very challenging month for me personally. Better?

I think January is tough because I feel so relaxed and reset after a nice break, I have all of this clarity of insight about things I can do to feel better about myself, everything feels like a clean slate – then I go back to work and am plunged back into the same hectic routine and nothing is clean, nothing is new, everything is still the same old mess it was before Christmas, and on top of it, the weather usually turns, making everything more difficult. More difficult to travel anywhere, even work; more difficult to get any sort of natural light or vitamin D when it is always dark and the wind chills are perilous; more difficult to muster the energy to work out, to eat right, to drink enough water. January is a dark, cold, long month where everything takes more effort for me and I am usually going through the motions feeling numb with exhaustion, no matter how much sleep I get. This week has seemed like the Longest Week Ever. We had a green Christmas but winter has hit with a vengeance and we had a snow squall and a day off from school for Miss L due to the extremely cold temperatures which still persist around here.

(Sidebar. I have to ask. How do children get educated in Alaska? Or the upper Midwest which I heard on NPR now wants to secede from the Midwest and create its own region called the ‘North’? It’s much colder in those places than in Michigan. Those kids must NEVER go to school if education is contingent upon Mother Nature. And you know, look. I am a teacher fan, I support teachers and am full of gratitude for the very difficult job they do. I could never do it myself. But my teacher friends on FB are downright obnoxious about snow days. Yes, I understand that everyone gets happy about having a day off. But to the rest of us who have to go to work no matter what the temperature outside, and additionally have to find child care for a child that has a snow day, often by spending one of our limited vacation days to do so, it can be a little annoying when you open up FB in the midst of one of these hectic mornings and see a bunch of teachers high-fiving themselves in jammies about not having to work.)

On the silver lining side, GB & I pulled together as usual and tag-teamed, and Miss L & I sought refuge with a special snow day lunch, as is one of our traditions.

01.2015 dessert

In other news, somewhat on the spur of the moment, I decided to try a Bikram yoga class. I love yoga and have wanted to work it back into my fitness routine for some time, but I’d always resisted this specific type of fitness based on the yuck factor of doing it in a hot studio full of other people’s fug, sweat, and germs. But one of the lawyers I work with said the studio in Northville is quite clean and so I gave it a try on Thursday night. It was the night of our snow squall, so there was something very Scandinavian about working out in a sweatbox, watching through humidity-streaked windows as the snow filtered down in drifts on the street outside. Then bursting outside into a dark, quiet street of blessed arctic cold. I resisted the urge to roll around in the fresh snow – that would likely be acceptable in Ann Arbor, but in Northville I believe it would likely be frowned upon, the zoning is much more strict there….Anyway, the class was really good, I made it through with only a few moments of seeing dark spots floating over my vision while thinking numbly ‘oh my Christ I’m going to vomit’. The instructor was a fair little waif with a head full of blonde dreadlocks who smiled angelically through the class and went on several gentle metaphysical tangents that I enjoyed through my pain. However, I was underhydrated going in and at 2AM, I woke up with a savage dehydration headache that didn’t abate until after lunchtime the following day. I told someone that I felt like I’d been pounding tequila all night and it took vast amounts of water & Gatorade to get me back to normal. My body felt great – very limber & stretched – but my head was a wreck. I will definitely go back, I just really have to address my hydration and try to figure that out.

January is a dry month for me so my normal soothing glass of red wine is out of the picture for awhile, which I haven’t missed at all, oddly. This made the Bikram hangover more bitter in some ways… as usual, Emmett, however, was sympathetic. He always encourages me to go back to bed whenever I need it. And that is a good friend to have in January.

01.2015 me & em

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