Monday, 13 April 2009

Beating the Blahs

"I'm feeling as though that huge dark cloud that had been following me around for months has taken off," I said with a smile. I was finally feeling cheerful again after countless days of absolute dreariness.

"Oh yea?" she replied. "Hmm.. that must mean that the cloud is now following someone else... they don't just disappear, you know?"

Huh? I looked at her with a quizzical nod. I wasn't going to correct her with a down and dirty science lesson. All that mattered for the moment was the fact that I was finally basking in the sunshine I so craved.

"After this experience, I absolutely believe in the February Blahs," I said. "I used to think that was something people just made up to explain why everyone got mopey around that time of the year, but now, after having experienced it, I know it's true!"

"Tell me about it! For a while there, I thought the winter would NEVER go away."

I remember a distinct conversation between my mother and a neighbour that I had overheard as a child. We were fairly new to the country at that time, and just getting settled in. Our neighbour had quickly taken a liking to my mother and began feeding her with anecdotes and 'facts' about what it meant to be truly Canadian.

This particular conversation began with, "You know, there's three things you can never go wrong talking to any other Canadian about," she said. "Just remember three Ws -- Weather, Women and Work."

My mother laughed at this during the conversation, but, as the years went by, she soon realized the truth to those words. And so did I.

I can't express the number of conversations I've had with friends, family members, and in some instance, complete strangers about the number one word on that list -- Weather.

"Do you realize that we refer to the weather at least once a day," I said while staring intently at my computer screen, unable to read the mass of words that seemed to fly right over my head. I was proof-reading again.

"We do?" she asked. "Hmm... maybe because it's such a large part of our day."

"I guess it is, isn't it?" I thought out loud as I turned to her. "So much of what we do, or decide to do is based on whether or not it's raining, or snowing, or windy, or sunny... although that doesn't happen too often here!"

"OK there, Miss Tropicana!" she exclaimed with a laugh. "Not everyone was born in the sunshine!"

"I wasn't born in sunshine. I'm a monsoon baby."


"I am!"

"OK, whatever! All I know is, you're only happy when it's sunny," she said finally.

"That's not true," I said. "I'm happy when the sun comes out to visit after a loooooooooong hiatus -- which I believe causes the February Blahs. It's different."



"Yea, OK."

I felt as though I had to defend myself. So off I went.

"Listen, when the weather gets like this at this time of the year, people start to wake up. They feel alive... invigorated, even. Suddenly, it's not just the day that's brighter - life is brighter too. People start thinking about the future, when, in the doom and gloom of the dark winter, all they could think about was getting out of the wind and cold. About sleeping..."

I paused to think for a quick moment, then exclaimed, "You know what? Winter crushes dreams!!"

"Winter what?

"Crushes dreams!" I repeated.

"You're nuts, you know?"

"Well, it does," I said adamantly.

"And now?"

"And now the sun is out, and the dreams are alive again."

"Ah-ha! For how long?" she asked. Ugh! She was challenging me.

"Hmmm... for as long as it takes!" I said simply, as I went back to staring at the maze of words on the screen.

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