Posted by: drrozkaplan | February 26, 2010

Is It Spring Yet?

I almost feel guilty.  Almost.  We escaped the northeast just as the snowstorm that began yesterday and is continuing now hit, and made it to Florida.  I think our flight was one of the last ones out of Newark, NJ yesterday morning.  There was a driving, cold rain when we stepped out of the car, and by the time we made it to our gate, it had turned into heavy, wet, snow and a wind was kicking up.  I cheered inside as we took off.

We’ve come to Sanibel Island to spend the weekend with my husband’s parents, and to belatedly celebrate my father-in-law’s 80th birthday.  It’s cold here, by Florida standard, about 50, maybe going up to a breezy 60 by the end of the day, but the sun is shining and there is nothing to shovel.  It’s amazing how my total outlook on life has lightened up being here for 18 hours.

This winter has been a killer in the Northeast.  Okay, this is not news.  Record snowfall, record number of days out of school for the kids, which they were relishing until this storm, when the number of snow days exceeded the allotted number, so now school will extend into spring or summer vacation.  They are no longer happy to have extra days to sleep in, especially since, in this weather, there is nowhere to go, and aside from seeing any friends who live across the street or around the corner, they only have their computers, their homework, and G-d forbid, their families, to keep them company.  We, the adults are shoveling and shoveling and shoveling.  My car has body damage, incurred in the last storm in a parking lot while I was not in the car, and the body shop tells me that they are busier than they’ve ever been.  Great.  At least someone is profiting.

Sad to say, I, as a physician, am also exceptionally busy during this time.  At least when the patients can get to me.  Aside from the H1N1 crisis earlier in the year, there has been an onslaught of respiratory illness, some kind of virus that leaves patients with a long-lasting, wheezy cough.  They recover, but they are miserable for weeks.  Beyond that, the cold and dark are  just making people tired and cranky and miserable.  It seems interminable.  That darned groundhog didn’t make us feel any better about it, either.

I’ve been trying to stick to my healthy diet and my exercise program.  The treadmill and elliptical machine at the gym were getting monotonous so I added a dance class.  I went to Pilates 2 or 3 times a week.  But in the last week or so, I was getting worn down. I wanted carbs and chocolate, and I wanted to hide in my bed instead of exercising.  My work hours were longer than ever, and I felt too tired.  I’m not depressed or sick.  It’s just the monotony of the cold and the gray, and seeing the dirty snow and my dented car and my house with its damaged trees and bushes outside and the endless film of dirty water on the kitchen floor inside.

Here in my in-laws’ house, everything is clean and light and white and sunny, and I suddenly feel like going out and running 5 or 10 miles.  Does that mean that all I need is a light box at home?  I wish, but I have a feeling that it’s going to take a lot more than that.  So, when is it going to be spring?

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