When I was younger I used to wish that I was born on this day because it would be fun to have a birthday once every four years. I remember the rhyme, “30 days have September, April, June, and November,” that ended with an explanation of Leap Day. Leap Day is an unofficial holiday of sorts–especially to those who were born on this day. I can’t help but think of the couples getting married who are secretly happy that they’ll only have to celebrate their anniversary once every 4 years like the Olympics. There’s also a part of me that wonders what it feels like to look at a calendar and not see the day you were born because it only occurs every 4 years. How do you explain that to a child who sees all his or her friends celebrating birthdays every year? Yes, you can celebrate the day before or the day after but it’s still not the same. Needless to say, I think that the extra day presents an opportunity to do something different than the norm–even if it means just taking the day off and having fun.
One of the things that I occasionally do is call my really good single guy friend and complain about being single. TOTALLY ironic I know, but it always helps to put my life into perspective and it’s actually quite therapeutic. In doing this, I avoid the inevitable cliche’s and words of sympathy that others give me and I get a cold hard dose of reality. Much needed and well deserved. One thing that happens around this time of year is what I call “The Winter Feeling (TWF).” The Winter Feeling is similar to Seasonal Affective Disorder in that it’s seasonal. In my experience it goes from about mid-October to early-March. Now, The Winter Feeling is almost totally the opposite of the Summer Feeling–which I’ll dedicate another blog post to. The Winter Feeling tends to become more prominent as temperatures in the environment start dipping lower. You start thinking about how cold your bed is, you buy an electric blanket and name it, you look for alternative sources of heat such as a cat or dog. Some people even have a Winter Feeling designated individual who they would never see themselves with long term, but who could serve as a “filler-person” for the time being. The Winter Feeling involves increased levels of self awareness as you get colder. The trick is to not let it get to you because before you know it, you’ll just appear thirsty, desperate, and somewhat mentally unstable. The Winter Feeling will have you seeking companionship of any type because it’s cold outside and it gets dark early. Plus, loads of people get engaged in order to plan awesome spring and summer weddings. It’s the time of year when being alone is not the cool thing to be. There’s some unspoken expectation that everyone needs to have SOMEONE around this time of year. However, that’s not the case. The Winter Feeling can take a lot of people by surprise but when you know it’s coming it can be similar to the difference between riding a roller coaster with your eyes closed and your teeth clenched or just enjoying the ride because you know that it won’t last forever but will have ups and downs. One thing I like to remember is to not take myself too seriously. After all, it’s just the winter feeling. Spring will be here soon.