Got the Winter Blues?

Got Winter Blues?

In 2013, I decided to out-wit Mother Nature.

At the time, my job required me to spend every other week in the wilderness. The previous two winters, I lived outdoors. It’s a powerful experience, but I just didn’t want to do it anymore. So I took the winter off of work and sought a warmer climate. Australian summer.

I spent the winter trekking through the Outback and lying on white-sand beaches, but when spring returned, it was time to go back to work.

I was so pleased with myself. A year without winter. The early March air was still crisp with coldness, but it was a cold speckled with sunshine. A hopeful cold with an end in sight. You can imagine my surprise…


I’m dreaming of kangaroos and palm trees, cuddled deep within my sleeping bag, unaware of what is about to happen.

A thud of weight hits my body, jerking me into a panicked reality. What is going on? The weight is heavy. And very cold. 

I struggle to emerge from my cocoon, anxious. The tarp we had strung up between two trees for shelter has, under the weight of the snow, collapsed on top of me and my co-worker. We find our boots and quickly assemble a new structure in the freezing rain and snow. We are wet, tired, and annoyed at the fact that we will have to wake up every hour to brush snow off the tarp to keep it from caving-in again.

The next morning I am livid.

“This is why I went to Australia in the first place! I can’t do this anymore. I hate it SO much!”

My co-worker smiles and listens politely to my furious rant as she heats up water for morning tea. She’s been out here all winter, and here I am, tan and fresh from three months of vacation, complaining.

Ironic, isn’t it?

I laugh at this story now. It’s funny. I spent all winter avoiding my discomforts at great cost, only to have them, literally, crush me in my sleep the week I return.

How often in life do we avoid our problems rather than dealing with them head on?

This week, confront your winter blues by directly addressing a problem you’ve been having before it comes crashing down on top of you.

Photos compliments of Rebecca Hart. Check out her blog yourebeloved.

Thawing out my frozen boots over a backcountry stove.
Thawing out my frozen boots over a backcountry stove.

Published by Fireflies and Jars

Hello! My name is Tracey Gerlach. Professionally, I am a Positive Psychology Practitioner and a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Unprofessionally, I'm a doubting dreamer who's just trying to make every moment count. Follow along!

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