I’ve lived in Nebraska my whole life, and when you live in Nebraska, you get used to talking about the weather.
You can pretty much bet it’s never about how “nice” the weather is, either.
It’s either sweat-pouring-down-your-back hot or it’s Frozen Tundra Time. Midwestern people love saying, “don’t blow away out there!” when it’s windy. And they’ll talk about snowstorms like an annoying cousin that’s crashing on their couch for the 10th time in a month.
“It was okay the first time, I even enjoyed it!,” they say. “But it’s gotta stop, it’s really messing with my schedule.”
I, like many others in Nebraska, am a descendant of a sweet Danish man who immigrated to the midwest when he was eighteen. Back then, they said things like, “Gee whiz, bro, this dust bowl is really killing my vibe.” See, we haven’t changed.
Nothing really compares to a midwestern winter. There’s just nothing subtle about it. It goes on for, like, three to eight months of the year (there’s no real standard) and begins to eat at your soul.
You really start to lose yourself when you slump out to your car in the morning only to find it’s covered in four inches of ice. You stare at your muddy reflection, wipe out the crusty things that seem to always be collecting in your eyes these days, and begin to cry, a single tear landing on the windshield—oh, god! It freezes immediately, adding to the hockey rink on your car.
While you grab the shitty plastic ice scraper you got from your local bank during the holidays and before you have an existential crisis, here’s my advice to get through the rest of the winter. Not that you asked—but this is, at least, what’s been working for me lately:
Getting creative. There’s really nothing like diving into a project for the sake of creating. Even if it’s not going to earn you any money or even look decent enough to tack on the fridge, just the act of hashing out an idea on paper or designing something outside of your comfort zone is never wasted time. Not only that, but for a few moments (or hours!) you might get really jazzed about it and forget it’s negative whatever degrees outside.
Doing something new. For me, it’s starting a new job at Pixel Bakery (!), but it’s also this new yoga class I’ve been going to at the YMCA. I thought getting into yoga would be intimidating, but at this class there’s only ever a few people (usually retired women) who show up. The instructor is a friendly, new-age-y man who wears cargo pants and talks about how he stays up too late binging TV shows. It’s great! Which brings me to my next point.
Getting really into British reality TV. Let me tell you, these guys really have it figured out across the pond. Pretty much everything is more dramatic and interesting with a European accent. Some notable favorites of mine are “The Great British Baking Show” (a classic, after watching I felt very inspired to become a great baker but only got as far as box brownie and blueberry muffin mix); “The Great British Interior Design Show” (felt very inspired to paint my living room black for “visual depth,” and make a lampshade out of an old barrel, or whatever); and finally my biggest obsession, “Love Island” (in this case I complained to my boyfriend in a Scottish accent for a week until, in true Love Island style, he almost broke up with me.)
Astrology. This one’s become pretty trendy lately. It’s great if you’re obsessed with yourself (the nicer word is “introspective.”) Astrology works to cure seasonal depression by showing you how your daily obstacles are probably written in the stars. For instance, Capricorn season is hard for everyone (full offense, Capricorns).
Losing myself in a project. Despite the weather, I’ve already been loving getting to write and design cool stuff at Pixel Bakery. There’s truly nothing better than working on the task at hand and losing track of time while blaring terrible (or great?) 2000s pop music in your headphones. I’m pretty dang excited to create some cool things here. Hey, there’s even some good natural lighting in the PB office and a nice plant on my desk to cure the winter blues. My most important advice to you is to put yourself in a similar situation. Or just apply at Pixel Bakery.
There you have it. Here’s to the rest of the winter sliding away like snowy mush on your windshield, and remember, don’t blow away out there.