It’s so easy to get—ah choo!–a very bad case of–ah choo!–you know what I’m going to say don’t you?–a very bad case of Cabin Fever at this time of year.
It doesn’t matter if you live in a cabin like we do.
Doesn’t matter if you dwell in one of those fancy apartments in a fancy city. Doesn’t matter if you’re milkin’ cows down on the farm. Or driving through those suburbs on expressways wishing you lived down south.
In Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, (add your northern state here or maybe your southern state, the way things are going this year) you probably have 1) a teeny tiny bout with Cabin Fever or 2) a burgeoning case of the blues or 3) you’re ready to shoot six holes in your freezer, thanks, Jimmy Buffett.
Here’s what happens. As the snow falls deeper and deeper and deeper, and the ice box of land and lake freezes more and more solid, and the temperatures plummet for days and weeks and months on end, something deep inside goes underground. It’s as if some part of the spirit wriggles down around the intestines or maybe liver or gall bladder (if you’re lucky to still have one, and you should take a few moments to thank your gall bladder for all the hard work it does digesting fats and oils) and tries to protect you until you can sprout again.
Sometimes you never even recognize the part of you that shivers down to save itself. You don’t recognize it until spring comes and you’re running around in short sleeves–or you visit Florida–and you think “Ohmygoodness, I’ve been hunkered down trying to keep myself alive for months! Oh my, it feels liberating, like being born again.”
This Eskimo effort, this black bear part of yourself that hibernates, sometimes creates sad, sad feelings. Think about it. The lack of light refuses to help. Vitamin D deserts the north-dweller. Some suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder more than others.
Those who play outside seem less affected than those who hunker down on the couch and refuse to get up for six months. Those who ski, snowmobile, walk, snowshoe and shovel may (and I repeat–may) fare better than those who drive to work with frozen windshield wipers and dangerous roads and skidding cars.
Add some other challenges–death, illness, you name it–and life can sometimes seem so cumbersome.
A woman paid taxes at my house this week.
“I hate winter,” she snarled. She’s a lifetime Yooper (Upper Peninsula dweller) whose husband died a couple of years ago.
“This is terrible,” another muttered as she scurried from warm car to grocery store.
Another friend insists she’s giving her bitching husband a t-shirt in June “I survived the winter of 2013-14″.
Even on the blogosphere you can hear the northerners singing the Cabin Fever blues. I want to hug each and every one. I’ve experienced this illness many years–and may still even succumb this year. Thus far, cross fingers, hearts and toes, I am still feeling amazingly cheerful, with only normal mood fluctuations.
However, just to hedge bets, and because it’s almost Valentines Day weekend, I begged said husband to accompany me to the Big City in an effort to ward off any Cabin Fever germs. Yep, we’re headed to Marquette!!
We’re even staying overnight in one of those fancy motels with a swimming pool! I just wanted to let you all know. I might just stay in that hot tub until spring. So if you don’t hear from me until, say, April, you’ll know what happened.
Just alerting you.
Anyone have Cabin Fever? What kind of “medicine” makes it better for you?