The Learning Season

If you aren't ready to admit it, I'll do it for you. Winter is a hard time of year for many of us. I doubt Mother Nature means it to be so but she is so clever that there are days when I believe she's trying to help teach us to act our ages.

Think about the ways these cold days impact our lives. First of all, if you are a wimpy kind of elder you'll hate getting out to exercise. I have few good memories of being outdoors in the winter in Oregon. I don't ski. I don't even slush. I don't do cold because it makes me purple and the next color is white. These are not normal skin colors but they are ours. We are Geezers and most of us are not well suited to this weather. Of course there are those of us who are not excited about exercise either. We'll deal with that later.

Next up are the mean greens which I have named my darkest days. These are moods which scientists and physicians classify as depression. I take medications for depression every day and have for most of my life. I'm not afraid to admit this and I hope you aren't either. This is a disease which many of us suffer from and too few of us admit to having. Why? There is a stigma attached to this in our generation which we can't seem to get over. I'm asking you to get over it. Being depressed is a pretty normal part of winter for a whole lot of us and we are just fine in our own way.

In fact, I would say that most of us do pretty darned well for most of the year but winter can be a real struggle. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just talk about this with each other? Of course. So do it.

Visiting with friends is on the top of the list for making winter a better season. It's a good time to have an old fashioned Sunday dinner and invite friends and family members over. It's a good time to make the kinds of yummy stews and soups we tend to ignore during warmer weather. It would be a shame to squander these opportunities. With all respect to my friends who have given carbs the boot, I have to say that a splurge of chicken stew with dumplings has the potential to be a mood altering meal for most of us. This sort of meal can leave a memory which can last through several salads. Just sayin'.

Believe it or not, the simple act of listening to music for a quarter of an hour each day can make you happier. This is from a scientific study. Another of these says we lose creativity when we listen to music for the same amount of time. Who are you going to believe? I'm going with the quarter of an hour creativity. OUR music just makes us feel better, happier and more creative. It also brings back memories of our lives which belong only to us and can be cherished as such. I suspect the scientific study which concluded we were less creative with music must have been aimed at some other generation. God help them. I will always believe our music was the best. No wonder it makes us feel better.

Geezers are a clever lot and we find ways to fight the winter blahs with so many different tools. My Mom has just taken on a 1000 piece puzzle. One of our buddies has transformed his bathroom out of boredom because winter is the heartland of home improvement. If you stare at a problem in your home long enough, it will most likely seek a cure in winter. Other friends are making wool purses, quilts and other memorabilia. You see? In winter we make the things future generations will admire or puzzle over. No matter. They'll know we were here. Remember that. Each of your days is important and they should be the happiest you can make them.

Now to the damned exercise which I promised to return to. I've always hated this and if you know me you will know that I am physically and mentally challenged when it comes to anything which requires quick or repetitive movement. I am a klutz. My brain and my body parts do not communicate at the appropriate times. Signals get mixed up and often create some really funny results for onlookers. On my side it's kind of uncomfortable but I'm used to it.

All I can say is that if this season has got you down you MUST get your body parts moving around. My winter cure is to move your body while you listen to those 12 minutes of music we just talked about. Do it. Nobody is watching but I wish I could. Xoxo

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