February in Review: Meh

I live a small life. A small, Introverted Homebody life, and I make no apologies for it. It’s boring, it’s borderline anti-social (ahem, we introverts prefer “selectively social”, thank you very much), but it suits me. Although I am the first to admit that there’s a fine line between livin’ la intorverted loca and full-on cabin fever sometimes. Anyway, even for someone who revels in living a small life, this month was flat-out minuscule.

We watched the Superbowl at home. Our plans to go to a party, taco dip in hand, with some of my running group buddies fell through due to the snow storm we got that afternoon. So we were stuck at home watching Pats vs. Seahawks all alone, and I ate that taco dip by myself (Kevin doesn’t like it. Weirdo). Kevin and I went to our favorite restaurant and then to see The Imitation Game for Valentine’s Day. It was a really nice night and it reminded me how much I do enjoy going to see movies, even though I’m not much of a movie person. The cinema-loving seed in me is ready to bloom this year, I can feel it. I’m sure our new Milwaukee Film membership will help bring it to life!

10665261_867610479997_3611310951957539103_nWe hung out with friends a few times, including a happy hour event with some of Milwaukee’s AmeriCorps Alums. I finished one book this month – Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Great read! I am now 4 books behind in my quest to read 36 books in 2015. Yikes. But, I remain unfazed. I know it sounds crazy, but I am confident that I will catch up and still achieve this goal. I refuse to let go of it. I WILL read 36 books this year!

 

20150215-142629.jpgOf course, the highlight of the month was that I started marathon training! 2 weeks later and I’ve already logged 59 miles. Training has been going well, as you can tell by my recaps, and although it’s been bitterly cold and outdoor runs have meant dodging slush and snow piles, I’m really enjoying being back out there, training regularly again, building my mileage AND my anticipation for Grandma’s. The structure and routine of marathon training has really helped me regain my love and motivation for running during the time of year when it is hardest to love.

 

But this post is going to be a little different than the same old scrapbook of my month, because February didn’t go like that. I’m just going to be honest and talk about what this month was really like: not great. Other than FINALLY starting marathon training, I can’t pinpoint a single remarkable, significant thing about February. Life just sort of ambled along, lazily, between freezing cold days and bouts of snow and a particularly nasty case of PMS. I retreated to patches of warmth wherever I could find them – the blankets on the bed that I can’t get out of until the last minute on cold dark mornings; the back seat of the always-late bus where I could relax for 20 minutes before being thrown into the day; the sweaty bustle of the gym; my first steps into work and the accompanying sips of coffee. Somehow, my least favorite month of the year, a 28-day slow march through the dredges of winter, finally managed to pass by in a haze of Roseanne and Law and Order reruns, work stress, numerous changes into and out of snow boots, single-digit temperatures and the 1-mile beeps on my Garmin.

While I saw a resurgence of energy in my running, my mental energy went the opposite way. I’ve never been so unproductive and out-of-it at work as I have this month. I mean, I’m prone to a few distractions here and there like everyone else, but it was bad this month. Some days I just could not focus to save my life. This sewage of mental deadness spilled over into the rest of my life and pretty soon it too stunk of lack of productivity: I skipped a handful of days in my habit of the month, the 5-minute tidy up, because I just couldn’t muster up the wherewithal some nights to do even that; I sent great blog post ideas to the writing graveyard because I just didn’t feel like writing after a long day; and while one week we would rock the whole eating healthy home cooked meals shebang, the next week hardly a thing would pass these lips that didn’t come out of a Jimmy Johns bag or a pizza box.

Winter sucks.

Last year, I went on the El Salvador Global Village Trip in the last week of February and not only the trip itself, but also the anticipation of it in the few weeks leading up to it, made winter so much more bearable. Come March, the score was a pleasing Hanna – 1; S.A.D. – 0. But this year, with no El Salvador trip to protect me, the old beast came back to even the score in its favorite way: a surprise ambush when I think I’m going to get out of winter unscathed.

You win this time, S.A.D.

 

With all that said, I’m cautiously optimistic about March. I’m not deluded enough to believe that everything will be magical and I’ll make some total transformation from this month’s slump. Life in general gets much busier in Spring so I’m the first to admit that my favorite season comes with its own challenges and stresses. But February’s over now so that alone means March is off to a good start.

We don’t have a ton of plans this month – just a few things here and there and I am looking forward to them. I’m finally going to see my book club again after 4 months.

No races in March, but marathon training will continue along, building more with every week. By the end of the month my long run will be up to 18 miles and my weekly mileage will break into the 40s.

And no matter how March ends up by the 31st, there’s one thing I always know will be good: my birthday is this month! 9 days from today, actually. I’m taking my second mini stay-cation of the year that weekend, and this time it’s a FOUR day weekend so that I can include my birthday, which falls on a Thursday this year. No big plans on the birthday – kicking off my staycation with birthday yoga the night before, probably going out to dinner somewhere, and of course I’ll be doing my favorite workout that day as a present to myself – SPEED WORK! Mile repeats, happy birthday to me! And this is not even sarcasm so:

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I would do 28 repeats to commemorate turning 28, but, I would like to live to see 29 so I’ll just stick with 4 😉

 

Here’s hoping that the luck of the Irish is with me and I have a better March than I did February. Or that I at least read 3 books this month so I can emerge at the end of March somewhat less behind on my goal!

 

What are you most looking forward to this month?

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22 thoughts on “February in Review: Meh

  1. I relate to that first paragraph so much. A colleague asked if I could watch her dog overnight and said, “we just adopted her 2 months ago and while she is super sweet we’re still working with her on not barking at new people so I wouldn’t recommend inviting a lot of people over.” Um, trust me, not a problem! haha

    I’m sorry that you’re dealing with the winter blues! I definitely don’t get them as strongly as northerners, but I do hate that it’s already pitch dark when I get home from work during the winter. It’s always a bit depressing because it feels like my entire life revolves around work. I am looking forward to the time change in just a bit so that I can have some sunlight at the end of my day!

    …. And let the birthday countdown begin!!!! 🙂

    1. Ugh I HATE that it’s dark at 5:00 PM, although it is slowly getting lighter around here – now when I get off work it’s light out! It makes me so happy. I read somewhere that once the new year hits, we gain a minute of sunlight every day. So we’ve already gained an hour of light back – AND the time change is coming soon! WHOO HOO!!

  2. Happy early birthday. I hear you on the winter blues. I feel like we have a couple more months to get through here (more snow tonight). I am excited for the time change, and I do hear birds out in the morning…I hate letting the weather get to me, but it does. Cabin fever, it’s very real here! Hang in there, time is on our side!

    1. Thanks Cheryl! Our winter has been bad enough, I can’t imagine what winter blues in New England must be like! I’m excited for the time change too. So worth losing the hour of sleep this time!

  3. Happy almost birthday! I hate feeling unproductive, but I certainly have trouble in the winter too. It’s harder to wake up and winter is just a generally icky time of year. Can’t wait until spring!! Have fun doing those birthday mile repeats!

    1. You and me both – Spring can never get here soon enough! I swear February is the most unproductive month of the year – the New Years Resolution energy has burned out and the winter blues have set in. One year I want to defy all expectations and have a super productive winter so I can share my secrets with the world and make winter better for all! Hehe

  4. Can totally relate to the introvert stuff! I also loved the book Unbroken. My book club just read it and went to the movie. I was sort of disappointed in the movie though. Here’s to a better March!

    1. My book club was going to see the movie back in January, but our movie night got cancelled so I still haven’t seen it. I’ve heard mixed reviews, but I’m glad I got a chance to read the book before seeing the movie. I’m not sure what it’d be like – so much of books are internal and it’s hard to imagine how that can translate to the big screen. Imagination, I guess!

  5. It sounds like you have a lot to look forward to this month! March/April are going to be really busy for me due to performances and concerts at work. I am hoping things will slow down in May. I am always relieved when March is over because that is when I feel like winter is REALLY over.

    There were days I definitely felt the winter “blahs”, but I definitely take time to be thankful for the little things and the big things… even if the weather is crappy and such.

    1. Same here – the end of February is like “Spring is ALMOST here, heck…maybe?…it’s here already?” But April is like “okay, yup, it’s here.”

      Best of luck these next couple months. When you start to slow down is, for me, when things will start to pick up! May is usually a really busy month for me.

  6. I think a lot of people are having the winter blues this year. I know winter has gotten the best of me and it hasn’t even been that bad here! Here’s to hoping March is better for the both of us, and I know it will be because our birthdays are so close! (Mine is the 19th) 🙂

    1. Yay! March birthdays ROCK! We are a week apart, how cool is that? Yes, here’s to a better March. Cheers!!

  7. Happy early Birthday!

    This whole post really hit home for me. If some of the details were different I’d swear I’d written it. The scariest thing is I didn’t even realize it was happening until I was talking to my best friend this weekend and he pointed out that I was displaying classic symptoms of depression. Huh. I’m fairly certain it’s more S.A.D. than “real” depression because I feel better basically any time I get to spend more than a few minutes in the sunshine and going home to LA for a few days was a complete 180 in mood. I guess in a way that’s a good thing, then, because the days are getting longer and sunnier, so it should pass soon.

    At least we have marathon training and books to look forward too! Though, just like you, my reading slowed considerably in February. Ack.

    March has already been better so far, so that’s a good sign, right? 🙂

    1. I LOVE this comment. I felt the same way, I kept thinking that people were going to read this post and think something was wrong with me. S.A.D. is a real thing, but I don’t think a lot of people really understand that it’s much more than a bunch of grumpy people who don’t like snow on the ground.

      I think going back to LA will be a HUGE help and I’m excited for you!

  8. Selectively social- love it! That so describes me. February was an odd month this year, here’s to March and daylight savings! I was doing ok with my reading list until I started attempting crochet- now that keeps distracting me. Happy March!

    1. Glad I’m not the only one falling off the reading wagon, lol. My “habit” this month is to read every day so I’m hoping it will help, but we’ll see. Daylight savings can’t come soon enough!!

  9. February is pretty much the worst month. My patience for dealing with snow/ice/cold is all used up, yet there doesn’t seem to be an end to winter. Having a week of vacation in Florida to look forward to was one of the only things that kept me going. It was freezing cold the week before I left and I was just over dealing with it. 2 out of 3 runs ended up being skipped.

    But March is here and the forecast is showing temperatures in the 40s! Things will start turning around soon.

    1. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one struggling in February. That’s great that you were able to get away to FL – I remember last year when I went to El Salvador, I didn’t even have time to get the winter blues because I was constantly looking forward to my trip, and then going on it, and by the time I got back March was here so winter was almost over. I really think that not having any vacation this year is what’s hurting me, but, just wasn’t realistic. We are going on a cruise in August – don’t really “need” it as much in the summer but I am NOT gonna turn it down!

  10. I can’t pinpoint a single remarkable, significant thing about February<——-I feel that way about huge clumps of time quite often, but I think winter is even harder when it has been such a tough one. SAD is a real thing for sure and I think the need for sunshine and fresh air increases as we get older and hormones plummet :/
    Certainly the break through of spring and running all those glorious miles will make for a better March! and 28 🙂 Awesome!! I can hardly remember it lol kidding…
    Sounds like you have some fun date nights in your future with the film membership!

  11. Hey, if your life is fun to you, it’s fun to you. I used to give in to FOMO and go out all the time, but as I get older (my 28th is 8 days away!!! Bday twins!), I realize that I want to do what I want to do, and I’ll surround myself with people who like to like to do the same types of things. As a fellow selectively social introvert myself (this article defines me in a nutshell: http://www.puckermob.com/relationships/10-things-you-need-to-know-before-dating-the-outgoing-introvert#.VMK-v72n4ng.facebook), I think it’s OK for you to spend your social time however you want. Work is too exhausting for me to be social after work.

    1. Haha I’ve actually seen that same article! I was just telling someone a while ago that I think being an introvert actually gets a lot easier as you get older. As an adult, I have a lot more control over who I spend time with and how often, and besides, work/family/home obligations limit the amount of time we can be social anyway. Of course there are still challenges, but it’s a lot easier now than as a student, when you were around at least 30 other kids all day and if you weren’t up to their level of socialization, it was noticeable. Or maybe it’s because with age we become more self-aware and comfortable with ourselves.

      I’ve noticed that many fellow run bloggers consider themselves introverts. It makes sense – distance running requires you to spend a lot of time alone with your own thoughts, and blogging is a great way to come out of your shell without being drained by constant physical interaction.

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