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Hi·ber·nate [hi-ber-neyt] verb: to pass the winter in a torpid or lethargic state.(Webster’s Third New International Dictionary)

Deep freeze

I am torpid.  I am lethargic.  The season is winter.  Thirty-four days in, fifty-seven days to go.  Motivation vanishes under snow and ice, and a gray malaise settles over the land.  When the thermometer reads 3 degrees Fahrenheit, hibernation seems like a wise choice.

For many years, I practiced a form of hibernation: sleep, work, eat, and repeat. Then I made a decision that we will no longer succumb to winter – we will schedule activities to force ourselves awake! We will choose life over dismal endurance!  Plays, concerts, musicals and dinner parties pepper our calendar the first 3 months of the year.  But every single time, my first thoughts run to staying in bed, main-lining hot drinks and staring at our freshwater aquarium:  in there, it is always balmy.

Momentum fizzles.  Imagining a warm afternoon, walking along in sandals, sunglasses required, is hard enough.  Imagining a new life is nearly impossible.  It will be winter forever, it seems, and how can I change my life if I am wrapped tightly in a Snuggie?

This week, I hibernate.  Just for a week.  Winter and I nod at each other in mutual acknowledgement.  Don’t judge; you know you want to nod off for a month, too.

How do you cope with winter? (Really.  I need some pointers.)


Reader Interactions


  1. It may be -3 degrees F outdoors but it is 80 degrees F is my bedroom. So I put on my bikini and sun glasses, slather moisturizing sun lotion all over my body (smells like summer), and excersice to steel drum music. Ahhh….it’s like being on vacation. And even though my little excersice rutine only lasts for 20 minutes, it is a great way to stay in shape and puts me in a positive mood.

  2. This winter we’ve gone sledding a lot. I can honestly say that the activity has helped my outlook. I haven’t gone into that hunker-down mode that I usually experience each and every year. And, oh yeah, I said that even if I can’t buy food for the boy for a while, we’re going someplace warm for vacation this winter. So we’re off to Miami Beach for a week in February. Yippee!

    • Outdoor winter activities seem like a good idea (I’ve always wanted to try snowshoeing), but then I remember the “outside” part. My other half doesn’t encourage sledding, the dog requires bribery to visit the backyard twice a day, and then there is the cat whose blanket-like qualities cannot be overlooked this time of year. I’m fighting the “hunker-down”, but the battle is hard on this very frigid day. A trip seems to be the secret weapon!

  3. I sleep, work, eat, eat, eat, sleep. Sleep , sleep, ea,t work, eat, eat, eat-eat-eat-eat-eat. Oh wait. I do that all year. I’m a winter-lover so I shovel a lot, clean off the cars, and walk. I am so bundled up, I look like a fat tall larva with legs so I mainly walk at night. So hibernate. Dream up some stuff for spring! (Very funny reflection on the aquarium…)

    • Well, there’s nothing wrong with my appetite, that’s for sure. Your attitude is refreshing – maybe if I drive over to your part of town after dark I will catch a glimpse of the walking larva. The last time I went out in full-bundle mode a friend driving by mistook me for a child walking along with the Husband…winter transforms us all! (-;

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