Today's weather forecast: 8 degrees above normal. There will be a high pressure system moving in that will blanket you with sunshine. You will smile and breathe deeply because it feels so good to get out there in the sun and the warmth. It will feel like a little gift. But then you will say, "Wait, this is February. This is not normal." You're right, about 8 degrees above normal. And that's not just the weather.
It seems like our world is now operating at 8 degrees above normal. Can we just go back to normal?
It's February. Normally a blanket of snow would cover the ground. You would be making hot chocolate and cherry pie for President's Day. You would light a fire and a candle and snuggle up with a book. But with that sunshine and high pressure also comes the compounding guilt of lying on the couch. "Get up, get out, get busy, get moving," it screams. And you can't. You. Can't. Move. Because for the last 6 weeks since Christmas, you've been moving. You've been busy. So today you say, Enough. High pressure be damned. I've been moving at 8 degrees above normal for too long. I need a BREAK. This is the season of hibernation. We just finished Winter Sports and are in the peaceful lull before Spring Sports. We need this time to breathe, to relax, to rewind. To Lay Low. I need a little low pressure system - bring on the snow! But this high pressure stuff is all around. The news... overheated, overcharged. High Pressure. Way above normal! The news is having a trickle down effect too. My kids, my colleagues, all of us under added pressure. 8 degrees above normal! With a relative in the hospital - 8 degrees above normal. Getting ready for college - 8 degrees above normal. And it's official - 4 teenagers in the house - though that probably puts us at 20 degrees above normal! Even a trip to the grocery store - 8 degrees above normal. Why? You can't eat bread anymore and Milk is how much? Oh, and wait, we're not supposed to drink milk anymore? That was my normal. Now everything is 8 degrees above normal.
Could we just turn down the heat? Can we just have a simple normal winter, without the odd temps creeping in? I get it that people don't look forward to snow. I know it's a pain to shovel and travel, but cold isn't so bad. In fact, it's normal! Where is our normal now?
I keep trying to find it. Not on the weather channel, not on the news channel. Not on National Geographic. That stuff is getting scary! 8 degrees above normal is just not good for our earth. Or for us. And yet the systems we had in place to curb the 8 degrees above normal just got a big roll back politically. Soon the 8 degrees above normal will be twenty degrees above normal.
So what are we to do with this high pressure, high temps? I'd like to say the answer is finding your own new normal. Shorts in February? Just go get the boxes out of the attic and shut up. Watching the news? Just have a glass of wine first. Four teenagers? Read a book about how to deal. But I can't. It's so not normal. I'm resisting all these things. Maybe I'm just too old. About a week ago I felt young and primed to cope, but that's probably because there was snow on the ground! Today it's just too far above normal.