Signed, Cold in Florida
Dear Weather Maker,
Dare I say it? I am cold. Yes, I live in Florida. And, yes, I do feel sorry for myself.
I know, according to the news, that people further north are truly suffering. Students are unable to go the school. Adults are unable to go to work. Snow and freezing rain are locking people in their homes and causing accidents on the roads. People are dying due to the low temperatures. It is so cold exposed flesh can get frostbite in minutes. A cup of hot water tossed into the air turns to steam before our eyes. Soap bubbles freeze instead of pop. The headlines yesterday said it is too cold for polar bears in Chicago. How cold is that?
I live in a Florida city where none of those things are happening -- yet I still feel like whining about the cold. I know I am spoiled. (We Floridians like to claim we have thin blood, a biological excuse for acting spoiled.) My comfort zone is quite small -- probably between 65 and 85 degrees, depending on the humidity -- and this current weather pattern is not in it. Two days of 27 degree wake-up calls accompanied by brisk winds turned my outside cat into an inside cat and my neighbor's lawn into a veritable lighted lollipop forest -- all the little trees topped with Christmas lights and then topped with blankets, carefully rounding the tops of the tree and twisted and tied around the trunks. Today it is a chilly 51 degrees at noon -- and raining. I am cold whether I am inside or outside and not naturally thankful in either place. Yesterday, I actually pulled a muscle in my shoulder by shivering.
But I know I should be counting my blessings instead of whining about a cold spell:
- I live in a climate that puts sweaters on clearance the day after Christmas.
- I have an excuse to go shopping; I definitely need warmer socks and shoes.
- I can always wear more clothes. (There's a limit to what I can take off in the summer's heat.) More clothes = more shopping. (Less clothing = arrest.)
- I know that shivering burns calories. (Of course, in the summer, I will tell myself that sweating burns calories -- and I will have many more days of that.)
- I have no trouble getting a parking spot at the health club because cold saps motivation for early morning workouts. (Goodbye, New Year's resolutions!)
- I am too cold to drink the smoothies I bring for breakfast and lunch; cold weather is a great weight-loss tool, or it would be if I didn't turn to those butter cookies in the teacher's lounge for comfort.
- (I could be fit and a perfect weight by the end of winter, should these days continue. The butter cookies can't last forever.)
- I can wear the exact same outfit numerous days in a row, since I never take off my winter coat. Who would know?
- (I can save time thinking about what to wear, and I can always use more time.)
- I can enjoy the weather -- at least through the windows. It may be cold, but it is certainly beautiful.
- I can survive, knowing cold weather is temporary. This is Florida, after all (and I believe the forecast calls for temps in the 80s this weekend.)
I'm feeling better already. I am blessed. Thanks.
Cold in Florida
P.S. Warm up my northern friends, too.