Living in the Midwest means you never know what the weather is really going to look like. Sure it’s winter and it’s freezing, as winter typically does. But is it going to be cold but dry, the variety that isn’t pleasant but doesn’t harm the commute? Or will it be cold and windy, where no matter how many layers you wrap up in, you’ll never be warm enough?
Is the snow going to be those big, sticky flakes? Or flurries mixed in with freezing rain? And then there’s the most important Midwest Winter question of all, the one that ends first dates and leads to familial breakdowns: do you drive 10 under or 20 over the speed limit during the snow storm?
This past week I re-discovered cabin fever. I’m on a hybrid work schedule at DayJob, with one day of everyone being in office and the other days are optional in-office days. Most of us work from home on those four days, and I love the one-day-in, four-days-remote schedule. It helps me keep a sense of work-life balance, I save money from only driving once a week and weekends, and the mid-week in office day is a nice “break,” if you will, since working from home is wonderful but can also get a little monotonous.
Then this past Monday it happened. It being local news reporting a massive snowfall moving in late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Four to six inches of snow, followed by potentially icy rain Wednesday night. The commute would have been hellacious. There would be accidents and bloodbath. Ok, nobody said bloodbath, but you all know how ominous news reports can get.
My great-grandboss sent out the email on Tuesday that we’d all just work from home this week and come in on our regularly scheduled in-office day next week. This was a relief, since there was no way I’d be able to get out of my parking spot if we actually had that much snow overnight. So Tuesday evening I looked outside for the last time before going to bed. It was cold, but not really snowy.
Wednesday was the moment of truth. Most of my coworkers with kids reported schools were closed and we were all hunkered down for…. Nothing. The snow was so light it was a joke, there were no blizzards or ice. It was just a typical cold Wednesday in late January. I did laugh at a couple videos my friends with kids uploaded of their kids making snowman with very brown and gray snow.
The snowmen didn’t get very big.
So at this point you’re all probably wondering what this has to do with me getting cabin fever. Well, here it is: I didn’t realize how much a midweek in-office day was a necessary break in the week, a change of scenery that keeps me sane-ish.
It’s only Day Four at home and I’m starting to get bored, goofy and slaphappy, which is a terrible mix. Videos on YouTube that aren’t actually funny have become funny. I want to eat everything and nothing sounds good. I have the desire to go get fast food for the sake of going outside, but I don’t want to make myself presentable.
And you know what else I’m doing? Watching the clip from Muppets Treasure Island, not only because it’s the Muppets and they’re iconic, but because the “Cabin Fever” dance number is exactly how I feel. Like the pirates who haven’t seen land in six weeks, I have been alternating between the same two pairs of sweatpants. I’m wondering when the sun will start setting after six. And then I’m walking around my place singing and laughing to myself while Marina either ignores me in favor of a nap, or watches from her perch on the counter with an amused look on her little face.
So friends, the point of today’s post is that winter is definitely upon us. But hopefully, the dark, cold days will start to warm up again or else I might turn into one of those not-so-young goofballs dancing around on Instagram because it’s what the kids are doing. Oh man, let’s hope the cabin fever doesn’t get that bad. You all don’t want to see me try to shimmy. I don’t want to see me shimmy.
Begone, cabin fever!
Yours in running, writing and surviving winter,