Thursday, February 19, 2015

Beating the Winter Doldrums

Come and swim at the Y M C A

January was rough. My Grandmom died, I had this nasty cough/cold that wouldn't go away, and Daniel and I were having these epic battles about getting dressed every morning. And let's face it, it was January. Does anyone like January?

Teetering at the edge of depression, I finally joined the gym I'd been talking about joining for years. We have a brand new YMCA near our house and my friends who belong are borderline cult-like in their love of it. I thought it was too far from our house, but when I google mapped the Y versus the LA fitness, it was only five minutes further, and Daniel could swim there too. Sold.

Since joining, my whole winter has turned around. During our first visit, Daniel played in the Kid Zone while I danced at Zumba - instant smile!!!! and Carl worked out. Amazing. Two happy parents and a not-too-unhappy kid.

For our second visit, we had a pool night. We all brought our bathing suits, and I played with Daniel while Carl swam laps, then Carl played with Daniel while I swam laps. It felt like a Tuesday night vacation. Three happy people on a Tuesday night in February. Amazing.

I know that endorphins make a big difference, but sometimes I guess I need a break from exercise to remember just what a big difference it makes. The week before I joined the gym I was borderline depressed. After three workouts I felt like myself again.

A wise friend pointed out that it wasn't just the exercise, but the family date that put the smile on my face, and she was right. Since she said that I've been trying to do some kind of weekly family excursion once a week - whether it's splashing at the pool, or eating at Outback, something just for fun. In spring and summer, spontaneous fun abounds. In winter, it takes a bit more work. But with some focus and attention, with exercise, with watching daily comedy, I find that as friends complain about the winter doldrums, at least for today, I'm feeling pretty good.