THE thing that gets me through Chicago winter!

Though it’s *technically* spring now, it’s 17 degrees right now in Chicago.

I don’t do well in cold weather.  I am self-diagnosed SAD (seasonal affective disorder).  I lose my zeal for life, I’m terrible at calling friends back, I’m not very productive, I forget to put on makeup… I have SAD bad (Dr. Seuss anyone? “Dad is sad. Dad had a bad day”).  When we were in college, my husband wrote a song “Always Winter, Never Christmas” (inspired by C.S.Lewis’ book “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).  You don’t need to hear the lyrics to know it was really, really sad…

Harmony’s song title is pretty accurate for Chicago winters.  I mean, really.  On average, snow fall starts in October (that’s just the snow…  not the cold) and it can end as late as May.  I’m not one of those people who gets their hopes up for Spring in March… that’s just foolishness.  😉

But clearly, in comparison to the majority of the world, my life really isn’t very bad (I have shelter, clothing, food… I’m even in the 9% of people in the world who own a car).  Winter just gets the best of me.

I’ve been planning this blog for a little while but in the past week 3 things have confirmed it’s timeliness:

1.  Every one and their mother is posting about the cold and their disdain for it

2.  Several of my friends have been sharing about their morning routines to make it through this dreadful season

3. An extremely unusual event that happened at my house 2 days ago…

But first, the weekly challenge…


Every.single.morning, throw open all of the curtains in your house, every last one of them, and let the sun shine in (even if it’s not sunny… you can let the slightly brighter hue of grey in)!  Then, blast your favorite music and maybe dance a little.

Now, if I hadn’t been throwing open my curtains every morning, I might have missed this week’s crazy event.  Two days ago I was babysitting our neighbor’s 3-year-old, Charlotte.  It was lunchtime so I sat Charlotte and my 21-month old son, Zeke at the table for some macaroni and sliced apples.  Charlotte and I were discussing Disney princess and then my husband called me.

As I was talking to Harmony, I look up and see a grown man, naked, in my front window… and he looks like he’s about to take a dump on my front porch!  I run to the front door, lock it and start banging on the window which clearly startled the young man into laying down face-front on the church pew I have on my front porch.  NOOOOOOO!  Harmony says, “Call the police!”  So I do.  Meanwhile the man gathers up the clothes he discarded and takes off, still naked, into my neighbor’s backyard.

It’s good to know that the police in town respond quickly!  I’m talking 30 seconds, a minute tops!  And what a turn-out!  5 police cars, an ambulance and a firetruck!

The police in front of my house on Tuesday.

Is winter getting the best of you too?  Maybe it’s not winter.  Maybe you’re in a real funk.  Maybe you’ve been searching for a job/mate/house so long that you’re incredibly discouraged.  Maybe you feel stuck in debt (I feel ya!  We’re doing the Dave Ramsey slow-climb out of debt over here).  Maybe…

Truth is, I don’t want to live a good story only 6 months of the year and be bogged down for the other 6 (for further reading on this, I highly recommend reading Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in A Thousand Years” or “Storyline”).

I must say that this has been one of my best winters yet.  It helps that I was able to get away to Arizona for a week (even if, per our luck, it was only slightly warmer than Chicago).  I’ve also started growing some plants in the house.  That little bit of green helps more than I’d ever imagined.  I’ve also been trying to do this week’s challenge as often as possible!  So, throw up those curtains… heck, you might just see something you’ve never seen before and have a really funny story to tell!

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  – Howard Thurman

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