Beating the Blahs

By Sandy Dale
   The Christmas tree’s gone, the decorations put away, the last of the holiday candy and frozen leftovers consumed. The sky is smoky gray and it’s snowing bloody hell. What now? Ah, time for a trip to the Bahamas, right? I’m sure that would beat the winter blahs, but I’m not quite in the percent of folks that can do that. So…here’s how I do it.
   Exercise No. 1 – Meet Mother Nature Head On. I shovel a little path out to the sidewalk in front of my house where my neighbors (bless them) have shoveled a little path down the sidewalk to the coffee shop.
   Exercise No. 2 – Force a Smile. I grab my favorite travel mug and Pinkie my trusty laptop and make my way to the Pour House (said coffee shop). I stand in line with the local folks waiting for our steamy mochas and Americanos and grumble about the weather – which we all secretly love. I’m old and I usually don’t feel like smiling when it’s cold and wet, but I find once my face cracks into a smile the easier the next few are.
   Exercise No. 3 – I get a little work done while looking out the window periodically to see if the sun has come out yet. I might even hum a few bars of “Tomorrow.” I often play my banjo on really dreadful days…it is nearly impossible to be grumpy while playing a banjo – or even listening to one.
   Exercise No. 4 – Escape. I know I mentioned the Bahamas, but this is much cheaper. I have a stash of very old books (1880’s to early 1900’s). Of course, I found most of them here in lovely downtown Florence. Nearly every antique shop has them. You could pull out your Kindle, but it is just not the same as holding a very old hard back, cloth or leather bound book. The font is beautiful, the language seems almost foreign and the illustrations… the illustrations are wondrous. I read it.
   Exercise No. 5 – I make the most of the “little holidays” like St. Brigid’s Day, Groundhog Day (my personal favorite), and St. Valentine’s Day, which has been seriously over-commercialized, but if you make your own cards – be creative, use some of those antique valentines you found in Florence and tell everyone you love them…

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