09 March 2012

Marching Towards Gratitude

February is always a difficult month for me. The short days really start to get to me, as I arrive at school before the sun is even yet up, and I trudge down the dark halls to my windowless fluorescent cave of a classroom. The newness of the new year has worn thin. The school year is barely half-over, and it seems interminable for both me and the students.

I can’t quite pin down when I started feeling this way about February. And it’s not like there aren’t things to look forward to in February. Some of my favorite people, including my mom, celebrate their birthdays during this month. And who doesn’t look forward to the crush of chocolate that precedes and follows Valentine’s Day?

It’s not like the winters here in Arizona, even here in the mountains, are harsh enough to warrant a case of cabin fever, even though it’s been especially unseasonably warm this winter. Maybe it harkens back to the days when I was pregnant with Madeleine, who was born in late March. That oh-so-pregnant load was pretty heavy by the end of February. Whatever the reason, flipping that calendar over to March each year is always a small but momentous occasion for me. I suppose I should feel grateful that February is the shortest month of the year. Once March’s face is showing, I start noticing little things, little things that give me hope for the finiteness of winter:

- the sun peeking over the mountains during my morning commute
- the swelling buds on flowering trees
- a daffodil here, and there
- and those moments of sun that stretch a few moments longer each evening.

And while these winter doldrums exist solely in my mind, they do weigh me down. I know, I know, they’re First World Problems. But I’ll keep marching on, seeking out those bright spots along the way.

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