Don’t Open Until Winter 2017.
Walking through my neighborhood tonight, at that perfect moment when families are turning on the lights of their townhouses and all you need is a flannel, I decided it was officially spring. I’ve been hesitant to put a label to Mother Nature’s current mood after last year dry cleaning my snow jacket only to be hit with a surprise storm a week later. These last couple of weeks all I want to do is be outside at all hours of the day. It’s almost painful to work inside for 8+ hours and see the world blossoming and tourists milling outside on the Highline just beyond my reach.
But before the warm weather completely erases my memory of ever having endured a winter of any kind, I thought it best to write a letter to 2017 Carly about all the lessons I took away from this year’s festivus.
Hello from the other side … of winter. That joke was really big in 2016, not now? Are you wearing that giant red and black cat sweater as you read this? Because I specifically put it on to write this letter. That and a Kermit the Frog baseball hat which I sometimes employ in the midst of writer’s block. This year we learned some big things, some little things, but mostly we learned that you’re horrible at remembering any life lessons pertaining to winter. At one point you believed if you didn’t carry an umbrella with you it wouldn’t rain? What are you, Storm from X-Men?
So consider this my gift to you.
- Take Vitamin D pills! Last year we went weeks without sunlight. It was clouds then rain then snow and back again until it felt like being heavy and sluggish would be our new norm. A daily vitamin won’t cut it, without Vitamin D your energy levels are crazy low and you need those to win a skiball championship in Williamsburg this year!Also, be better about taking your vitamins.
- Stop wearing those mismatched gloves. My first year in New York, I lost my left glove midwinter. I was so distraught I wrote a eulogy to the beautiful bastard here but like the ending of any tragic love story, I knew I had to move on. This year, I lost the right glove of my new pair and instead of buying a new set, just combined the two pairs which were entirely different sizes, shapes, colors. Things got real jenky, real quick and reminded me that this year, 2017, I would buy a new matching pair of gloves and try and be a somewhat together adult. I also decided I would try and check the weather more instead of just guessing from my window everyday.
- Go ice skating in Prospect Park and travel on the Staten Island Ferry. For the past two years, I’ve cheered anytime anyone has brought up ice skating and yet, I’ve never pursued the idea any further than that. Still unchecked on my bucket list (a four page deep document I will share on a later date), this is the year! Bring some spiked apple cider for you and your friends, and after an hour of falling and laughing and getting your socks drenched in a mixture of sweat and slush, invite them all over to warm up and watch “Clue” with the cats.
- New face cream, new shorter snow jacket, new you.
Some days just don’t call for a full length, sleeping bag-inspired snow jacket. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of days do! Even when you’re walking the block and a half from our front stoop to the subway station, traveling in anything less than three layers is amateur. With another shorter snow jacket in rotation, you can better prepare for those snow days that are a little chilly and sunny at the same time. And face cream, you need something thicker that can stand up against the wind burn you endured the last two years. If not, you’re going to keep arriving at parties looking like beef carpaccio.
- Embrace the benefits of having a snow day.
Growing up in Valencia, I only experienced “fire days” in which the school would shut down due to the smoke and ash from our yearly brush fires making the air quality too unhealthy for kids to stay outside. Fire days were fine but nothing like the magic snow days held on 90s sitcoms. This year, hunker down and use your snow days to experiment with recipes, bake, taste test a variety of Netflix shows, catch up on writing. Let the snow fall outside while you appreciate the warm cocoon you’ve created for yourself inside. Think of it as a 24 hour staycation. Unless it’s a blizzard, then fill a bucket of water and pray.
Bonus: Find who is serving ice tea all year long and offer to be their hype-woman.
Now go out there and follow the sun. Just so you always remember, while you wrote this post at 1:32am, you were surrounded by two slumbering cats both having dreams about chasing squirrels.