The winter fucking blues.
They seem to have crept up on me, but they're here. It's cold, it's grey, it's wet and windy - to be expected for this corner of the world, at this time of the year, yes. But it feels like it's been cold, grey, wet and windy for five months now. Oh wait, that's because it has been. With a good couple of months more to go.
This morning I received an email from Shutterfly, about a free offer of 101 prints. This is perfect for catching up on the backlog of photos I need printed for our photo album, and an offer that I occasionally take up, so I opened up our iPhoto library to start compiling.
The trouble was, it had been a while since I last got a big batch printed and so I needed to dig out the fat envelopes sitting next to our photo albums - still waiting to be dated and ordered, then placed in an album - to see where I was up to in the backlog.
The photos I've just sorted through were from November 2011 to August 2012. From memory, when I received them I was happy to (then) be only a year behind in printing photos... and then promptly placed them next to the albums, delaying the dating (which I like to do, in case the photos get misplaced or handed over to the Faery and Miss Pie down the track, so that they'll know how old they were).
This means I've just finished the excruciating process of putting about a hundred photos in order and writing dates on their backs - necessitating a trip down memory lane.
The majority of the photos were from the winter period of 2011-2012, and the contrast between life in Washington and life in California has never felt so stark. The photos were full of blue skies, palm trees, turquoise swimming pools, sun-kissed limbs and golden-freckled faces. T-shirts and skirts weren't just theoretical, they were actually worn on warmer days in winter.
It didn't take long today for it to start physically hurting as I picked up each printed photo. Life in L.A. wasn't perfect, but it was still pretty sweet.
I've been trying to convince myself for some time that life in Seattle is better for us. J's the happiest he's ever been with a job, our finances are slowly improving, the air is cleaner, the schools are better... and let's not forget the coffee.
However, it's harder to focus on those things lately. Perhaps I'm just being an ungrateful whiner, but all I seem to focus on right now is the cold crappy weather, that I have little in the way of friends here, and that my current job is one that I don't particularly love.
I'm not feeling happier here. I think I was happier there.
I want to be happier here.
I don't know what the solution is, but all I want to do is eat my feelings with pastries, doughnuts and chocolate. That's part of the problem, I know. I need to get into exercise again, but the weather isn't exactly inspiring me, and the yoga classes I've looked into seem to clash with school.
Meanwhile, I continue to put on the happy face I'm so good at putting on, because that's what I do.
Maybe it's time I googled Vitamin D lamps...