Happy February 1st!

Happy February 1st!
As winter takes hold with its icy grip I find this time of year good for reflection.  We take on the new year with the old still very present in our minds. When it gets to be February the past year seems to dwindle in memories, at least for me. I look ahead with goals, hopes, and aspirations for what’s to come in the new year. However, winter always seems so tough.
I grew up in Western New York where it is currently -26 degrees. Winter has never been my favorite because it lasted soooo long growing up. We would get our first frost just before my birthday (September) and we wouldn’t finally warm up until mid-late June. The snow would stick around until at least April. Sometimes we would get a flurry in May. 
During this time many people in the area suffer from seasonal depression as it is always cloudy due to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. No one wants to go out because it is just as gloomy and cold as it was for the past 4 months. Financially life gets difficult with the heat, extra supplies and so on. I sometimes still have this residual dread that the winter is going to linger on through to June. Even though I’ve not lived in WNY since I was 17 years old. I also grew up in an old farmhouse with no insulation and old heat vents without modern duct-work. I remember the house would be almost as cold inside as it was outside. We lived in that house for around 7 years. Even after we moved, my mother always kept the heat down because the heat was on so long in the winter. Oh, not many houses have A/C as our summers never got as hot as down here-88 degrees was a really hot day for us when I was growing up. So, needless to say, I love heat. I would rather sweat than be cold. In Virginia, March seems to be our thawing month. Every year I breathe a sigh of relief.
As we much as our lives change in circumstances we hang on to the things that had a profound effect on our lives-especially when they are negative. It’s these negative experiences that seem to shape us if we let them. We can let them drag us down into this dark space where no hope seems to reside, or we can realize we have a choice. We can choose to grow from the experience, push through to find our peace of mind, and build our strength. 
In my case; I crank the heat up, where tons of layers and my husband has to deal with my wrath if he touches the heat :). In all seriousness, you’ll turn a corner one day no matter what you’re going through. Let us get through our last month of winter and turn that corner towards spring.
We can do it!
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