I am absolutely an optimist. And most of the time it's really not on purpose. Where some people's thoughts immediately jump to the negative aspect of a situation, typically mine head straight for the positive. I've come in contact with people who aren't so thrilled by this personality trait of mine: rolling of eyes or giving me a blank stare when I point out the "sunny" side of an otherwise displeasing situation.
And so I surprised myself yesterday when the first good snowfall of the season put me in a serious funk. I was not impressed, to say the least.
It started snowing shortly after I woke up. Really it was somewhere between rain and sleet at first. No big deal. Then there were flurries. Weird...I didn't know it was supposed to snow. The flurries turned into big flakes and the flakes came down, at times heavily, for the better part of two hours! There was snow covering the ground and not melting quickly. And suddenly I felt myself panic. Snow?! But it's only November.
I stood by our back door with Silas in tow and watched as the big, beautiful flakes of November snow hit our deck and stick. But I couldn't muster a single optimistic thought. It's accumulating? My freaking out increases, as does Silas' intrigue. What.the.heck? (as heard on instagram) I was not emotionally prepared for snow.
But why should I need to be? Where did my "make the best of every situation" disposition run off to when I needed it most? For the first 25 years of my life snow incited a feeling of excitement and anticipation for me. I have always loved snow, no matter how early or late or surprising it was. So what happened?
As much as I am an optimist, I am also an extrovert. Although I've known this for a long time--being dubbed "gregarious" as a child and scoring an "E" when taking the MBTI in college--I've been realizing lately just how much of my energy comes from interactions with others.
Answer: a lot.
I find that I'm so exhausted on the nights where I haven't interacted with anyone except Silas. He's really great, a fantastically happy baby, but he just can't carry on any sort of recognizable conversation. I'm pretty short with Brandon when he gets home from work if I haven't been out all day. It's like I need conversations to have conversations. And although I prefer chatting in person (over a large cup of coffee...), I feel refreshed being able to talk on the phone with a friend or even just texting or having a convo on gchat! Pretty sure I might die within just a few days if I was ever relegated to solitary confinement.
So why did I freak the heck out as the snow fell to the ground? Because this year the impending cold weather season means more than the beauty it brings. This year I'm home with my beautiful babe. It's so much harder to trek out in winter weather when you have a sidekick and I'm nervous that it will leave me feeling cooped up in the house. I'm anxious that it will lessen my chances at consistent adult conversation and leave me feeling exhausted with a side of cabin fever. I don't like losing my optimism, but that's the side effect when the extrovert in my doesn't get what she needs--a daily dose of people.
Around noon yesterday the snow stopped, but it was still brutally cold outside (for November, anyway). Although I had a few errands to run in mind, it just seemed like a lot of work to get the baby all bundled up, to take him in and out of the car seat multiple times. "Stupid snow" and "stupid winter" were the thoughts that alerted me that something was definitely going on...
Sometime between when it started to snow and noon, I had lost my "sunny" side. I realized, though, that getting out of the house was exactly what I needed to get my optimism back. Human interaction, even if just via the cashiers I'd see, would allow me to more easily see snow as I always had in the past; not something to complain about, but as something that is beautiful and induces excitement for the season. Off we went, bundled baby and all. And I have to say, the day got sunnier indeed.