The Loneliness of the Midwinter Blogger


I'm feeling sorry for myself.
  • I just got over the stomach flu. It wiped us out for about a week, and my stomach is still uneasy. I'm cooking based on how easy it is to get dinner done, not how excited I am about eating.
  • The grill is covered with snow. On a deck covered with snow, that I don't want to shovel.
  • The sun sets at 5PM, making all my blog pictures look awful, because I need to use artificial light. And that's on the one day a week when I get to see the sun, and it's not gray and overcast.
  • Seasonal affective disorder is setting in. The excitement of the holidays, and a white Christmas - it's gone. Now it's just cold and dark.
  • My new cookbook isn't flowing. I'm way behind schedule. It's a grilling cookbook, and the grill covered with snow is holding my recipe testing back…but not as much as my own procrastination. I'm supposed to get up at 5:30AM every morning, so I can get my writing in. I keep turning off the alarm clock, rolling over, and going back to sleep.
  • I'm trying to lose weight, and the diet is boring me already. I want starch, potatoes, fatty food, even though I know I shouldn't. (Though this is the only good part of the stomach flu - losing weight was easy for a couple of days.)
I'm overwhelmed. I want to crawl under the covers and hibernate until spring. And I feel guilty about feeling sorry for myself, so it is a cycle that feeds on itself.

I know these are all first world problems. I appreciate all of you, reading what I write, leaving comments, sending me email. It keeps me going.

But, man, I hate this time of year.

How about you? How are you surviving the winter? Talk about it in the comments, below.

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16 comments:

John Watkins said...

You need to get up and move, bro. In the time it took you to write this, you could have shoveled off your deck, and the feeling of not wanting to do it would have gone away as soon as you started. Walk around the block. You'll feel better.

Chris Lukowski said...

Damn, Mike. I hear ya. This weather isn't kind to me either at this time of year. I can't help but notice we share a penchant for melodramatic writing once the SAD kicks in. Sometimes I post what I wrote because I feel it accurately spells out some profound reflection, and sometimes I leave it be in "Drafts" until I come back later and realize it was a bit too much in the name of self-therapy and scrap it. I won't presume to say which category this belongs in, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a bummer to read. Don't get me wrong, I understand its origins. What I will say is that I hope it's just a fleeting thing that comes and goes for the next few months. There are days when I enjoy waxing emo because it helps me become more self aware of what's going on in my head and it's a nice catharsis that allows me to snap out of it when it's all out of my system. If that -isn't- happening and the winter funk is really persistent, then I hope you seek out whatever or whoever you need to get back to your usual self. Good luck, take it easy, feel better, and get a cover on that poor grill. :o)

Brian O. said...

DCD, you're a nerdy guy, here's a nerdy book for you:

http://www.amazon.com/Which-Comes-First-Cardio-Weights/dp/006200753X

It's not just about exercise, it's about eating too, I'm guessing you would find it interesting.

Brian O.

Elizabeth Lewis said...

Hey, Mike. Well put, but that doesn't make the sun shine or snow melt. I agree with John W. When we get hit with a wave (like you are now) we have to drag our butts up and slog through the grunt work to get where we want to be. You will feel better even getting one thing done. Don't set the bar too high to begin and each little task (I call this stuff "butt work") that gets done will make you feel better. The work you do is important to all of us who hang out on your site and buy your books, so get better and get back on it :). I sure can identify with your starch craving: In my book anything white with butter or cheese on it tastes good and I just want more. Can't eat it if I want to fit in my clothes, so I don't eat much of it. If you can get past a week or 2 of abstaining from it all (like the Atkin's diet), you will find out the cravings will cease and you will have better control. Hang in and keep the faith -- it does work. Hope you feel better soon.

Howard Thompson said...

Hang in there Mike. A lot of blogs this week have the same take on life: cold and dark. So it's not just you.

Shirod L. said...

Hey Mike I have been reading your blog for a while now. This is the first post like this I've seen from you. You must really be down. At times like this I find it good to cherish the things you have going for you. You're beautiful wife and kids are a start! Also you are at a station in life many people aren't afforded. Just think about how awesome you are! You wrote a BOOK! At the end of the day just remember this is only a season and this too shall pass...Did I mention you wrote a BOOK! Cheer up buddy!

Barbara Schieving said...

I'm so ready for spring too. Hope you're back on your feet soon.

Cew said...

Hang in there, Mike!

Dan McGrew said...

I've avoided the flu, but this Ohio weather is doing me in as well. Have some sunshine coming here in the southern part of the state in a couple of days. That will help greatly. Will send some your way!

Brian T said...

I'm ready for spring too. I live in Northern CA and you'd think it would be warm out here, right? Wrong! It got down to 14F last night and it has been like this this for nearly a week. Needless to say, this weather does make grilling a challenge. Think I'll stick with stuff that doesn't take a lot of time to cook and save the longer cooks for when the weather gets a little warmer.

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and/or kick in the pants. I needed both. And the sun came out yesterday! That always helps.

Cyclophiliac said...

Hey, Mike! What you need is a change of pace and scenery. Why don't you come out with us on a snowbike ride this weekend? It will get you outside and (hopefully) enjoying the cold quiet of winter, it's a great way to get some exercise, and the endorphin buzz will keep you going through to the next blog post. What do you say?

Mike said...

Mike, I feel your pain...it's the exact reason I just donned a hoodie AND hat to fire up the grill! Setbacks suck, but the recovery from those setbacks often beat the previous status quo. Furthermore, you are working on your SECOND cookbook. Fewer have made it to their first. For this, you should be commended.



Finally, I understand the never ending battle to stay healthy as we grow older. Have you ever thought about a "primal" lifestyle? It is something I readily agree with and best yet, it is a great fit for the grill. I completely recommend www.marksdailyapple.com to get you started. Hang in there, my fellow buckeye!

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

I just found out about Mark's Daily Apple from Casual Kitchen's Friday Links - I'm checking it out now. Thank you for the words of encouragement!

Andy Suplee said...

Just saw this, and yessiree, the sun coming out surely helps! It's rough getting back in the groove, especially after everyone's been sick, but having read your blog for a while, I know this is something you can nail. Finish just one thing...an easy something or other on the grill, or maybe finish one recipe. Just one will lead to just one more (in this case, it's a good thing). As for the cruddy weather, as I've said before, lash a beach umbrella to the grill, bundle up, and light that grill! We're supposed to have snow here in the Mid-Atlantic tonight, and I've bought steaks just for the occasion...I LOVE grilling in the snow!

Cousin Lia said...

You know, cooking dinner every night for XX years can get to be exhausting too! I think your body is telling you to take a break. Hey, maybe it's time for the kiddos to make dinner! Make a chart of
various veggies, starches, and proteins and let them create something.

In addition, take some time and do something else, walk outside in the snow, go visit a local museum ... you will find that you will come back refreshed and with new and fabulous ideas.

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