imageListen, I love summer as much as the next guy. Maybe more. No, definitely more than the next guy. He doesn’t understand and appreciate summer the way that I do. Summer and I just click, you know? I dream of Bob Marley and refreshing adult beverages and gardening and sun kissed skin and …. Okay, I got lost in a day dream for a second.

My point is- it’s February. It’s Chicago. It’s cold. Too cold for my liking? Yes. But, the funny thing about Mother Nature is that she gives zero shits about what I think. And, resisting it, complaining about it, suffering over it, is not going to change anything. It is going to get warm when it gets warm. We can’t change the situation but we can change our relationship or reaction to it.

You know how time flies when you are having fun? And, conversely how it crawls when you are miserable? The more you focus on this misery, the slower the time goes. So, what can we do about it?

– Focus on how the weather forces us to take a break (and that is a good thing). We are all so go-go-go all the time. We work too hard. It is -27 with the wind chill. Brew a cup of tea and open a book. Put on Frozen (again) for your kids and take a bath.

– Focus on the things that you normally don’t have time for. I HATE cleaning in the summer. In fact, when my husband mentions cleaning between June and September I just tell him “We don’t need to clean, just go outside”. So, use this time to organize and de-clutter. The less junk you have, the less you have to clean. Deep clean now, so that you can enjoy your spring.

– Focus on yourself. Before our lives get busy with t-ball and summer camp and weddings and pool outings, use this time to do a little soul searching. Are you happy? Do you like your job? Are you taking care of your health? Is it time to pick up a new hobby? I am using this time to focus on my business. I am doing the work now, so that I won’t feel bad taking some days off when I can enjoy them most.

– Focus on your fitness. Hit the gym! What else are you going to do?! It will warm you up, it will boost your immune system, and it will improve your mood. This is the time of year when people get depressed. Stop the blues in their tracks by breaking a sweat 3-4 times a week.

– Focus on healthy food and meal prep. Now is the time to use that crock pot, roast that chicken, make 8 gallons of chicken soup and stick it in the freezer. Go through all of those cook books collecting dust on your book shelf and try something new. Double and triple the recipes and freeze the left-overs. Your March and April self will appreciate it.

February is practically over. March is a wildcard, but usually better than February. Next thing you know it will be my birthday (April) and it’s all down hill from there. Until then, you can find me in my living room watching Revenge on Netflix. (Party at my house in June! Think bags, and sunshine, and coolers, and sandals, and summer dresses, and flowers, and happy kids with slightly drunk parents.)