But in the sunny south of New York City, November maintains an autumnal feel previously unknown to me. February is still brutal.
My friends and I were all dragging by mid-January. The winter seems neverending at that point, and the cold snuffs out most desire to leave the house. My life was becoming reruns of “The Good Wife” and eating pretty desperate snack food.
In the midst of all this, my friend sent me and 50 other folks a PowerPoint presentation. In it was an invitation to help her make up new traditions for a week-long holiday she was creating called "Winty."
The goal of Winty was to make winter feel shorter with a holiday season as joyous as December. She sent ideas for Winty and a few theme days, including Winty Waffle Wednesday, the Winty Clothing Swap, and the Winty Dance.
There were also colors (navy blue and green), traditional greetings ("good Winty to thee"), and even a holiday mascot (a snowwoman wearing a cape called Winty Wanda). Winty was also anti-capitalist, meaning that instead of buying things we were meant to create everything ourselves.
Each friend on the list was tasked with drawing in more friends and developing traditional practices. Out of sheer boredom I gave it a try, and was excited to find so many of my friends interested in participating.
Winty Waffles were a huge success, with a group of friends who had previously not met writing poetry, inventing dances, and generally embracing creativity and joy despite our seasonal malaise. The dance party was epic, too.
Winty injected my life with that “joie de vivre” I had lost with the onset of the cold. I realized that I have become too detached from my sense of play and creativity, trying to buy my way out of boredom.
Turns out that no matter your age, making up your own fun is far more thrilling than being a mere observer.