If cabin fever is defined as irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter, well, I have it. Not only do I have it, but I think I’ve got it bad!
I was always that guy that touted never leaving the Northeast because "I love the change of seasons." And I do love the change of seasons and how can you not? When winter turns to spring and everything starts popping green? When the warmer days of June start letting you know it’s summer then of course the epic colors of fall? Let’s face it ... we live in a beautiful part of the planet and we’re fortunate to have it.
But here’s the kicker, here’s the part you and your "I’m a change of seasons kind a guy" attitude don’t realize until you get older: You’re being duped! What we’re suffering through right now isn’t something called a season, it’s a test of will against a force you can’t see or punch in the throat for misbehaving so badly. Nope, this isn’t a season, unless that season includes blowing up at complete strangers because they forgot to turn off their car’s turn signal (pretty sure that was never meant to be part of any season). See, what we have here is 20 pounds of crap stuffed into a five-pound sack! After enduring one of the hardest winters I can remember (at least in the cold department), it shows no signs of letting up.
I do remember as a kid Easter Sunday blizzards, so I know that this Mother Nature stuff isn’t a new concept. I know that Old Man Winter is basically a few drinks away from a 12-step program and often doesn’t know when to hit the kill switch. But the older I get the more I realize that when it comes to my change of seasons, I’m being shortchanged! Here’s why: October is for all purposes the unofficial start to winter and that winter doesn’t really end until the middle of April. If you do that math, that’s six months. Six months of winter, leaving two months of spring, two months of summer and two months of something that has two weeks of beautiful in it before it turns everything gray and kills off everything. So you might just as well include that into winter. I think locals call that "t’aint" season, which could be what we’re going into right now. It doesn’t matter, because you still have to treat your dog for ticks and you really can’t walk about in short sleeves anymore!
So is cabin fever a real thing? Yes, it sure is! And unless you’ve got a strong constitution it can be dangerous. For instance, I was driving in my car the other day on Main Street. As the cars were filing down the road, the car ahead of me slammed on its brakes, so I slammed on mine. I came to a stop in the middle of the intersection and had to wait for the car ahead of me to proceed, which I was doing calmly even though I didn’t understand why they stopped in the first place. OK, so there I am, cabin fever and all, blocking the intersection (no fault of mine, which I felt was plenty evident). A gentleman (and by gentleman I mean some un-medicated moron with rage issues) in an SUV felt as though I was doing it on purpose and proceeded to come unglued behind his closed window. But I remained calm, because the only thing the media was talking about was an impending blizzard that was bearing down on us and I recognized the outburst as cabin fever. Poor soul; he was yelling loud enough to burst a blood vessel in his eye.
So as we try and navigate the final few weeks of winter in preparation for three weeks of summer (which undoubtedly will include two weeks of rain), please keep in mind that so is everyone else, so let’s exercise a little extra patience as we navigate around the planet. But if you see Mother Nature or Old Man Winter, please feel free to hit them in the throat! What the Hell is Up with that?