What is Life: A Wintry Reflection


What is life? This is something I say to myself multiple times a day. Life is many things, it’s amazing, random, ridiculous and surprising. But the times I find myself saying ‘what is life’ are more often than not the times when I’m not happy with the situation I’m in. When I’m stressed at work, when I’m confused about the direction life is leading me, when I just don’t know what the hell is going on. We have a tendency to complain about anything and everything, especially when it’s cold and dark and there’s no sun shooting out happiness for us to cling on to. Winter drags us into a dark hole where everything seems like an effort, because all we really want to do is hibernate until the world gets a little bit brighter.

I’m a big life thinker at the best of times which means that winter instils in me even more of a contemplative mind. I overthink and overthink, I have emotional Sundays for no reason other than its Sunday. I make plans for the future then scrap them and make new plans then decide I want to run away chasing the sun then decide I want to stay at home forever. I come full circle every time I try and make some kind of decision about what I want to do with this thing called my LIFE. Life is hard, right?

But why does it only seem hard when the weather is getting us down? Maybe it’s just me but if it was sunny right now I would be seeing life through rose-tinted glasses, frolicking in that happy go lucky summer way and not worrying so much about life. What is it about winter that makes us question our purpose and direction? Life is more boring for one, there’s no festivals, no beer gardens after work, no holidays. Which obviously leads us to the search for something to add a bit of excitement. It’s also that new year thing, we feel the need to turn over a new leaf or do something crazy and radical because we have to make this year a year to remember. But mostly I think it’s the frustration that comes from the routine of working life. Nothing makes a day seem longer than when you wake up and it’s dark, you leave work and it’s dark. Unless you brave the cold and take a brisk lunchtime walk you might not see natural light all day. And that is just not okay. Something needs to be done about that.

Basically summer you need to hurry up. I don’t like wishing away time but if the sun doesn’t come back to me soon I’ll probably end up either refusing to leave my bed or taking a spontaneous flight to a land with more life. See ya London office, you just ain’t doing it for me right now. Obviously I’m not going to run away (yet) because I’m not completely mental (or rich), so what can we do to make this post-jolly season bearable? How do we stay optimistic in the depths of winter?

I know I put myself down earlier for making too many life plans, but actually organizing a trip can help because it gives you something concrete to look forward to. Exercise is apparently an obvious one but I can’t really recommend that because I am yet to get my fatarse off the sofa. HOW can you run when your nose freezes off, HOW? I went to the sauna does that count? What I will say is that yoga massively helps me. I know it sounds cliche and hipster-wannabe but whatevs, it’s the truth – half an hour of yoga at lunch and I’m ready to tackle the world, my stress is gone, I breathe more deeply and my body relaxes. Much needed for anyone who works at a desk cos that is NAAAT natural. Warm soups and hot pots and goodness at lunch is a definite yes, none of this salad nonsense. How are leaves and avocados going to keep you warm in your tummy? And just not dwelling on things I guess. Weather happens, life goes on and we can’t let horrible winter infiltrate our minds and emotions. THERE IS LIGHT ON THE OTHER SIDE. I think it’s time for an inspirational quote, from Dumbledore no less:

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

He so wise.


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