The Week Of Forgotten Jackets
Welp, here we are in the last week of February. Spring is right around the corner, and we’ve started to hit that blustery, too-cold-too-hot period here in California.
I remember when I was back in high school, the end of February was always the most miserable time of year. It wasn’t close enough to spring break, summer was a distant memory, Christmas felt like it was years ago, and the worst part was, it was still too cold to wear a t-shirt in the morning, and too hot to wear a jacket when I walked home.
I like to think of this time of year as nature’s adolescence. It’s cold, it’s hot, it’s indecisive, it’s moody, and nobody wants to be around it. Best to just grit your teeth, and wait for actual spring to start so you can get around to doing all those fun springtime activities (like fighting allergies!)
In the meantime, I like to take this time of year to kick those winter habits while we wait for spring to actually start. So, here’s a list of my 6 must-dos - things that, if I don’t do ‘em, I’ll forget and it’ll cause me mild inconvenience like you wouldn’t believe.
Dig out the windbreaker.
I have a heavy jacket, a light jacket, and a windbreaker (well, it’s more like a light-light jacket) at home. Most days, I go with the light jacket just because it’s comfy. But when this friggin’ week rolls around, it gets to that awkward period where I’m only wearing it for about half the day. So then I forget it, everywhere. Another three weeks, I’ll probably be able to go without if I just wear long sleeves. But in the meantime?
Make sure you dig out that awkward middle ground, so you’re not leaving your jacket behind whenever you decide to take it off.
Turn down the heater.
Well, at least the power bill will go down. This time of year is about the time I start toning down the heat in my house. I usually try to create a preset, so it’ll run during the mornings, and turn off during the afternoons. No sense heating a house all day, right?
Clean out your pantry.
Speaking for myself, I eat pretty differently during the winter than in the summer. Winter’s got a lot of soups, hot sandwiches and big, dense meals. My pantry is filled with cans and bottles, since fresh food is a little bit harder to come by.
Spring, though, is summer foods. If my sandwiches can’t be described as either “subs” or “clubs,” I stay away. Lots of lighter foods and snacking. High-energy stuff, since I’m active. And definitely fewer hot foods. Less microwaves, more refrigerators.
So it’s about this time that I start to empty out my pantry, and take care of all those random miscellaneous foods that I haven’t gotten around to eating. Otherwise they’ll be sitting in there for another 6 months, and who wants that?
Start storing the winter clothes.
This is an easy one, but I always prioritize it because otherwise, I’m kicking around my winter stuff for another month or two, easy!
Time to start putting away the heavy-duty clothes for the next few months. I don’t just mean shoving them in a back corner – I mean actually putting them away, like in a box or a suitcase or on a top shelf, so you aren’t tripping over them over the next month or two. Don’t get rid of everything – I wear long sleeves almost year-round – but those heavy wool socks? They can probably go. That double-layer sweater? Definitely. The windproof half face mask? Keep it out for a few more weeks, then stash it. That cold-weather jacket? No, I don’t mean the glorified raincoat, I mean the one that’s built to withstand a blizzard. Yeah, that can probably go too.
Get ready for spring cleaning.
I dunno about you, but I try to put off spring cleaning for as long as possible. It’s more like… summer cleaning. Especially since this year, I’m probably gonna have to buy a new vacuum.
But in the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to get ready. Clean a sink when you’re done using it. Start dusting tables, one room at a time. Pick up the bathroom (mine’s a mess) and figure out exactly how much bleach you’re gonna need to get rid of that smell. Y’know, the usual.
I start doing all that around this time, so when I decide it’s time to stop putting off my spring cleaning purge, it only takes three hours to get the dust out of the cracks, instead of a day and a half. You won’t regret it.
Plan my spring celebration!
Anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m a planner. If I don’t plan, I don’t do, and that’s in all things. But I’m also pretty conscious of my attitude, especially when it’s being affected by something silly (like the weather).
So, I always plan what I want to do to celebrate the end of winter, since, if I don’t, I know it’ll take me a couple of weeks to escape that winter funk. This year, I might go camping. Or maybe I’ll just go to Bidwell Park. Chico also has a kite-flying festival at the end of March… maybe I’ll attend this year.
In any case, I think that’s where I’ll leave this list. Of course, since I can’t think of that last thing I wanted to add, I’m sure that means I’m going to forget it… but oh well!