Sunday, February 13, 2011

California Dreamin', On Such a Winter's Day

As a Californian, February is by far the most difficult month for me in Germany. While all my friends and family back home enjoy their sunny, spring-like (and sometimes summer like days), I am freezing my ass off in a gray world of clouds and snow. Springtime comes early in California; winter is short. By February it is not at all uncommon to have a handful of days or more about 65 degrees (18 Celsius)...people wear their shorts, my sister goes to the beach and sunbathes, everyone is happy.

This is at the same time that we here in Germany are in the deep, dark midst of winter. The days are getting longer, but that doesn't mean they are any more light. The only colors that exist are dark gray, light gray and medium gray. There's a little rain, a little snow and a whole lot of wet. For most Germans this is just normal. For a Californian, this is hell on earth.

This is not to say that I actually feel like I am in a living hell. The weather is terrible but I like to keep my chin up. So, this Californian has to be a little creative. How do you brighten up your days when there is no sun to be found? Well, for starters, I fill my inside world with color. It may be gray outside but the inside of my apartment is filled with flowers and plants of all sorts. I have tulips and daffodils, parsley and ivy. A little green, yellow and red goes a long way. Additionally, I need a feel good playlist. I listen to upbeat songs, my favorite doesn't matter, as long as they make me feel good.

The most important remedy for this dreary situation is to be surrounded by love. February 14th has always been a favorite day of mine, mostly because my family (my dad) always made a big deal about it. But, now, I use it as an excuse to tell everyone around me how much I love them. I got really lucky this weekend and was surrounded by cool people that really made me happy. I got to see my awesome German friend Kathrin who lives too far away and who has become a really great friend of mine. I spent a lot of wonderful quality time with Peter, cozy in our house full of flowers. And I got to see a couple other friends who made me smile! People are the cure to the mid-winter blues!

I am so lucky to have all these wonderful people surrounding me. My whole family was together this weekend, like always on the weekend of Valentines Day, for P.A.M's Run. My cousins planned another amazing event this year and almost everyone turned out for it. I wanted to be there with all my heart and I hope that everyone knew that and felt it. I felt the enthusiasm of this wonderful and inspiring event all the way over here. And it made me feel both sad to miss it but also really lucky to have all those people in my life. I have a wonderful and loving family! I am so glad!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day, full of love and happiness. And, even if the sun is hidden behind the clouds, I hope it's full of sunshine!

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