Do you remember the last time you went outside and said, “Wow, what a beautiful day it is today”? Yeah, me neither. This winter has been a drag, and I’ve had enough of it.
Don’t get me wrong, December and the so-called “winter” break we had could be much worse. We had temperatures in the upper 40s and even a few days in the mid 50s! Crazy, right? But the bitter cold, excessive snow, and hurricane-like winds all began towards the end of January, which made me feel like hibernating until April.
Now, I am fully aware that January and February are the most “wintery” months in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, but I still can’t believe we are here in the first week of March with temperatures feeling below zero. I couldn’t tell you the last time I went outside in the morning to start my car and didn’t begin to feel a tingling sensation in my hands and feet. Oh, and don’t forget the watery eyes that come with the negative temperatures too! Starting your car is hard enough, but it’s even worse to drive to school when your steering wheel doesn’t get warm until halfway through the commute. Talk about frozen fingers!
You know what else sucked about this winter? The 50 mph winds we’ve had recently could top the list. Trying to walk into work? Hang on tight. Driving down Orchard road where the winds are the worst? Grab that wheel. Taking your 8-pound dog outside to go the bathroom? Hang on tight. Not only are the winds crazy, but they’re freezing, too! It’s especially wonderful when you have a fast-food job and get wind burn simply from working a drive-thru! Maybe someday I’ll just blow away to a place that is nice and warm.
I almost forgot to mention the consistent sleepiness this winter has brought me! When your body gets cold, it fights back to stay warm. The effort uses energy, which drains you and makes you tired. Whether it’s from the walk in and out of school, working the drive-thru at work or walking into a store, my body is always fighting to get its temperature back up, which explains why I’m nearly always on the verge of passing out. If it was summer, this would be no problem. I could go outside for as long as I want and not have to worry about instantly getting drained and wanting to get back in bed. Rather, I could spend my time in my pool, mow the lawn, or wash my car. Instead, I’m here, in Illinois, living day by day feeling like a walking zombie that can’t catch a break.
The cherry on top of the freezing pile of crap sundae, however, is the dry hands and chapped lips. They are the absolute WORST. This time of year, I can barely move my hands or lips without feeling like they’re going to crack in half, which is exactly why chapstick and Aquaphor are currently my best friends. Not only is this all annoying, but causes physical pain too.
For both my sake as well as yours, this crappy winter will end sooner rather than later – since it feels like it’s lasted a billion years. I’m beyond ready for the scorching hot temperatures, the endless time spent in the pool, and all the events Chicago summers bring. I’ll do my best to hang in there, but I’m really not sure how much more of this I can take.
I’m Dylan Jahnke, and this is my second year with 42Fifty, which I first joined as a staff member. I am a senior at Oswego High School, and I plan to study mass communications/music management in college. I hope to one day have my own radio talk show or get into artist management. If I’m not writing or editing for 42Fifty, I’m either working at Culver’s, hanging out with friends and family, or doing homework. I am humbled to say I began my 42Fifty career my junior year as a staff writer, then Arts & Entertainment editor first semester of my senior year and now Editor-in-Chief.