From the Shop: Winter is Brutal.

I think this week, we can all agree that Winter is brutal.  Even for the most hard core winter enthusiasts, the cold, the snow, the wind, the short days, take their toll eventually.  For someone who builds something that people tend to buy in warm weather, the effects are compounded.  With sales slow as they usually are this time of year, I tend more toward doing “busy work” around the shop.  Things that need to get done, but get put off during the times of year when boats are moving faster, or I’m traveling, or can play outside more.  This week I spent a while working on the ol’ canoe trailer, fixing some of the wear and tear from last season.  Tuning up the CNC. I spend a lot more time sweeping the floor.  On cold days, I find myself sitting at the computer and catching up on bookkeeping.  I’m also trying to get ahead on building cooling fixtures for the Mosquito Burrito.  And the ever-present snow removal.  It’s a lot of the kind of chores you don’t think about when you think about running a canoe company.  All things that need to get done, but not really the type of work that makes me want to get out of bed on a cold morning.

You gotta do what you gotta do.

Call it cabin fever, call it seasonal affective disorder, call it whatever you want, I definitely feel the drag this time of year.  I find myself sometimes becoming irritable and stressed out.  So this winter, I’ve tried to engage in a pattern of “self constructive behavior.”  I’ve made it a point to get to the river a couple of times a week.  I know it’s time to go paddling when I start feeling cranky.  So I’ve been strapping on the yaktrax or snowshoes and jogging shuttle on the Winni.  Call me crazy, but for me, it helps keep the crazy in check.  Getting outside and moving has been a big key to maintaining my mental wellbeing and to remind me why I do what I do.  I’ve also made a point to significantly reduce my alcohol consumption.  I was probably drinking more than I should to try to deal with stress, and while I wouldn’t say my level of drinking was a problem, it also became apparent to me that it wasn’t a solution either.  It’s been an interesting thing to step back from.

My goal was to turn the story around- instead of a Winter being a time to be fat and lazy and drink a lot, it’s a time to try to be push myself into a healthier and happier direction.  So yes, Winter is brutal, but I say meet it head on, and struggle through as best as you can.  Because no matter what the groundhog says, Spring is coming quickly.