Winter is the worst

A Pennsylvania native laments the frigid temperatures

I have never been a particularly outdoorsy person. Growing up in northwestern Pennsylvania, I did of course spend a lot of time outdoors, but it was never really my thing. I did play outside with my siblings often, but I was usually much happier to sit inside and read.
The indoors are where I thrive. The temperature is relatively controlled, I can snuggle up however I want without worrying about bugs or wild animals, and most importantly, my comfort and activities are not limited by what the weather is like outside. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, I can always do my favorite activities indoors. There is something I find calming about nature, but not for excessive periods of time. I enjoy a good camping trip, albeit not in tents, and I enjoy sitting outside underneath a nice tree.
That being so, I hate winter with every fiber of my being. It is by far my least favorite time of year and I almost wish I could hibernate until it is safe to go outside again. Virtually everything about it is terrible. First and foremost, I hate being cold. In some ways, I can understand why some people prefer being cold to being warm, and in most ways, I agree. When you are too cold, you can put on a blanket. When you are too warm, there is only so much clothing you can remove before it becomes illegal, and unfortunately it is not an option to rip off my skin. However, I find that it is much harder for me to get warm than it is for me to cool down. Once my toes are cold, it is virtually game over. They will not be warm again, no matter how many socks and slippers I don the rest of the day. For whatever highly unfortunate reason, I do not warm up easily, and it is endlessly frustrating.
Furthermore, I would argue that it is harder to get things done when too cold than when too warm. While I see that it can be hard to focus when you are trying to look through sweat on your face, it is near impossible to do anything when your fingers are cold. In my North Village II apartment, the heating is sort of wonky. The vent in my room is directly over my bed, so in the winter, it blows a constant stream of hot air into my room and makes it impossible to breathe at night. As such, I have to have my window cracked open constantly so some cool air can get in and I don’t suffocate. However, because of this, it is near impossible for me to get work done while sitting at my desk, which is right next to my window. After just 30 minutes, my fingers are cold to the point that they physically hurt, and I can no longer type, or sew, or play Minecraft. I am left sitting on the couch in our living room desperately trying to warm up my hands. As we have established, this does not happen quickly, and it essentially ruins any plans I may have had for the next few hours. Winter is painful for my poor little hands.
Not only is winter painful for my hands, but also for my rear end. It is no secret that I am a very clumsy person. I actively trip over nothing, fall up stairs and run into door frames almost daily. Icy sidewalks are the bane of my existence. Even with good boots, I manage to slip much more regularly than I would like to. I do not always fall on my butt, or even always to my knees, but the panic that I feel slipping on ice is incomparable to any other anxiety I have ever felt. The idea of the weather outside causing me to fracture my cranium is frightening, and I hate everything about ice.
Another issue with ice is, of course, icicles. When I was young, I used to watch “Grey’s Anatomy” with my family every week. I have always been a squeamish person, so I was never able to get into it, but of what we did watch, a few especially grotesque scenes remain burned into my memory. I do not remember the exact details of the episode, but from what I remember, a person slipped on ice, and then an icicle fell from the building’s awning and fell into her stomach. She then laid on the sidewalk until someone came out and found her there. Then, when they brought her inside, they had to decide whether to remove it or leave it in; if they removed it, she might bleed out, but if they let it melt, it might cause problems because icicles are not particularly clean. While icicles are aesthetic and sometimes beautiful, they are also literal water knives that hang off of buildings. Icicles are terrifying.
The ice that comes with winter is altogether terrible, but arguably worse, the only way to minimize the hazard is to salt the sidewalks. I hate sidewalk salt with a burning passion. Firstly, it absolutely wrecks boots. Even high-quality boots will end up getting stained with salt spots, which do not necessarily ruin them in terms of function, but aesthetics. I hate when black boots have large white spots. Worse than that, salt gets stuck to boots and inevitably gets tracked inside. I got new slippers for Christmas; they are Bearpaws slippers. They are soft and warm, with very nice soles. While the salt has not destroyed them, it has turned them slightly white. Additionally, there are a few terrible white salt spots on my new slippers. It is not that they were expensive, or that they were new; the simple fact that it is entirely winter’s fault is what makes me livid.
Ultimately, there is nothing I can do about this. While I would very much like to hibernate, that is not an option. It is not that I am incapable of sleeping that long, as I am certain I could accomplish it, but I do not have time to hibernate for three months. I think what makes me hate winter is how much it impacts my ability to be productive. I am significantly less productive when it is cold outside, and it bothers me that it is not my fault. While there is the obvious lack of vitamin D, there are plenty of other things about winter that make me miserable and altogether unproductive. I have lived in the Pennsylvania Snowbelt my entire life, and while I sort of hope to someday move away from this wintry nonsense, I think a part of me might always miss having so much to complain about from Thanksgiving to Easter.