My half-drunk iced coffee sits next to my keyboard as I type this. My fingers are cold and the apartment is draughty, both things are slowing me down in my insistence of drinking iced drinks all year round. Outside, stick season is in full swing and every time I look out the window I’m filled with loathing. Is there anything worse than Scandinavian spring?

The beginning of the year is a time when I walk a fine balance with my mental health. I vacillate between feeling like I can handle this if I just find enough projects to distract me, and like my soul is being pulled into a morass of despair because this will never end. Spring depression is a real thing here, and everybody gets it to some degree. The contradiction of it is that things are supposedly getting better weather-wise, but I just feel progressively worse.

This time of year is frustrating because it feels like nothing is moving, nothing is happening. Everywhere I look, it just looks dead. The air is dry, full of dust. My houseplants start browning at the tips of their leaves and if I look away for just a moment, I’ll turn back to find entire leaves that have shrivelled up and dried.

In early January, there was a day when the shift in the light was visible, when I looked outside and noticed that rather than the pale pastel-saturated light of winter, the sunlight suddenly had the vibrant quality of spring to it. But despite that giving me a little thrill that finally, finally, normalcy is on the way back, I also got my first prick of impatience. Because that’s when the waiting game began.

Outside the world feels like all life just up and abandoned us. From my third storey window, I have a good view of the street outside. Everyone who passes by is hunched over, their scarves and jacket collars pulled up high to shield them from the wasteland around them. If it isn’t the cold biting at their cheeks, it’s the hard wind. No one looks up, no one acknowledges the world around them. We’re all in a hurry to get where we’re going, and that’s anywhere but here.

The Earth doesn’t turn very quickly on her fat ass axis. Not nearly as quickly as I’d like for her to, anyway. And while I’m languishing in misery, stuck in a limbo somewhere between not-quite-death-not-quite-life, she’s going to take her sweet time in turning towards the sun again.

And I know that the promise of that golden sliver of sunlight that flashed before me for a moment is but a suggestion of things to come, not an actual commitment. So, I settle in to wait. Settle in to stew in my own frustrations. Settle into the festering impatience that will only get worse as the year gets on.