Winter in Michigan is sheer monotony. Cold and grey. Grey and cold. Sometimes it’s frigid and white. And white and frigid. Feels like living in an Ansel Adams photograph but more negative. But somehow this year the season is passing and I’m nowhere near as crazed as I was last year for it to end. How have I made peace with this least favorite season?

1. I strive to find color in this grey and white world. Even if it’s a stop sign or the orange lollypops of snow blower reflectors. Or the bright blue of the recycling bins. I’ve made it my business to see past winter’s monochromatic palette.

2. Living so close to the Central Time Zone means the days begin to lengthen fairly quickly. The handful of minutes that accumulate in the wake of the winter solstice translate into more daylight. More daylight, more happy. More daylight, better spirits. Lengthening days — winter solace.

3. Soup. I’ve gotten into making hearty and nourishing soups. Anything goes soups. Clean out the vegetable bin soups. Noodles and beans soups. As long as they’re hot and filled with good things to eat, soups are getting me through.

4. Hot chocolate. With whipped cream. Not too often and not too much but my jeans aren’t going to fit any worse for this bit of comforting warmth every now and then.

5. Dropping the guilt that I’m not into winter sports. I don’t care if I “just wear the right clothes” I will enjoy it. I don’t want to shiver. I don’t want the wind blasting my cheeks. I don’t want to put on seventeen layers to walk stiff legged throughout the neighborhood, alert for icy patches that will land me on my fanny faster than you can say Frosty the Snowman. I’ll stay in, thank you and do my yoga, get on my treadmill and read about Tahiti.

6. I know it will end. It’s already late January. There is light at the end of this tunnel. Her name is Spring. And she will arrive.