It's time to look on the bright side.
This is uncharted territory for me since I'm a grump - a pessimistic, grump with a glass half full of emptiness.
And, right on schedule, at the time I put this column together, I got sick. Really sick. On Friday, I was sniffing more than a coke addict. But instead of letting the latest virus that's going around bring me down mentally, I chose to lift myself up with some things to be happy about.
Lord knows we should all do it, considering all that's going on around us. Aside from politics, which always has a way of making us feel like our nation will forever linger in a hopeless state, the weather alone has done a number on our pysche. Usually at this time of the year, the warm sun and melting snow make us feel good about things. That's what spring is all about - feeling good, rejuvenation. That hasn't happened yet. The feel-good feelings spring brings out in us have been suffocated by January-like temperatures.
Forget you, Phil.
The groundhog choked on this one, and since we've been stuck in a prolonged winter for so long, it's clear we could use any diversion we can get our hands on.
I offer you sports.
Sports is the one thing - OK, maybe not the one thing - that can divert our attention and hold us over, at least until the weather, and our hearts, warm back up again.
Think about it: In the last couple of weeks, we've been able to follow three local high school teams at state tournaments: Marshall's boys hockey team, the Minneota girls basketball team and the Marshall boys basketball team, which wraps up their season in the third-place game at the state tournament. Good stuff. Bring it up a notch to the college level. You want a diversion? Nothing works better than the NCAA basketball tournament. I know, not all of you like sports, but even if you don't you can fill out a bracket and follow it. Maybe even win some money while you're at it.
March Madness isn't about madness at all; it's about happiness, at least in the sense that it takes our minds off our problems, if only for a couple weeks.
By the time the madness has subsided, baseball will finally be here, and for any sports fan, the return of the best sport on the planet really means something. Watching/listening to baseball makes me as giddy as an NRA member at a gun show. And if you're not into baseball, at least you know there's a good chance your local golf course is probably open by the time the regular season begins.
And I haven't even mentioned hockey yet. Between the two Gophers teams and the Wild, it's good to be a Minnesota sports fan. Hockey doesn't get a lot of attention, but considering how well Minnesota teams are doing, it should.
What's the point of all this?
Well, if you're looking for something to brighten your day (or forget about another bad one), my suggestion is to turn to sports, even if you don't follow them, because if nothing else, sports bridges the gap between winter and spring, between shoveling and scraping ice and getting into your garden, between worrying about how many layers your kid has on in the morning and cutting them loose for the summer.
We were told weeks ago that spring was "right around the corner." That's one helluva big corner.