Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cheer Up, Bleak Midwinter

This wintertime I have been trying my guts out to flip just about every negative moment or feeling or aspect about the wintertime. I try to do it in the moment, so i can turn the frown of winter upside down, to be poetic. The act of changing one's attitude amidst circumstances so as to successfully overcome them is challenging, but a life lesson worth learning. It really is quite powerful.  I've had to do it in a few major ways and I can tell you, I really appreciate it. I do.  And i'm not just saying that to pretend the winter isn't sucking.  Because it is. But it has its moments.

So: It's been a project, and not an easy one. But it has been interesting and even successful at times.   Let me see if i can think of some examples interspersed with some pictures that may or may not be relevant to the text.

1. Several times, in the middle of a violent torrent of bone-breaking cold, as I'm out and about, I will launch myself to anytime of a New York August, and I will visualize myself in my summer death attire-- clothes that are the thinnest, lightest, most breathy, regardless of how they look, JUST so I can survive another day-- walking around with the spray bottle, imagining what size of bucket i could fill just with my sweat alone, and I immediately bring myself back, inside my coat, face burning in the wind, and I feel so much better.  I'm cozy. I shudder and take note of the comfort of the warmth, and I feel better.

2. And on that note, I take a special appreciation in the balance of the seasons.  Yes, we like to hate the winter. Yes we're jealous of people who live in Arizona right now.  But there's something about living in a place, particularly here, in my opinion, where the brutal seasons balance each other out so perfectly that creates a kind of harmony in the brain.  The summer and winter are at perfect odds.  I personally believe, despite its treachery, the summer is the clear winner over winter, but those August days can suck the life out of you just as sufficiently as winter can. So, I appreciate the balance, and the sweet, sweet temperance of Spring and Fall.  They are the most beautiful, most glorious--because of their own merits, but because they are purposefully nestled in-between the extremes.  I love it, I love them, and to me, it is a metaphor for many many other things.

Alright, i just looked up temperance and it apparently doesn't at all mean what I want it to. Actually, its definitions are pretty weak so I'm going to use it and apply my own definition. I don't think you need me to explain what i mean. It tempers! It just makes sense. C'mon, words (Why does this  always happen to me?) 

3. I fully participate in Valentine's Day and what it means to me. What it means to me is loving those you love, and making valentines for those you love. It means paper hearts and glitter glue, stickers and Love stamps, all coming out of your ears. I love valentines. I sent so many, I'm pretty sure the mail lady really wants to know who in the good hey this Freak is. One day I expect a doorbell ring and it will be her because she wants to meet me. Actually, i expect this from a lot of people. 

So, the holiday is silly but the placement of it is not. Thank you, thank you, glitter and hearts and pink and purple and red in the middle of February.  That said, I made so many danged valentines this year, i got completely valentined-out.   

Here is Julian's preschool class. We decorated boxes, had the good ol' swap, and heart-attacked my upstairs neighbors. The kids were dolls and almost as excited as I was.

We had a church primary activity for the kidlets and made valentines, hershey kiss roses, had a race, sang a song with chimes, and ate some cake. Serious valentine blitz. 

I'm sure no one will care i'm putting pics of their kids up. If you see this and you do care, i will take it down in a jiffy. But i'm sure you don't care.


4. I am being very diligent in my Netflix-watching which graduates from being an indulgence or leisurely way to pass the time to an absolute necessity, vital to one's survival.  The major highlight:  Trekkies, (followed by the sequel) the documentary by Denise Crosby, aka Tasha Yar.  You guys, you know I fall into this category, and proudly. But to watch it in wonderment and laugh all while feeling a serious kinship with these people is so utterly delightful. I laugh at these Trekkies who are serious hardcore NERDS and outstandingly awkward, and I identify with every single one.  I am not so extreme in my celebration or exhibition of my True Love that is Star Trek, but do you want to know how I honestly feel, deep down? It's this: I honestly feel jealous and confused as to why i have not attended a convention. I honestly feel jealous that they have the guts to wear uniforms and tricorders and communicators as their everyday wear.  I admire them and completely, absolutely sincerely agree with everything they brazenly say about their love of Star Trek. And as you know, I've now passed on that love to my son, and I already know we are in the midst of a pivotal moment.

5. Is it just me, or does everyone else out there seriously feel like if they don't get at least 12 hours of sleep a night, they are barely alive the rest of the day.  I have never felt so utterly exhausted and by 6pm I have to manually keep my eyes open.  And this after what I thought was a decent 7-8 hrs of sleep at night. I guess hibernation is real.  Along those lines, Julian and I have been taking some naps together. Of course, I don't actually sleep, because I'm broken, but we have transitioned from napping in his bed (if at all) to me allowing him to sleep on my bed. And it's making naps dreeeeamy, appreciate the pun.

 In the early days, I scorned the idea of co-sleeping. I thought people who did it were seriously bananas and, needing my own space, I was determined to teach my new baby how to sleep on his own in his own bed. He never ever slept with us in our bed. I can't even think of one time, other than once when we were camping and it was freezing and we were in cots in little cabin-shacks. But only then!  (Nazis) Well, fast-forward to now and it's just been delightful.  Snuggling on the bed, we whisper stories, he burrows into me, says goodnight, and i lie still until he starts to sleep-breathe and I seriously love it. So magical. Love this little booger. So, i've changed my tune. 3 cheers for toddler-co-sleeping!

and speaking of Booger:

6. Though I am now the opposite of a hermit (which is what, a nomad? I really go bonkers if I can't get out of the house these days. I cannot go one single day being inside the whole day. I know, it's weird) I am trying to appreciate the coziness of the indoors.  The fact that we don't have huge A/C units bulging from the windows and blaring at us every second of the day is nice and calm. There is a winter stillness that isn't so bad.  I also am deciding to enjoy using the oven to heat up the place.   And as a side note, this could all be said because it's been in the 30-40's for a while.  Talk to me again when it's in the 20's or below. I will most likely be singing a different tune, titled, #$%&*!

6a.  This just in! The glorious moment when you realize it's the last day of February and that the 40-degree temps might actually be seasonal and not just a sick teaser. This is not to say that we won't have another freeze-out but it would be, dare I say, unusual!  


 Julian's half-birthday cake. I have these adorable little pans and though I am loathe to cook or even bake, I actually made a cake from scratch (kind of a big deal. when's the last time I did anything from scratch? an-y-thing) because i was too lazy to go out and buy a mix. 

This kind of puts to shame Sean's actual birthday cake.

Poor little piddly thing.  It was actually an oozy soft-centered cake that is pretty fantastic, if I say so myself, and I do. So it packed a punch. We got Sean a bunch of games to play together, one of which is this and is pretty dang fun, just a tip. You can put it on the ceiling and tell stories and draw as you go. Takes me back to the good ol' days when I would do hand shadow puppet shows for my sister at night.

7. We really appreciate our windows more in the wintertime even though the bars make us feel especially imprisoned. We either ignore that or pretend we are in prison, and what a great window we have access to! Other prisoners should be so lucky. Julian and I will eat lunch here and tell stories. I gave him a snack the other day and watched him watch the winter, quietly waiting for spring.

8. Friends are great. I love my friends.  And when you're out with a friend, and she stops and turns, gasps at the moon and breaks into a howl, how can you not join in?   Because check it:

It was a full winter moon taxi night.  Sean pointed out that it appeared he was being summoned and needed to leave immediately to go help someone in need.

9.  Lastly, this winter I actually set a goal and accomplished it. It's not a big one but it has brought me some satisfaction. I was reminded how much I love poached eggs and had never made one, so I decided to learn. I make one for myself or Sean just about every day.  Some of them are a bust. But i am diligent in my practice and when one comes out right, I am quite pleased. It's also handy for practicing when you drop your eggs you just bought and are immediately forced drop everything and attempt 3 poached eggs. So cheers to the winter of the poached egg, cheers to you, and happy February 28.

I know, isn't it so pretty? Because egg pictures always look so yummy.

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