Usually if you follow someone's blog and they don't post for a long time you start to wonder what's up. Are they going through personal tragedy? A major life change or emergency? The answer for me is yes. And it goes by the name of:
Winter. (ha ha, sorry for the disappointment)
Honestly, that's it. I've been getting through winter. It started well, with high hopes, fire fed by desperation as its fuel. I always get like that. If you can't beat it, embrace it. And I did, I tried. I spent a lot of days shouting "in the name of HYGGE!" over and over again, my new winterly mantra I clung to. I spent hours cutting out the most ornate snowflakes I've ever seen because I practiced and practiced. I played in the snow, broke all the bones in my body building the world's biggest snowman. Or at least that had ever graced our lawn. I went snowshoeing and mountain sledding. I drank literal gallons of hot chocolate (though I would do that anyway). You notice how I'm speaking of this time in the past tense? It's because for me, it's over. I'm past it. (in case you'd like to know, "past" is looking like a complete non word to me right now. p-a-s-t? What nonsense) As mentioned in my desperate tribute to the solstice, I gritted my teeth and loved winter so hard. Too hard, perhaps. Or too falsely. Or maybe winter is just too long. I think that's what it is. I didn't hate it this whole time, i swear. I would shovel snow with glee, put on my winter skin and walk as I watched the snow fall.
But the love bred from hate felt a little too twisted, a little too unsustainable. A little too Stockholm Syndrome-y and while I could, for a time, convince myself my captor was actually my friend, in the end, the true colors of death shone through and the dementor, latent but sure, returned and I was slowly tapped of all cheerfulness on the subject. This is how it always is.
January 31 was a day I really thought I would never see. The week leading up to it was fantastically slow. I was shocked at the phenomenon taking place before me. But I did my best and that elusive February did eventually show its face.
The problem with that is that February is still February. January's ugly, less charming sidekick. I felt myself starting to succumb. I lost the fervor, replaced by fatigue and a general state of just being really bored. Another factor might be what I call Suburban Suffocation. Have i mentioned this? Sean and I share in this feeling and it comes and goes. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, i think a flare-up coincided with winter and the result is my feeling extremely restless. Excitement-starved. An intense need for a shake-up. I told a friend the other day I'm this close to starting a fight club. But Valentine's Day saw us through, as it always does, and we have an upcoming what has been officially and SCIENTIFICALLY [by me] declared an "End of Winter Trip" planned so, let us rejoice.
To conclude, a bulleted list of everything I have done since I last posted. Everything.
- As I said, made a million paper snowflakes. They were going to be strung up somewhere like a winter garland but I never got around to it. I think just cutting them was enough for me. Totally relaxing and a solid tribute to the Hygge.
- Wore thick socks and sweaters and watched a heck-ton of TV. So good. This includes Poldark season II, Sherlock season whatever, Victoria, all other british series (seri?) and more. Aren't we so grateful for TV? I feel like I could tack on "and watched TV" at the end of every bulleted item in this list.
- Downloaded an app on my phone called Marco Polo. Apparently it's like Snapchat but since I don't snap, I can't be sure. Basically it's a simple app to send videos to your friends as text messages. There's not much to it. But one of the best things to come out of this winter was when I casually made a group video chat called "Bachelor" where I added two local friends and one faraway friend who have since all become close through our detailed back-and-forth analyses of the finest show winter has to offer. It's honestly been so much fun and it is a great way to feel more connected with people. You almost feel like you're having real conversations and does much to rejuvenate the soul. So if you want rambley videos of me at odd times, hit me up.
- Visited friends, tried to get out with friends. Giving in to the Hygge (pronounced hue-guh, though I thought this video was extremely helpful and entertaining.) by definition means staying in more and embracing the solitude, but everyone needs to get out sometimes. I did this by: going to dinner, chatting, snowshoeing, and playing high competition-level games.
- Played a couple rounds of tennis with strangers
- Read books, talked about books.
- And very often, did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Another attribute of Hygge--embracing the do-nothing'ness. And it felt fine. I was in hibernation so, in a literal sense, doing anything made me feel productive in my day. And that's alright.
What has kept you going this winter? Or to rephrase, what have you been doing to while away the time? I am curious. Do you sit back and let winter be winter? Does it play an active role in your life? Is it a non-issue? Do you embrace it? Shun it? Endure it? Does life look the same for you whatever the season?
I was all set to make a Stockholm Syndrome joke, and then you beat me to it.
This was our first Idaho winter, and according to the locals it was the coldest and snowiest in 20 years, with piles in our yard up to five feet high where we shoveled off the driveway. I wish I could say I did lots of fun things like sledding with the kids, but with a new-ish baby and still trying to adjust to having four kids, we mostly hunkered down. I still got out running, for the most part, using spiky galoshes, so in that sense it was business as usual. But we are looking forward to getting the kids outside more, which should help dispel the cabin fever a bit.
Aah, spiky galoshes sound horrible! And kind of like a freaky thing a murderer would wear (no offense.) 😀 But I'm glad you got to get out and run, I guess? Idaho snow is no joke, or so I hear. Once I mentally make the switch from winter, there's no going back.
Heh. "The Spiky Galosh Murders of Idaho Falls," as seen on Murder, She Wrote.
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