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Friday, December 21, 2018

Almost Winter Day

Photo by Atle Mo on Unsplash

It is very much a winter day. We still have one more day until the Winter Solstice, and yet, I am already longing for spring. The days in the Pacific Northwest tend to run together in an eternal gray. Even during the day if the sun does peek out of the blanket of clouds, it is only for a short, blinding moment.

Yesterday, our power went out for a little over three hours due to an intense wind storm that knocked out power all over the city. In the end, it didn't really affect me all that much, but it sealed in winter as it slowly got colder in the house as the day wore on. I also can't believe how dark it is in the middle of the afternoon without lights on in the house.

Earlier that day in my morning routine, I was challenged to find something I love about the winter season. I have to be honest, that one is hard for me. This time of year, I struggle to keep moving when all I want to do is hibernate like a bear. I think I am solar powered because as the darkness increases, my motivation and focus decrease. I am intentionally working on improving that this year, but that's not the point.

The point is...I had to think really hard about what I could like about winter. The thing I like most about this time of year is when I get to curl up in a blanket with a cup of hot tea and read. I do that all year long, but it is especially satisfying in the winter. In fact, it was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon during our power outage yesterday - I am thankful for my Kindle with its back light and long life batteries.

It was funny the other night, I watched Ellen DeGeneres's stand up "Relatable" on Netflix (it was great by the way, I highly recommend it) and she uses this set up as an intro to her idioms bit. She asks who really takes a book and goes to curl up and read? I wanted to raise my hand high. I suppose every phrase has some sort of kernel of truth, at least this literary stereotype is one I don't mind.

All of this is going on in my head as I am adding layers and wishing I could heat up some water to make tea and toast Mother Nature on powering down half of Seattle for the better part of the afternoon.

After sorting through my cynicism, thank you meditation, I realized there is another thing I like about winter...and hot tea. It is a time for introspection. The darkness does not get me moving, but it does get me thinking--always a scary thing.

This is the time of year that I begin to make plans for the next year. I look at what has worked and what has not over the past year so I can make better choices moving forward. I'm finding the places I'm stuck and I'm trying to break through. I suppose that is at least something to be grateful for.

As the days get darker, I think about how it will all turn around before I know it. The rains will stop, the sun will come out and my power will come on. I will be back to my old self, running around and doing a million things all at once. But for right now, I am going to enjoy this time of rest to organize myself so I can make that break through next year.

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