According to the works of the great Douglas Adams, it’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything. I like that. It’s simple and to the point, but also somewhat random. I enjoy random.
We’re supposed to get a little more snow this week — a few centimetres tomorrow, and Thursday, and Friday, along with a bit of sunshine. My father claimed that the air smelled like spring on Sunday, when the temperature warmed to -11 C, but if so, it was a cruel trick. We’re looking at another seven weeks, minimum. I am determined at some point to get some skiing in, to get out and enjoy the winter season instead of hibernating, but it will get somewhat easier to do if the cold can stay above -20. I’d take a nice -15, even.
I am very aware of my tendency to prefer the opposite season to that I am experiencing. I suffer from an intolerable case of the grass being always greener, so I do try to appreciate the beauty of the moment that I’m in. The trouble is that the effort to appreciate can become tiring when the conditions are unchanging. The drifting snow, layered on spreading evergreen branches, frosting roofs and mailboxes — it’s charming when it refreshes the browns and greys of autumn, festive with the turn to the winter holiday season, but by February, it’s draining. Happily, I seem to be handling the bleak landscape better than in past years, but I do wonder whether my resistance is starting to fail. It’s getting more difficult to get out of bed, for example, and the daily routine feels like just that. A routine.
Fortunately, our community makes an excellent effort to lift everyone’s spirits at this point in the year. The Winter Carnival is about to begin, and my husband and I have tickets for one of the upcoming concerts (Bruce Cockburn, yay!). Last year, I enjoyed a helicopter ride over the town and I’m rather hoping to do it again. And then there’s the release of my second novel, which both makes me enormously happy and terrifies me. It’s like being on the helicopter again.
But in the midst of the routine and the excitement of events, the same old conflicts of time and energy, recurring bad habits and procrastination continue to plague me. It’s these which really bring me down. At least, in the late spring and summer, I can make inroads with the laundry by getting it out of the house, opening the windows to allow in fresh air while I clean, both which are great motivation to get the job done.
But I suppose that one benefit of a long, frozen winter is that I can put off picking up the dog poo.
And in the meantime, there’s my collection of loose teas, my cross-stitching — I’ve just finished one project and am trying to decide on another — plus my writing tasks. I’m expanding my knowledge of wines as well, partly in effort to stop drinking as much pop as I used to. Book promotions. Reinforcing good habits and routines with the children, and for myself. And watching my favourite shows, over and over, picking up on nuances of performances by actors who would turn me into mush if I were fortunate enough to meet them in person. And reading — let me not forget my TBR list.
What are your survival techniques in a long winter?