Friday, February 21, 2020

I disagree with the Romans ......

Hibernia, the Land of Eternal Winter,  

was the name given to Ireland by the ancient Romans. But they had obviously never been to western Newfoundland!

Boy oh boy! It's hard work staying on top of one's mental health when all around is cold and snow. And I'm not talking about small stuff! The temperatures for the past 3 weeks have averaged -17 Celcius (approx 1 degree Fahrenheit). Today is -15 with a windchill factor which brings the temperature down to -31 C (-23 F). In these temperatures, even road salt doesn't always do its job; the roads are greasy-feeling beneath one's studded tires (law here in NL). 
As well, here on the west coast of Newfoundland, the snow doesn't stop falling:  I mean really! It snows every single day! It's not always a lot of snow; and we get days with periods of beautiful sunshine (but never a full day of sun). And those periods of sun are usually followed by periods of grey skies and blowing snow. And then there are the snow squalls which can be pretty terrifying as they blow up unexpectedly. My 10-12 min journey home at the end of the day can contain a snow squall sandwiched between sunshine! Sure makes life interesting!

And while the rest of the world is talking daffodils and mud, we will still be talking snow for at least another month and a half. Oh dear! It's around this time of year that life becomes particularly difficult for me (and others, I presume). Cabin fever can be a reality even in the middle of a city!

So, how does one keep up one's spirit? 

Artwork by Mark Sheetey
For me, it involves lots of determination, perseverance and some encouragement -- be it friends, uplifting quotes, meditation and/or prayer, music, or even the occasional tipple or toke (legal here in Canada). Whatever way one can, one crawls doggedly towards the light!

(Other than the dark hair, this picture could totally be my doughy-white arse crawling towards what I hope is a travel agent with a ticket to a hot country with free bar and room service!)

As I always mention, self-care is a huge part of how I get through these long winters. Even in the coldest of temperatures, I try to get outside each day, even if it's only to stand in the driveway for 5-10 minutes. I try to open my windows for a little every day to let in some fresh air:  Mother Nature is so important. I remind myself of the blessings and advantages I have; I try to eat well; I have successful methods to de-stress. But it's almost always a decision I have to make daily to do what I can to keep my head above it all. And my living and spending most of my time alone with another 2 months of winter still ahead means I have to work extra hard. It can be exhausting. 

But isn't it worth it? I mean, if the alternative is crying in the corner, rending my garments and gnashing my teeth, I'll choose laughter and dance every time.  

So, here's to my fellow 'winter workers' who like me are fighting daily to be positive and optimistic .... or to just hang onto your branch .... but are doggedly crawling towards the light. 

Hang in there, Babies. WE ARE WORTH IT!

Friday, February 7, 2020

Wading through Winter

January in my neck of the woods has been cold with a whole lot of snow without the added bonus of storm days off through the week.  Sigh! We've not had a good sunny day on the weekend so I can go snowshoeing. So, how have I spent my time off?

Well, first there's shopping for important, much-needed items like a new mattress. Then there's the shopping for no-so-much-needed items like the following:

Who doesn't love a soft, comfy pair of 'shoo-boots' in a dusty rose color for $11.00 freekin' dollars! Thank you Winners!

And who can resist discounted gourmet chocolate with descriptions like  elderberry apple Elderflower. I eat them small amounts, slowly letting them melt on my tongue. Yum!

There's also been a happy increase in my reading in 2020. I've spent many happy hours on my couch with a good book and a cup of something delicious. 

(And contrary to what the cup says, there's Inka coffee substitute in there and not prosecco.)

I've indulged in lots of Netflix as well, but I've also spent many happy hours (1/2 hours?) in my bathtub, fragrant with my homemade eucalyptus epsom salts soak, soft lighting and some folky/dreamy music. My sister gave me this battery operated mini-terrarium light at Xmas, and it sure looks pretty when you're lying back in your bath chillaxing. I find it's so important to my self-care to decompress in this way.

My music tastes will vary depending on the season and my frame of mind, of course. The music I've been listening to most lately has been Celtic: Loreena McKennitt, Capercallie and Altan. There's something about those grass-roots instruments and the soothing, lilting vocals; they make a deep connection in my spirit. 

Here's a little sample of Altan. Don't you just love the male vocals! 

The ice and snow is just starting outside my office window, so it's off home in a little while before this weekends storm hits. 

 Happy weekend y'all. I wish you peace and calm in the midst of whatever storm you may encounter.


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