Leaning into Winter | January 14, 2023

After a scant start to the winter season, we finally have snow and a lot of it. And this comes as a surprise to nobody more than me, but I am delighted

Leaning into Winter | January 14, 2023 - www.biblio-style.com

I'll keep this bit short because unless you really stumbled here accidentally, you probably already know that I'm a summer gal. I'm a go to the beach every day gal. I'm a drink margaritas on the patio gal. I normally suffer my way through winter, counting down the minutes until my next sunshiny 70º day. 

I think it's a combination of a lot of things, but mostly I think 2023 changed me. That sounds dramatic, but the entire year was such a laborious sprint without breaks, that rest and retreat is all I can think of, and in nature, that's exactly what winter is. If plants and animals take this time to power down, who am I to do anything different? 

I went for a short walk in my backyard (so very short haha) to visit the river, and I found the sound of snow falling to be so specific. It's quiet of course, but not quite silent, and it's just like, peaceful. I'm embarrassed that I didn't know this, but I've been filling every minute of my life with something for so long that I'm rarely alone outside, and especially not in the wintertime. On Saturday morning, a snowstorm that was promised earlier in the week was delivering. I settled in at home with Duke for the day, and stayed in my pajamas until maybe 4pm when I finally took a shower. Then I put on a fresh pair of pajamas. Later, when I went to bed at 8:30, I considered how restful and relaxing the day was, and even though I hadn't earned an early night, slipping under the covers so early felt right. When it's dark, we should sleep. 

Everything is a spectrum, right? Staying somewhere in the middle is ideal and I know that stir crazy is on the opposite end of where I've been hovering, but eventually I could get there. For now though, I need to inch myself closer to the middle and I just want to stay home. And having this wonderful weather that is terrible for driving is a luxury I can only have in wintertime. Ryan's sister texted me before the storm came to inquire about my weekend and I told her honestly that I was looking forward to having an excuse to not leave my house. 

If you have very small children, this is not quite the luxurious experience that I am about to describe. I've been there and I can say with authority that it's not forever. I always wish I could have known there'd be light at the end of the tunnel when I was parenting a baby, and so I preach like a missionary to other parents that better, easier days are coming. Anyway,  Duke is old enough to entertain himself, we can really indulge in long luxurious days at home. We take turns choosing a movie to watch, and I can retire to my bedroom to read for long stretches, knowing that he's fine downstairs by himself. I do not tell myself "ten more minutes" or "after this chapter I'll get up." In the long expanse of a day without plans and hours without meaning, I'll get up when I feel done with reading. We putter around, a little bit together and a little bit doing our own thing. He's working diligently on a project to make a web shooter out of old cereal boxes and popsicle sticks and I'm working my way through two wonderful books. We cross paths occasionally, but not always. 

Winter is giving me a gift this year, but it's also caring for me like a mother who knows what I need when I can't see it for myself. And she's like, Jennifer, get back in bed (precisely how my actual mother would talk to me tbh). I need rest, and I am powering down and staying in. I do enjoy those snowy walks though. I just need to get myself some shoes with traction, because George was apparently born in paws with traction, and I swear he is going to kill me, dragging me in all kinds of directions while I slip around on the ice and packed down snow. I'm emotionally tender right now and if I land in a snow bank tangled up in his leash, I will literally start crying and then all the emotions could start falling out. 


A couple more things - 

The book about wintering that I am currently reading. It has changed my perspective on winter and the season of rest. Not to be dramatic, but it is life altering. 

Gentle January is here. Takeout pizza and paper plates is the name of the game.

Relinking the NY Times games because they're such a delight to my mornings. Today I solved the mini-crossword in :34 seconds, a PR I'll be bragging about forever. 

I've had this 12 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues post saved since 2021. It's a really good list. 


It seems like the entire country is getting a winter blast and so I confidently wish you all a happy snow day, wherever you may be!

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