02 February 2017

In the bleak mid-winter

Today is the exact middle of winter--half way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

Winter is a harder season for me because of the following:
1- Since I work transportation, winter brings massive amount of people moving during the holidays. It's also when all of my employees want time off. So in the busiest time of the year, I am working with the least amount of support.
2- With the snow comes bad roads. With bad roads come delayed buses. Also stressful at work.
3- I can't run outside in the winter. Which puts me in circles on the track.
4- Mr B and I can't camp or hike mountains this time of year.
5- I don't get my fix of vitamin D.

My list of what's "killing me" right now could go on and on. This winter has been the hardest one I have lived through in a long time.

But I will instead take inspiration from my favorite blogger and focus on the list of what is saving me right now. These are the little things that keep me going through the cold days.

What is saving me right now:
1- My Erin Condren Lifeplanner. Maybe it shows the geekiness in me, but the bright happy colors, my name on the front, fun stickers and even a meal planner dashboard get me super excited. I take it with me wherever I go. I write everything down. I check things off. I actually remember birthdays. I love it.

2- Trying new recipes with Mr B. I love my "Our Best Bites" cookbooks and have used them for quite a few years. But, like most people, I go back to the recipes that I love over and over. Mr B and I decided to go through them and make a list of the ones we wanted to try. Every week we've been making a new-to-us meal together. It makes meal planning and prepping much more fun. Especially because we are doing it together. And the food is delicious.

3- Winterish Essential Oils. I have been diffusing pine, sandalwood, fir, cinnamon, grapefruit, clove, vanilla, peppermint, orange and all sorts of combinations of these scents throughout my house. It helps me appreciate those winter smells.

4- Books. Books always save me. I read constantly. But especially in the winter, curling up with a good books makes me feel better about not being outside. And lately Mr B has picked up a series (Harry Potter...again) that he can't put down. This had led to some lovely evenings curled up together with tea, cookies, blankets and books.

5- Cross Country Skiing. We have tried to go at least every other week. It gets us outside and moving. We can work up a sweat in negative 0 degree weather. It makes me appreciate the snow. It helps me soak in the little sun we have had. And we have seen some beautiful landscapes and fun animals on our adventures. We head out again on Saturday.

6- Deleting Instagram from my phone. I still have an instagram account...but when I have to access it from a computer, I am on it A LOT less. I already knew that social media was hard for me. That's why I don't have Facebook and was off of insta for over a year. I realized in the last 6 months of using it again that I was getting sucked down into comparison and time wasting. Not mindlessly checking it all the time helps.

7- Fresh Citrus. We have kept our fridge stocked with oranges and grapefruits while they are in season and on sale and tasting amazing. A grapefruit a day keeps the grouchiness away.

8- Cuddling. One of my two top "love languages" is touch (unusual for a girl, but true for me). We've discovered that I am much happier in the morning if before anything else, I get a little cuddle. So we set the alarm 10 mins before we have to get up and I get at least one blissful "snooze rotation" to curl up with Mr B before attacking the day.

9- "Do Not Disturb" on my phone. After the insanity that was my holiday season (in which I was working graveyard shifts and then taking calls all day long) I was completely burnt out with work. I had been on call 24/7 for 6 years and haven't had a Christmas in 9 years where I didn't have to deal with a work issue. After a conversation with my boss (that I honestly was going to result in me job searching) he actually agreed to pull me off call! Now, for the fist time in 6 years, I can ignore my phone. I find myself delighting in putting my phone on "Do Not Disturb" during movies, concerts, ski trips, date night, when I take a bubble bath, or when I go to bed.

10- My conure. I've always loved my bird. But lately I have found her to be so delightful. Maybe it's because Mr B has never lived with a bird before, so I'm watching him see all of her eccentricities and remember the joy of when I discovered them the first time.
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