It’s cold out there

It is so nice that folks keep visiting, even when I’m quiet for so long.  Things are shifting beneath the surface, and starting to bubble up.  I had a lovely holiday season and am still enjoying winter, which is good, as it will not leave for quite some time here. One week until the St. Paul Winter Carnival!  A few weekends ago, actually got my butt out of the house on a Saturday night and went ice-skating at the Landmark Center, and over to Great Waters afterward.  Betelgeuse aka. chocolate pear stout was fantastic!  May need to take a growler home before that one disappears….

skates

What does this have to do with my work?  Well, a lot actually.  I have lived in Minnesota for all but six years of my life.  Despite this, I’ve still spent plenty of winters hating it!  It can be a lot of work just to get basic things done in winter, and on top of that, there is frequently no sun for weeks and weeks!  That’s a hard one.

Add on top of that that winter is almost always ushered in by a bazillion high-pressured deadlines ( because if you don’t make money during the Holidays, then when do you think you’re going to make it????).  To be honest, it  had gotten to the point where, I was spending the rest of the winter hiding at home, fulfilling only the most cursory of obligations, recovering from all the winter sale madness.  And getting up in the dark, trudging to the bus stop in the dark, getting to work in the dark, working a nine hour day on my feet, and the getting back home in the dark again already!  So I’m not so fond of all that dark, you see….

So what’s different this year?  Well, for starters, I changed my work situation in August, so that, while the downside is less money, the up side is:  Every single day when I get out of work, the sun is still up, even if only for an hour or two.

Then there is the fact that, while the temperatures have been colder than average, for December anyway, there have been more sunny days.  This is, of course, out of my control.  But I can enjoy it none the less.  With some extra warm socks, and at least one sweater on at all times, even indoors.  That is, with a realistic perspective on the situation, (i.e., checking the temperature regularly, because 24F is spring compared to -10F.) and a little preparation, (i.e. no, really, today you need the wool vest and the wool cardigan and the warm socks and the hat and gloves.) one can survive and even enjoy the winter, at least when the sun comes out from time to time.

And I must admit, there is a certain element of deciding to enjoy it.  Like when I realized that, if I wanted to be the sort of person who could say, “Yeah, I went skating five times last winter, it was great!”, I was going to have to actually haul my ass out of the house and  go! I couldn’t be that person, unless I actually overcame my post-work-day I’ve-earned-the-right-to-sit-around-and-watch-junkie-t.v. slothfulness and actually do something that I’d been thinking I would enjoy for a long time.  I have to be honest with myself about how I really want to spend my time, and I have to do the work.

SO:

  1. Sometimes conditions suck.  Yesterday it was -14F.  Sometimes the sun doesn’t come out for weeks.  It’s been a long time since I felt like I had “enough” time or money to spend on creative pursuits.  There is no point in denying how bad it is.  Or isn’t.
  2. Having realistic expectations is key.  Yes, it really is cold out.  Yes, you could get frostbite.  No, you’re not going to suddenly win the lottery and not have to work and have endless resources for supplies.
  3. Being prepared always helps.  Yes, you need that hat, and gloves, and sweater, and that other sweater, and the big, bulky coat.  Yes, you already have a ton of supplies.  Y’know, the boxes and boxes that are never really organized?  You need to make use of those and be sure that you’re ‘capturing’ your other ideas for the day when you do have time to execute them.
  4. You need to really think about who you want to be.  Do you want to be the person that got caught up on every single episode of Lost before the new season starts?  Or do you want to be the person that read more books this year than last and/or actually surprised herself with how much creative work she got done.  It seems obvious, but for the past few years, I’ve usually just spent everyday dealing with the right now, not really thinking about how to move forward.  But honestly, right now I have the time to do more.

So that, sort of where I’m at.  A new determination, but hopefully a realistic and persistent one. Thanks to a few sources for good advice and sympathetic struggles.

Next up: Resolutions and Gold Stars

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2 Comments

  1. sounds like you have a plan…
    i too have the ‘supply’ issue, why order more, when i have a ton of fabric and a yarn stash (which is ‘scheduled’ for 4 sweaters for myself…but, am i really going to make them all??) that i can use up. (if only it were all organized in floor to ceiling open cubicles where i could see everything!)

    …on this damn cold weather (and my 1st artic winter in WI): i’ve been wearing long johns, pants of some sort (sweats mostly, since i’m usually at home), wool socks, shearling Ugg-like boots, tank top, long underwear shirt, oversized cashmere sweater, cashmere scarf, and usually a wool hat…..and that’s INDOORS!! 🙂

    Reply
  1. Resolve « tether

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