How do you start to fall in love with a season you’ve loathed for a lifetime?
Add some love to the world.
Write love letters.
Lots of love letters.
Passionate. Funny. Short. Long. Witty. Rhyming. Inspirational. Doesn’t matter. Just write ’em.
What to do with all of that love you just penned?
Leave them everywhere.
Tuck them in magazine pages.
Prop them up on ledges.
Also, create a list of things that are better when winterfied. Here we go:
1) Hot chocolate – REAL DEAL hot chocolate. I love going to ACKC in Del Ray
2) Snuggles. Serioulsy, it’s just better when there’s a chill in the air.
3) Spurring random sing-a-longs is perfectly acceptable. I spend all year bursting out into song and people just blink at me (dgaf), BUT during the holiday season as long as it’s some jolly song people will join in! I love to spread the merry.
4) Fuzzy overload. Blankets, socks, sweaters. Gimme.
5) Soups, stews, and the like. Homemade. Give me a root vegetable some cheese and bacon and it is on! (Bonus: the abundance of root veggies gives me a chance to experiment with veggies I don’t normally eat in warmer weather).
6) Cinnamon. On. Everything.
7) Red wine. Cab Sauv seems to be that much more satiating in the winter weather.
8) This scarf that I just bought. In LOVE.
9) No one questions me shirking social obligation in favor of my faux mink blanket and deluxe queen bed.
11) Bonfires and s’mores because they go oh-so-perfectly together.
12) Hottubbing on snowy nights.
13) Snuggie justification.
14) Everything is covered in lights beginning in fall. Twinkle lights abound, like the stars came down for a visit.
15) People reflect the giving and humanity I know we’re capable of year-round.
16) Gatherings with friends and family I don’t normally get to see.
17) Cookies. COOKIES. COOOOOOOOKIES. Oh, and fudge, I love homemade fudge.
18) Tights and extra-large thrifted man sweaters.
19) Tights in general because I love them.
20) Little to no people on the nature trails – there are times I enjoy making friends and there are times I enjoy my solitude Cold weather usually compels me to the latter.
21) All of the holidays clustered together. Never stop the celebrations!
22) Snowball fights.
23) Leaves crunching under my boots – simple things.
24) Creamy, thick, high gravity beers – stouts, porters, and lagers, oh my!
25) Twilight, my favorite time of day, is that much more breathtaking.
26) Searching for, and cracking open, a new (read: the perfect) planner. This year it’s this one.
27) Bubble baths. If there could just be never-ending bubbles.
28) Hilarious blockbuster family movie releases. Open season for Pixar.
29) Boot buddies. I needed these right meow!
30) Grey is a real color that I somehow forget about until winter and it looks so much better with the jewel and wine tones of the season.
31) Drastically reduced FOMO, maybe I convince myself everyone else hates the cold as much as me.
32) Intentional gratitude abound.
33) Whimsy is the flavor of the season.
Seems like lately I’ve had nothing to say. Rather, I’ve had nothing to say that’s useful in any way other than to join up in the solidarity of an anxious victim mentality that I’ve never supported living in. I’ll admit, there are times it’s nice to gripe and receive some validation that I/you/we aren’t alone in our neuroses, but do we really need one more ranting, raving, whining, self-indulgent diatribe? Probably not.
Truth is that I’ve been letting life whirl right past me. Anxiety makes a terrible home. I needed to meditate, pray, hike, dance, scream, SOMETHING, but I was stuck. That feeling of trying to moving forward through a thick, sludgy swamp just became so exhausting that I didn’t want to fight it anymore. And so listless, I remained. To say that there was no discernible inspiration to glean around me would be a lie – my eyes were closed. Going through the motions.
It’s not secret that I’ve dealt with depression most of my life, but anxiety is a relatively new to me (I had a very blessed childhood). Depression I can work through, but an anxiety that I feel that I can’t surmount on my own works steadily to freeze me in my tracks. The mantras I’ve etched into my mind come out effortlessly, but never ease the bite of worry – and dammit, the stuff worry is made of gets next to nothing done. “Go with the flow. Pray and throw some work into it. Everything will be okay.”
Worry is useless and exhausting. Period.
Judging from the #ijustcant posts, I’m not the only one that stalls out from time to time so let me tell you why you just can:
1. You are made of the same stuff as all great people, all great things, natural wonders, visionaries. Everything is made up of energy, and for the less-woowoo everything is made up of atoms and molecules (check out particle theory!). It’s physics, we are literally made up of the same stuff.
2. Everything, and I do mean everything, that you have been through up until now has made you who you are today and who you are is perfection in every moment. Period. Seriously, you are where you need to be and who you need to be in every single moment. Your heaviest burdens have been your biggest blessings – I shit you not.
3. When your heart gets broken over a botched dream, a less than ideal romance, or something as simple an insult or backhanded compliment that struck too close to home – you have the choice to break open. Breaking open leaves room for all the good stuff to come in.
4. To build on breaking open, shutting down will just turn you into a 2 year old Big Mac. You may not rot, but you’ll harden and stay stuck as you are right now. The way I see it, if you’re in the mindset of stagnation then it definitely isn’t the mode you want to be stuck in forever. Not making a choice is a choice unto itself.
5. You have to. You weren’t created to hold onto pain, to thrive in a house built on fear, anxiety, or depression. You were created to rise and fight. You were created to move forward and align your will with the highest good. Whomever, whatever you believe in put you here in the perfect place and time and you WILL overcome.
6. Living your life like any shred of goodness or decency found in humanity is a surprise becomes poisonous all too quickly. Distrust may feel like self-preservation, but it’s not; trust is not the enemy, it never has been.
7. There are perfect strangers that love and believe in you; they hold sacred space for your best self to be realized and brought to fruition.
Here’s your 5 Awesome thing that happened last week:
If you’re having a “Garfield Monday” as my S.O. refers to it, or you just plain need a reason to smile and/or giggle then check out these 5 awesome things that happened last week: