It’s the early early morning right now, but I’m up listening to the coyote’s yell. They’ve been pretty close lately, not that that’s terribly unusual. This time of year, when they move in because food is scarce and the neighbors have cows and sheep and the like.
We are slowly settling into winter routine, although admittedly under protest. But there are some nice things about the long stretch of winter after the last firework has exploded on New Year’s Eve and before the first little sprouts of spring come up in the garden. This is the season of warm lamplight, endless hot beverages, and cozy blankets, so it’s time to revel in that. I’ve definitely been making a point of turning my workday into a series of little winter treats. Mornings under the blanket next to the heater, coffee at 5 am (I’m up earlier, but I’ve been trying to break the zombie walk habit straight to the coffee machine and now I wait about an hour or two for coffee), warm tea at 10 am ish. I haven’t turned on my overhead lights in easily a year in favor of the cozy lamp look, and this time of year the warm white of the bulbs compared to the cold white of the snow is incredibly cozy. I do these little rituals during the weekends too, Christopher often jokes that I spend most of my life trying to be cozy, whether it’s an early summer morning ride, or my midmorning tea when the whole world is frozen. Trading out overheads for lamplight and the little morning ritual of clicking them all on and throwing open my shades to watch the sunrise.
He’s not wrong. I spend a lot of time being guilty about the past, stressed about the present, and anxious about the future. It’s my default state to be a worried mess, I’m pretty sure I was born that way. So, taking time to make my space warm, enjoying the big and small moments in my day, and just being grateful, those things have to be a conscious effort on my part, or I definitely get bitter and cranky. I don’t wanna live like that my whole life, so if taking a five-minute moment of peace with my tea helps, you can bet I’m on it.
I’m also very lucky to work a job where if I say “I’m walking to the barn, I’ll be back in twenty” generally no one bats an eye. Although lately it’s been closer to thirty because of the very slow going down to the barn across frozen ground. Winter vibes aside, I still anxiously await the coming of spring.
Another thing I’ve been really trying to focus on more is gratitude. I’m definitely the kind of person who gets caught up in the stress and forgets that a lot of what I’m stressing about others would kill for. For example, I was really worried about being my cousins bridesmaid this year, what if I mess it up? What if we forget a major part (DIY wedding)? What if a guest gets crazy? But I had to keep reminding myself that the bigger point here was my sweet cousin has four sisters and still wanted me as a bridesmaid as well, that she included me in all the fun bridal trips, the decision making, and trusted me to help keep the groomsmen in line. It was such a fun experience that I am, and will always be, grateful for.
Another good example is being grateful for my job. I really like my job, but like any human, I’m naturally predisposed to grumble about anything i have to do or perceive i have to do. Heck, occasionally i grumble about needing to post a blog entry, and i enjoy this project! But reframing things like “i get to go to work tomorrow and have coworkers who are understanding and respectful” instead of “ugh, i don’t wanna go to work” can really change a Monday. In remembering to stay grateful I’ve also started what I call my gratitude mug. I was gifted a little zebra mug that’s beautifully hand sculpted and painted for Christmas 2020, and I decided to use it as a visual reminder to stay grateful. Every time I think, wow I’m so thankful that turned out that way, I write it on a scrap of paper and stick it in that mug. Then at the end of the year I read them out. Last year was really difficult in some regards, and there was a lot of tying knots and holding on for dear life when I hit the end of my rope, but looking at everything that I was grateful for, reliving the memories, and realizing I had so much good I couldn’t even fit all the little notes in a Ziploc, it was a wonderfully humbling reminder that above all, I am blessed. I hope you all are as blessed as I am, and if not, I hope more than anything that you get there some day.
Alrighty, enough mushy stuff, back to regularly scheduled farm shenanigans next week.
Until we chat again my friends.