Surrendering to Snow: How to Handle the Winters.

Well here it is Winter. For me, winter runs December to February. On March 1st, I start shifting my mindset to Spring – snow or no snow! There’s a renewed sense of optimism, after all Spring is just around the corner (if we can just get through March). Every Fall, especially when we get those flickers of winter, I have my “Winter Pump Up Chat”. It starts with the practicalities – living in this neck of the woods means we endure winter so roll with it, this is the year/season I will actually embrace it. Then I get overly optimistic (borderline flakey) are dare say “this winter I’ll ENJOY it”. Well this pump up chat requires the enthusiasm I’m guessing prize fighters need right before entering the ring. Friends, family, acquaintances, heck even strangers start spitting the annual dribble – “oh its so cold”, “its miserable outside”, “winter is coming” (cant help but use the John Snow voice over every time I say that).

Many, many moons ago I lived in Yellowknife, NWT for about 4 years. How did I do it? To be honest winters here in NL feel just as long! However, there was/is a different sense of acceptance way up there in the arctic. Its a Given there – winter happens – face it why fight it. I wonder if I and many NLers, hang on to the fantasy that somehow Winter just wont show up this year or at least its potentially a good winter. I can only assume this false sense of hope only fuels our disappointment and unacceptance of the dreaded season.

By now (thanks to Covid) we’ve – Global Citizens – learned and adopted self care practices that are based on home life or turning inward to self amusement and preservation. To be honest it’s been a ride for sure and to see how people all over the world adapted, I mean I’ve spent hours watching ridiculous videos of people entertaining themselves with games, crafting, virtual parties, and 1000’s of people became who they were meant to be! It’s quite interesting to think of it collectively – we’re like a brand new breed of people. But back on track, Covid has been beat to a pulp! Brings me to Hygge.

Hygge [Hue Ga] is a Danish word defined as an atmosphere of warmth, well being and coziness, when you feel at peace and able to enjoy simple pleasures, and being in the moment. Similarly, Colsie [Kol Zie] origins in Old Scots, is the habit of embracing winter darkness and finding comfort and warmth in life’s simple pleasures. So sounds like I’m not the only one who struggles with winter – well there ya have it! So what’s the trick? Is there a procedure, plan of action, or is it a mindset (yes of course it is) or is it cultural (yes that to)? Hygge and Colsie has to many internet hits to list, thank you internet for being at my fingertips – researching Hygge is a hygge practice, and see how I thanked the internet, there’s another hygge to do, practice gratitude!

Here’s somethings that resonate with me and maybe let your mind daydream of what could be. *Use saved things like fancy dishes or a gifted candle – light it. *Redecorate in a way that supports comfort, throw around a few blankets and pillows – make your couch or bed to comfy to leave! (ouu how romantically inviting that sounds). *Prioritize happiness and pleasure by adopting an “organic” attitude – meaning things will be done when they get done, stop the timeline restraints, stop the measurement of progress – especially when it comes to making your home look like a hotel blahhh, be fluid with life – be organic. *Read a boring blog – heck start one! I mean the essence of hygge is to allow boring, stop acting like life is about anything more than being happy and healthy, cause its not – there’s no award for your productivity or being the most stressed out person this day, week, or year ~ new year? then LET IT GO!!!

Ohhh Winter!!! So poetically metaphoric ~ the season of rest and restore, the season of wombing. It holds such heaviness like the weight of snow, such a sense of endurance, the toughest of times, a time of stock taking and reflection. Its the balance rational of needing the dark to see the light, feel the cold to sense the warmth, and the sleep before the reawakening of Spring. Recently I heard a poem that made me see how we need this dark time and lets face it some of us need to be forced or at least reminded to slow down. It went something like this;

~Learn how to handle the winters

winter follows fall, night follows day, difficulty follows ease

its a fact of life and the rhythm of life

you will have winters of sickness, winters of dissappoitment

personal winters, economic winters, social winters

the winters are going to come, its a fact of life

learn how to handle your winters ~