Winter Reflections

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Typically, I hate winter.  This year, however...I'm feeling it.

I like the sun.  I tan easily.  I love swimming in a pool/ocean/puddle of mud.  There's nothing like the feel of sand or grass between your toes.  Summer has always been my thing.

This winter so far is brutal.  For the first time in years, there was snow on Christmas.  The next week was FRIGID.  It wasn't the type of winter you could play in the snow (the only kind I've ever tolerated).  So why am I so content?

The week after Christmas, I decided I was going to buck with tradition and instead of staying the week at my parents', I went back to my apartment on Christmas.  The building was quiet.  The heat was on high.  My boyfriend was back home with his family.  I was aware of how completely alone I was.  The next few days were pretty much the same.  I plugged in the tree lights and the lights I have framing my living room window.

I struggle with prioritizing and slowing things down.  I'll jump to say yes and help others before helping myself; sometimes, I need to be a bit more selfish and fight for me before I can fight the battles of others.  In the end, I find myself overwhelmed and deflated with the amount of things I've let pile up.

2017 was rough for me.  My best friend stopped being my best friend.  I inexplicably stopped sleeping.  While I love my friends, all of their weddings left me struggling to pay my bills on time.  My grandmother died and while that was hard, it really broke and changed my Mom - she's always been my rock.  I looked in the mirror and there was someone I didn't recognize staring back.  I was left with the feeling that I'd never be able to catch up.

Each day I woke up at 5:30AM, based upon the advice of my favorite motivational Youtubers, and made myself breakfast.  The rest of the day was spent reading (mostly You Are a Badass), writing, and really getting in tune with the things that made me happy.  I created new routines and goals that I found exciting to work towards.  I also made amends with the things I could not change and promised myself to continue to love all of those in my life and to not hold them accountable for those who burned me.

The snow and 15 degree weather made it perfectly okay for me to stay home and figure things out - there was no guilt or nagging inside of me to make that return to Target right this minute or the feeling that I should be breathing in some fresh air.  During the summer, I don't think I could have kept the world out in the same way.

On the last day of vacation, I curled up with my favorite coffee mug and I closed my eyes, feeling incredibly grateful for the alone time.  There is a major difference between alone and lonely, I learned.  There is so much strength to be found when you are alone.  Opening the curtains on that first day of 2018, I was a little bummed that the cold weather could no longer protect me and keep me inside.  But I knew, walking out into the world the next day, I had a new focus and drive to carry me through the rest of the year.


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