This week has been all about welcoming the new year. From re-establishing old habits to forming new ones, this has been a week of transition in many ways.
As I put away (or got rid of in the case of holiday treats that were still left in the house) the straggling holiday decorations, my mood turned melancholy. Perhaps influenced by the book I was reading last week, Bomb Shelter, by Mary Laura Philpott, I kept thinking of how few holiday seasons I had left with both kids living in the house with us, and not just home visiting over a school holiday. Just as quickly as our family has transitioned from having little kids at home into having a teenager and an almost-teenager, we will transition into having just one kid at home with us, and then to no kids at home with us. These are not a transitions I am eager for . . .
My low mood was not helped at all by the weird weather we have had so far this winter either. Last week consisted of day after day of dark clouds, damp cold, and rain. With temperatures well above freezing, there has been no snow, the grass is practically green again, and it seems as though we have missed out completely on the normal transition to winter. Not that I like winter. In fact, I despise winter. The cold does bother me. And I would much rather exist anywhere where boots are never necessary footwear. However, this lack of winter is almost as bothersome as actual winter is for me. And it certainly meant that in this last week of Christmas holidays, the kids were kept cooped up indoors – there was no tobogganing or snow-man making – there was only hot chocolate to be consumed while we watched the rain fall.
And then of course, there is the fact that the Husband and I have both transitioned into a Dry January, along with other dietary improvements, including a severe reduction in sugar consumption and an increase in our trips to the gym. While I actually feel about a million times better after just one week of this “healthier” regime, I find it very difficult knowing that the only things I have to soothe my nerves are fruits, veggies, and a good workout – reaching for a glass of bubbles or a handful of chips was far easier and one could argue far tastier!
While I will admit to spending most of this weekend searching for ways to escape the dark, damp, dreariness of this week, there has been a lot of good that has come out of this week of transition. By facing my feelings about the kids growing up so fast, I’ve been able to appreciate the time I’ve had to spend with them this week. From watching movies together as a family to family walks and even an outing to the Disney Animation Immersive Experience this morning, we have had some fun adventures that we can always look back on fondly.
Since there is nothing I can do about the weather, and moving to a warmer clime isn’t in the cards for our family, all I can do is learn to endure it. I have tried valiantly over the years to find ways to embrace this season – and came close after reading Wintering by Katherine May last year – but I think these past few years of lockdowns and quarantines have ruined any chance I had of embracing this season of slowing down and enjoying hibernating. However, my inability to embrace winter does tie in nicely with the improvements the Husband and I have been making to ameliorate our dietary and exercise habits. I have decided that at the end of each of these winter months during which I am able to stick to my dietary and exercise goals, I am going to buy myself something. I haven’t quite decided what that something will be (shoes, jewellery, a purse?), but it will be something that brings a material kind of sunshine to my life, and warms me from the inside out. Knowing that I’m 1/4 of the way through this month and that much closer to choosing my reward will hopefully make the next 23 days go by that much faster and make them that much easier to endure.
Next week will see even more transitions in our house, with the kids going back to school, and regular activities for all of us starting up again. However, with a week of practicing our new habits, I’m sure each of the transitions we face next week will seem much easier compared to those we faced this week. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead with nothing but smooth transitions!