Notable how many people are talking about winter this week (or I am just noticing it!?) and I have surprised myself in the past few years with feelings of slight trepidation, which never happened before. Part of that came from winter ‘life’ being lived through a rain soaked black windscreen, dazzled by headlights and brakelights in equal measure, but part of it came from not being able to do some of the things I’d like to. I came across a quote from Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe in one of our bedtime books last night (A Bit Lost by Chris Haughton):
“Thus we never see the true state of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, nor know how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it.”Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
And of course I can’t do those things, because it is winter. “Winter is a time for different feelings”. We cannot control the seasons but we are in control of our response to it, and as I’ve found with many emotions over the years, you can tame them ‘simply’ by deciding to. Mentally deciding and accepting that something is the way it is and agreeing with yourself what your response to it is, is a way of re-centring and moving beyond the feeling. Jason Kottke’s post The Secret to Enjoying a Long Winter resonates with me (including the 30s woo-woo cynicism) and is recommended, including:
When she asked people [in Tromsø, Northern Norway and 69° north] “Why don’t you have seasonal depression?” the answer was “Why would we?”
And if you aren’t into Zen mindset shifts, just doing different things in different quantities:
Nicholas Bate’s seven fall basics are more sleep, more reading, more hiking, more reflection, more soup, more movies, and more night sky
Replace winter with COVID-19 as you wish; get busy with hygge or koselig or friluftsliv or some other trendy Scandiness, but it doesn’t need to be that involved – this serene Ben Böhmer music set floating above Cappadocia got me thinking about being in hot air balloons above Africa many years ago, and how unlike other forms of air travel, when you’re in a balloon there is no wind – you are part of the wind. You also don’t know where you’re going to end up, but that’s part of adventure and the serendipity of life.
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