Thoughts for Winter

“November silently sneaks up on us, catching our senses by surprise. Outside, silvery grey shafts reveal a familiar landscape stripped of pretence. Behind closed doors, glowing amber fires shed light upon the real. Like a woman who has found her authenticity, November’s beauty radiates from within.” 

-Sarah Ban Breathnach

Thoughts for Winter >> Life In Limbo

November did sneak up on me, especially this year. It was a tremendous summer, one of my best yet, and the warm weather lingered well into Fall. It was only when I was on my daily walk on Saturday trying to catch a ray or two of sunshine when I realized that it was so cold my fingers were too stiff to type and my ears were numb. It seems like only yesterday that I was on a patio somewhere with my friends!

I am a person who really struggles with winter. I dislike the cold, play no winter sports, and hate how it gets dark outside so early. Reading the passage above, from the book Simple Abundance, was comforting in that it reminded me of the flip side of these dark months: we can use them to work on cultivating our inner, private lives. We can relish the warm light of our homes behind closed doors. We can respect the energy shift of this new season instead of fighting it.

This year, although apparently I have some kind of identity attachment to hating winter that I feel like clinging to, I am choosing differently. I choose to embrace these winter months.

Some practical resolutions for myself this season:

I will not complain about the cold. I will not complain about the darkness. I will not complain about the cold!

I will keep my lighter handy and try to light candles every day.

I will dress more warmly. I will invest in winter layers in order to dress more warmly.

I will go outside for a walk every day.

I will take lots of hot bubble baths.

I will take my daily vitamin D!

I will read books about loving winter.

I will up my hygge game at home as much as possible. I even started a Pinterest board to inspire me.

I will cuddle with my cat more often.

I will let myself take naps.

I will make cozy winter recipes and cozy winter drinks.

I will plan winter adventures despite the cold. I will not complain about the cold!

Do you have tips for embracing winter? Teach me your ways!! If you need me I’ll be over here reading this post and trying to become a Winter Person. And this post. And this one.


Who Do You Admire?

This morning I woke up with a question in my mind:

Who do you admire, and why?

I’d never really asked myself this question in exactly this way before, but the answers started pouring in, almost faster than I could hear them. People I love (both those close to me, and those I admire from afar) popped into my head, one after another, in no particular order.

Who Do You Admire? >> Life In Limbo

Elise, because of the way she weaves creativity into her everyday life, and because of the way she gets. it. done.

Sarah, because she thinks outside the box, follows her own North star, and makes time for what makes her happiest.

Oprah, because she is committed to having the conversations we didn’t even know we needed to hear, is willing to be ahead of her time, and always, always puts first things first.

Seth, because of his consistency and dedication to his craft, and because he’s carved out his own path in life by being intelligent and paying close attention.

Glennon, because she always tells the Truth.

My mom, because she walks the walk, values work-life balance, and goes outside every single day.

My dad, because he makes time to read every day, and because he will unfailingly sit down and explain something to you for hours if you need help or advice.

Lindsay, because she is confidently and 100% herself.

Bron, because she’s an amazing listener, is so thoughtful, and always takes the time to make the best snacks.

Katie, because she’s incredibly kind to herself, looks for the positive in every single situation, and is continually curious and fascinated about the world.

Laura, because she is so enthusiastic and passionate about the things she cares about, and is always up for a deep & juicy conversation.

Sonja, because she lives in a constant atmosphere of growth, always does what she knows to be true, and is generous with the people she loves.

Dylan, because he is kind and loyal, and totally unafraid to honour all the parts of himself that love & need different things at different times. “I am large; I contain multitudes.”

Erin, because she believes in herself, truly lives by her values, and is committed to bringing more beauty and awareness into the world.

Kim, because she has dedicated her life to helping others, takes self-care seriously, and is simultaneously both spiritual and practical.

Susan, because she practices what she preaches, is always fair, and remembers to tell you when you’ve done a great job.

Obviously this is just a smattering of people I respect and admire, there are many, many more. As I’ve said before (but is worth repeating daily): I feel lucky every day for the people I have in my life. I could go on and on about them.

What I love about this question is that not only is it an exercise in gratitude and thoughtfulness about these amazing humans, it’s also a beautiful way for me to reflect on my own values. It helps me see what is important to me: authenticity, generosity, kindness, creativity, awareness, enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, positivity, growth, humility, commitment to walking the path. 

These are the qualities that I want more of, both in myself and in the world. This is who I want to be. Who do you admire? Who do you want to be more like?

Write to Think

Glennon says: “Reading is my inhale, and writing is my exhale.”

Alan Jacobs says: “Write to think.”

I say (yesterday, to a friend): “I love blogs and especially admire the daily ones. I wish I didn’t treat my blog like it was so precious, so that I could write more often.”

Write to Think >> Life In Limbo

Then, last night, I was reminded of the existence of NaBloPoMo, short for National Blog Post Month. Andrea from Hula Seventy shared that this was her twelfth year of participating. Twelve years! If she can do twelve years, I can do 30 days. Or really, 28, now that I missed the first two.

I want to use this little white box with the blinking cursor to live a bit more intentionally. To work out what it is I want to say, and how it is that I really feel about things. The other day I wrote out a list in my notebook entitled “Current Themes”. Themes! My brain is desperately trying to tell me, I need to exhale. I need to think. Help me grapple with these topics in a way that makes sense.

Because for me, writing is the best way I know to wrestle with the things that are hard, that don’t get neatly wrapped up in a bow. Ideas that don’t have resolution but need acknowledgement. Sometimes the best outcome is that I put my finger on something that bothers me, or give a name to something I struggle with. There’s no real action step to take, or conversation to be had, it just needed to be brought out into the light. I listened to this great podcast episode the other day that reminded me, “as the awareness starts to come in, you actually don’t need to do too much active healing.”

In this case, though, there is an action step to be taken. If I know I need to write, then I need to write. I need to bring in the awareness, shed the light, and get better at noticing and processing. When did I forget that my blog can be whatever I want it to be? Let’s play.

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