Wednesday, 15 July 2015

GREAT things about winter

I was driving to work this week listening to the announcers interviewing a meteorologist about the current icy cold snap we're having.  They were complaining that it was going to be so cold for a whole week! Maybe two!

Coming from a much colder climate, I internally bagged out the announcers for being so soft about cold weather.  I mean, we only get two to six weeks of winter here,  a couple of months of VERY hot weather, and the rest of the year is either side of perfect.

So I started thinking about the things I actually like about winter.  Here's what I've come up with.

- Rugging up in soft, cosy clothes and blankets

- Slippers!  All day, every day if you can get away with it!

- Sitting by an open fire with people you love

- Feeling very much alive when you go to the only room in the house without heating and have to bear your bottom! (Hmm,  not sure if that is a great thing about winter,  but it's exhilarating, and I don't mind being reminded that I'm still alive.)

- Red wine and cheese,  preferably by the aforementioned open fire with loved ones

- Going to the local footy and wearing your warmest snow jacket so that you can stand around with a bunch of people as crazy as you to be outside at night in this weather, feeling it's absolutely worth it to be cheering along with those in your community.

 - Flannelette sheets (and electric blankets to pre-warm them for you)

- Not overheating when you exercise (loving this at Taekwondo at the moment!)

- Having a great excuse to go to bed early or lay in longer (preferably with your significant other)

- Going to bed after your significant other and warming your feet up on them :-D

- Cup-a-soup, hot chocolate, or a cup of tea to wrap chilly fingers around and warm you from the inside out

- Hearty meals like pasta, casseroles, roasts and so on

- Watching your breath make fog in front of you (I still find that somewhat magical)

- Having the perfect excuse to stay inside and watch movies ALL day!

- Getting to wear gorgeous scarves and jackets and boots

- Not having to mow every four days!

- Being able to potter about outside without worrying so much about getting sunburnt, or being attacked by flies or mosquitos

- Pulling clothes out of the drier (I love the smell, and the fact that I can just fold things and put them away without having to iron)

I love Spring and the sense of unfolding and expanding into the opportunities that become available in the warmer months.   But I quite like the cocooning effect of winter; of hiding away and treating yourself to warmth and love and recuperation.

So whether your winter is long or ridiculously short, I hope you're enjoying the season and all the special moments it can facilitate.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Home Alone

The Fellas are coming home tomorrow.  I've been home alone for the past eight days and, to be honest, I've really enjoyed myself.

I've definitely missed both my husband and my son, and I know the Little Big Fella missed me lots (especially in the evenings).  But as an introvert who doesn't get an awful lot of time alone, it's also been really enjoyable.

I booked in for a massage (the Big Fella gave me a voucher for Christmas that I hadn't had a chance to use yet), I booked in a motorbike lesson (gotta learn those gears and foot brake properly!), and I did some shopping (clothes, homewares, anything else that took my fancy but would normally be excessively boring to the boys).

I got to chat on the phone to family and friends for as long as I wanted without being interrupted every five seconds.

I got to do sprints with someone from Taekwondo at a time I would normally have to be starting the dinner/shower/bed routine (although, my legs honestly wish I hadn't!!!).

I got my hair done without having to rush from work to get there, or rush off to pick the Little Big Fella up after I was done.

I got to watch whatever I felt like.  I highly recommend "The Magic of Belle Isle", especially if you like a heart-warming story with a wide-ranging vocabulary.  I watched a bunch of TEDx talks, which got my head spinning with some new ideas.

The funny thing is, when we were preparing for the Fellas to go, I was quite nervous.  Not about being alone in the house where someone could attack me (or whatever it is that people, normally women, worry about), but more about the possibility of getting so lonely that I'd get depressed.  It certainly wasn't outside the realms of possibility.

So because I was so afraid of loneliness, I completely filled the first four days with activities and exhausted myself!  The space and quiet, and the ability to completely relax eluded me because of my fear of loneliness.

On Sunday I did the necessary housework (amazing how little mess is made by just one person) but then crashed a bit because I was exhausted.  I realised what I'd done and remembered a quote that says, "loneliness is part of the human condition".  It's not something to be afraid of, or to necessarily try to avoid.

Ironically, I recall several times in my life when I've been surrounded by people and still felt incredibly lonely.

I decided to stop filling my time so completely and let myself have a bit of a break.  I mean, the Fellas were having a holiday, why couldn't I have my version of one (while still working full-time)?

I discovered that I quite enjoy cooking, although not main meals so much.

I discovered that I don't mind a bit of quiet, although I also enjoy turning the music up and dancing through the day.

I discovered that I'm pretty alright on my own and that I'm not entirely defined by my relationship with my husband and son (hello to all the mums who feel like they've lost themselves!).

I discovered that I'm a bit lazy, a bit generous, and certainly a night person more than a morning person.

Tomorrow I will end my time home alone with some BIG hugs and lots of story telling (and probably story reading - welcome back evening routine).  The house will instantly change from calm, clean and tidy.  And I am glad that this is my life and I get to share it with such fun, entertaining, interesting and loving Fellas.

Next time I get to be home alone though, I will look forward to it rather than being afraid.