What works for me

Any day can be a fairly good day

What works for me, might work for you, as well. It just depends on what type of person you are. The global media invents some days when one supposedly has to feel really bad, and then, which days are going to be better. Really? What a nonsense. Lots of people do not like winter, the unpleasant winter – with strong, chilling winds, snow piling up to the window sills, sleet, ice, freezing rain and bitter cold. No, there’s nothing adorable about all of that. I am in Southern Ontario which is sort of across the lake from New York.

Winter snow shoveling

The Ontario Lake is what can cause all kinds of troubles or bring relief. Thankfully, we didn’t have any snow all January. That’s up to the last days. I’ve been shoveling for about 4 hours a day in average this week. And snow keeps coming, and I keep shoveling. One might see that as a disaster. I agree, there are better ways to spend our time. But then again – all the exercise I get and all the fresh air which enriches the blood stream with oxygen? The rejuvenating effect of movement, clean air and great mood?

For mood and soul

That’s what we get from doing something useful not only for ourselves, but everything and everybody else. Plants will thank me in the spring for care I took preventing them from freezing out. Everybody who arrives in the huge backyard, is happy they don’t have to get wet feet walking through high snow drifts. I am happy because of all the great views which, no, I won’t paint.

Immersing oneself in colors

Painting works for me in many different ways. During cold and snowy months, I paint spring, flowers, rivers, creeks and forest where the spring flowers come up. I think I was born as an artist and gardener. Everything else sort of lines up around these two main passions of me. I love green color. I adore blue color, and there’s nothing better than bright pink flowers. I create this uplifting reality in my art.

Reading for pure pleasure

The other things to take mind off, are books. I only read at night something thrilling, absolutely consuming. I do research and learning during the day, therefore, the relaxing reading involves authors which can do that: write something realistic enough, but with feeling of mystery, thrilling and suspenseful. The range of writers is huge; however, I do prefer male writers. Their perception of events and the ways they resolve crime stories and display personalities resonates with me better. I do read female authors, as well, but frequently some books leave me disappointed. I feel like, I was promised so much, but didn’t receive it.

The green air purifiers

Room plants are next in line of life improving things. I do not have enough space, and my potted plants simply cannot do gorgeously without enough light, but they still grow and make me happy. I stuffed some in the basement at two tiny windows, the rest is in the art room. As you know, some plants can live well enough with hardly any light. They purify and moisten air. They also require little attention, just some watering. Green onions are doing nicely in a small cup. Many Canadian houses are like that: no place for doing something and no place for plants. I should know since I’ve been moving so many times and living in so many houses. Small windows, low ceiling, a place to eat, sleep, watch TV and shower. A place for people who prefer doing nothing.

Cooking from scratch

Finally, I’m a very good cook, but I don’t usually make complex meals. I go Latvian style: few ingredients, preparation requires little time and effort. I see sometimes recipes which need like twenty or more ingredients. Definitely not for me. We also do not use ready-made, half-cooked, etc. stuff. It makes more sense to do everything from scratch. We love soups and vegetable salads in all kinds of combinations. Not the common things, but specifically ours, like beet, carrot, leak, bean, etc. We love layered herring salad with potatoes, carrots, onions, beets and egg.

Simple is good

I am Latvian, and I stick to my own recipes. Therefore, we do not have heartburn, stomach issues or digestion problems. We are pension age, but slim and energetic. The fewer and more natural ingredients, the better for digestion. We do not snack. We have 3 meals a day and don’t eat anything in between. I suppose, any adult can do that. I believe that lots of people gain excess weight due to snacking, consuming fancy drinks, adding all kinds of things to tea and coffee. There’s nothing wrong with black and strong coffee. To be honest, our digestive system needs longer breaks, like 12 hours and then 3-4 hours between the 3 meals. And nothing more.

It’s doable

Winter will end. Spring will come with its own chores. I’ve suffered so much from seasonal affective disorder all my life that I decided to just put an end to it. I changed my view at it. I made myself not feel sad and upset. I literally push myself outdoors and once I have the shovel in hands, I won’t stop until everything is clean. I sometimes have to make myself want to paint or teach an art class. However, after the reluctant start it all happens. The resistance is huge, but I am able to overcome it. At the end of the day, I list in my mind all the good things I have done. They can be small things, but I have managed to stay on top of them. Big achievement.

Many years ago, I wrote numerous good articles which make a lot of sense today.

Wishing you pleasant winter experience and thanks for reading!

10 thoughts on “What works for me

  1. theburningheart

    I am glad you are still around, and keep a positive mindset despite the hardships you go through, as we age, we need to cling to resilence, until the endo of our lives, or else.
    Other activieies had kept me from going back to my blog, that I have abandoned literally, maybe I will retake it, or not, will see.
    I wish you a great year as well Inese.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the message!
      I certainly appreciate you letting me know how things are going.
      I’m also sometimes short of time, therefore, I post more frequently on art blog, but once a month here. That is now because I could cut out a few hours.
      Posting and blogging and social media, that all takes a lot of time. I rather spend this time doing something more useful. I have to be realistic: how many people actually read the content even when it is good? So, yes, I’m publishing for these few people and friends like you.
      Whatever it is, it can be always better. I hope you are ok and doing everything you can. All the best!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. theburningheart

    Thank you. We try, I may be traveling on a few days, will see, maybe a sort of farewell, to the place I was born. Nostalgia for my roots, and a past that go back over fifty years, and to say goodby to childhood friends, or whoever may still remain, where I left them, so many years ago, will see who may remain still there, and see how that may go?

    Hope you are doing well, Inese.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I went back and read the older posts at the links you provided, Inese. It is all good advice. Simplifying life is a good place to start. I agree fresh food, a tranquil mind and moderate exercise go a long, long way to improving and keeping one’s health.

    Winters I take as my quiet time to rejuvenate, assess the past year and move forward. The nights are long, and it is easier to rest. The climate is generally mild enough there is still plenty to do outside in preparation for the next growing season. Right now I am cleaning up pots, trays and containers and tidying up the porch. Seeds get started indoors this month.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow… This is really inspiring. Beautifully elaborated. I adore the concept of visual arts of spring season. I also admire the way you exude so much optimism and obviously the way you are investing in your health by healthy lifestyle. There are definitely several tips worth following. Reminds me of the words of PB Shelley – If Winter comes , can Spring be far behind?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!
      I’ve been through a lot on both sides of the Atlantic ocean. I started a new life out of 1 suitcase after 50. I suppose when somebody has had their lot of bad accidents, health issues and all kinds of other problems, they have no other way, but to look upward.
      I’m also lifelong artist, medical researcher and so forth. More than 5 decades in art teach one something. Art is very much underappreciated and also wrongly represented in treatment of numerous health conditions.
      Drawing from real things can help tremendously with memory and cognitive matters. Photographic memory is not a myth, but matter of observation and attention. Ability to be observant and attentive. I’m writing about that on my art blog.
      I come from Europe, and I am realist by nature. I dislike sweetening everything and many previous articles cover these aspects. Like I’m saying – these things work for me. Giving advice should be probably kept to minimum since we never know what the other person breathes with and what brought them as far as they are.
      It’s great you feel this post can inspire you. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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