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.
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!