We entered winter with little evidence of autumn making an appearance. Somehow, through the grey that was November, all the leaves fell off the trees. For a first time in recent memory all the leaves in the neighborhood have been collected before any snow accumulation. I’m grateful to start the season without a foot of snow topping leaf mounds on the side of the road.
Autumn, though it felt short, was full: Caden started at the University of Toronto and he’s navigated some changes in his studies and a love for the city, Chloé experienced a few bumps but has settled into an easy routine in Edinburgh, Cole took a new administrative job at the UTSU to the surprise of everyone and continues to enjoy his studies – he has learned a lot in the last few months, Claire is always doing something: dodgeball, Starbucks barista, travel, schoolwork and she earned an internship that will finish with her earning her Hospitality and Tourism degree from George Brown. My highlights included a writing retreat in Jackson’s Point which yielded frustration and a breakthrough; and, an incredible trip to Charleston, SC.
Last winter, indeed throughout 2018, I focused on getting out of the house and out of my comfort zone. This year I’m going to give myself permission to hibernate and enjoy the cozy and comfort of home with my dogs, fireplace, blankets, books and tea. Keeping in mind my guiding word for 2019 is SLOW here are my plans:
- Morning routine. Once the dogs are let out of their crates and fed, I will enjoy my tea, pull my daily oracle card, write my morning pages and meditate for at least twenty minutes. Only after that will I see what’s happening in the world (e-mail, social media, television).
- Queen of All Things. I will adjust my crown (it’s a Mastermind thing) and walk the dogs around the block once a day to represent that I love my dogs and they love me; I will engage with my neighbours and the weather; and, embrace my desire to be fearless by getting out of the house. Who knows? Maybe I’ll do twice a day! I’ll take love, engage and fearless into all of my days.
- Personal trainer. Jackie and I have been working on my flexibility for the last few months and plan to continue for the next few. It is an often painful process, but a good pain. We’ve added in Mondays so now I can work out three times a week instead of just two.
- Read more. The University of Toronto Continuing Studies Certification in Creative Writing course (my god that’s long winded) requires me to take ‘Creative Writing through Reading’ as a mandatory component of the course. I’m happy to do it and hope it leaves me time to do some reading for enjoyment. My piles (yes, plural) of to-be-read books has become daunting.
- Write more. The novel is 90% fully formed in my head. Now to get it all written down – I’m little more than halfway there. I just want my (shitty) first draft finished. From there I’ll figure out what to do with it all. My other writing consists of blog posts, morning pages and my monthly memory books. It is one of my most favourite things to do.
- Market photography (canvas, prints, notecards and scarves). The website is all ready to go with the exception of a few details. Once the postal disruption is over I’ll be ready to open for business. The delay was simple: I saw no point in risking disappointment over something not in my control, especially during the holidays!
- Spend less. I don’t need to have every product or participate in every course that comes my way. I have to fully embrace that whatever the universe has in store for me will not go by. Time to make a monthly budget – time and money – and stick with it.
- Daydream. I have to allow time for my brain go wherever it wants, with no attachment to outcome and a genuine willingness to simply let things happen. Who knows what hidden treasures can be found if I give up needing to know the end result up front?
- Podcasts. I have a ton downloaded but seem to not be able to shut out the world and focus on them. (I have serious issues with ear buds and having a sense shut down.) I know I’m missing out on some good stuff!
- Make good choices. If I’m going to leave my home I’m doing so only to attend events, appointments and activities that resonate with me in a positive and fulfilling way.
- Natural time. I will be more mindful of the Sabbats as well as the cycles of the moon – there’s much happening in January. I’ve gotten away from the mindful celebration of the rhythm of time. It’s time to invite it back into my practice.
- Connection. I speak to and text with all of my kids multiple times every day. I love how they prefer to talk on the phone. I am hope to have them either come home or for me go to see them on a more regular basis. Though since I have the dogs I think chances are better that they come to me!
With this giving myself permission to hibernate, winter promises to be low key.
Of course, life often gets in the way of plans, so we’ll just have to take it day by day and see what happens. The one thing I’ve learned repeatedly over the last few years is all we have is now. I plan to revel in it!