Winter rhythms


Winter is killing us. There is bitter cold and there is dark and there is snowfall. I feel like I could deal with two out of three, but we’ve had all three for two months now. Local schools still haven’t been open for a full five-day week yet this year, if you can believe it. Having all three of us at home pretty much every day alleviates the stress a little–nobody has to commute in the storms–but cabin fever? We’re there.

I have set up a daily rhythm this winter, though, which is soothing and pleasant. As much fun as spring is going to be, I will miss it and will have to find something to replace it. Something even better, maybe.

I wake up at exactly the same time Mimi does almost every day. Maybe I hear her squeaking through my earplugs or maybe it’s the mystical, psychic bond that let her know the instant I’d fallen asleep, when she was a newborn. Anyway, we know each other’s waking and sleeping rhythms. Sparks gets her set up with her morning dose of tablet games and gives me my coffee, which I drink while she plays and he makes his morning bowl of soup. He’s usually been up 3-4 hours by this point, enjoying solitary worktime.

Then I make breakfast for Mimi and myself. We eat. I take my shower and get dressed. At this point, if the weather is good we will think of an expedition to make. Grocery store? Mall? Library? We’ll think of something. We come home, eat lunch, and she messes around playing until her quiet time.

Quiet time, by the way, has been officially discontinued as of two days ago. She fell asleep that afternoon, then couldn’t sleep until after nine at night. She had already more or less dropped her nap in August, and was beginning to resent the hour cloistered in her room. So I’ve quit it. I don’t want her to hate being in bed.

Near the end of her quiet time I put on my sweats and sneakers and go to the gym. I lift two days a week and walk 45-60 minutes every time I go. I read books on my Kindle while I walk.

I get home, rinse off and put my nice clothes back on. Then it’s Teatime. I make a 16-oz pot of tea and we all have a cup with milk. Mimi and Himself take sugar, too. If I have been to the gym and feel I deserve it, I have a bowl of oatmeal with milk and honey as my post-workout snack.

In the late afternoon I have been trying to find something to watch on television that Mimi and I can agree on. The Princess Bride, The Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, The Secret Garden… we only have so many middle grounds. She was pretty bored with You’ve Got Mail.

When that’s over it’s time for me to start making dinner. Himself is generally ready to wrap up his workday and have a gin & tonic by then, so he entertains Mimi while I work. We eat dinner. I give Mimi her bath while Himself cleans the kitchen. We all settle in the TV room for 30 minutes of Funniest Home Videos–during which Mimi gets the pre-bedtime jitters and runs around like a maniac–then it’s Mimi’s bedtime. Brush teeth. Pajamas. Story. Kisskiss.

Sparks and I watch TV until 9:00. Then he goes to bed (remember, he gets up around 4:00).

I wash and moisturize my face, take out my contacts, and change into pajamas and my robe and slippers. I turn out all the lights except the IKEA snowflakes. I sit at my computer, and that is when I write.

I liked to write stories as a child. My urge to do it disappeared when my life began to get interesting. For years I thought I’d lost it. I could come up with people and places, maybe, but plots just weren’t there.

I’ve finally found a set of people in a place where things happen. I revise the previous night’s writing, then write 1000-2000 words a night, before it’s 10:30 and I have to go to bed. I’m having so much fun. I’m not sure I can write without the snowflake lights, though. I should move them away from the window, I guess, after the spring equinox.


8 thoughts on “Winter rhythms

  1. Your day sounds lovely. I do recognise the cabin fever- if we have really bad weather here and I can’t get out walking, I feel really unwell. In summer I walk 4-5 hours a day ( when not working) so the short winter days are a struggle.
    There has been no snow here yet this winter- January and February are usually the coldest months, with ice and snow- and none of us will feel safe about spring until the snow has been and gone. It may be a late lambing snow, so I will delay planting out my veggies in the plot.

  2. Your day sounds really nice. We have had our share of cabin fever this winter, but we haven’t had as much snow as you have. I think we have had around twelve inches total. We are very ready for Spring! I also wear earplugs at night. I am such a light sleeper. Don’t you just love the quiet time at night? I know I do. My husband goes to bed earlier than I do. He and our daughter are morning people, and I am anything but a morning person. I just started back walking again this week, and I am feeling so much better, and it seems to be helping with the cabin fever. Your post-workout snack sounds really good and healthy. I love that you have teatime every afternoon… such a nice tradition.

  3. You seem to be having the winter we had last year. Snow and ice and it lasted for months. This year our winter is warm and very rainy, but after last year I’m not complaining. Good luck with the cabin fever – I hope spring will come round soon!

  4. Hmm, now you make me wonder what the frost-free date is in Orkney. And the growing zone. Let me go look that up while I have a minute…

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