Tag Archives: winter

So what’s going on with Colette?

I feel like this post is overdue, if only that a longer post of some kind has been brewing in my semi-subconscious for awhile now. There’s a lot of different things I’d like to write about but rather than overwhelm myself (a tendency of mine), I think I will just write and see what happens.

Two or three years ago – I could figure out which if I really¬† had to – I went into winter feeling a sense of dread.¬† Although I am well-versed in the symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), I had no recollection of ever having felt that specific emotion in regard to the season before that year. I think it was because I have this unresolved problem in my life that has greatly impacted me, particularly¬†quality of life. I have never named the problem in the blog and I don’t want or need to. (No one is dead, dying, or anything like that.) Two years ago I made real strides toward my attitude about the problem; if I couldn’t make it GO AWAY (it’s not under my control to do so), what could I do? I found better ways of coping and my attitude – while not delightful on this issue – has improved. That dread I felt two or three years ago, specifically as winter came on, has not returned.

I am a great believer in¬†controlling what you can control in any given situation. (Yeah, yeah, I know people say you can always choose your attitude, but that’s a lot easier said than done, grumble, grumble.) In 2018 and again in 2019, I set “kinda sorta New Year’s resolutions” for myself, all things well within my control, and I have decidedly benefited from them. (I haven’t said much about the progress of my 2019 goals but while I haven’t nailed all of them down, I have done a lot, and maybe I’ll get to that in another post.) There’s things I’m doing all the time – eating well, staying in shape, maintaining an orderly life/home for a few – but the resolutions were/are about doing very specific things in addition to the “regular stuff.”¬† They force me to focus. To not drift. To¬†challenge myself a bit.

I daresay I have a little kick in my step recently and almost feel if not excited, then almost welcoming, toward winter. I live where there are seasons, and while I adore summer above all, there are things to enjoy in each season, or to try to find to enjoy. A fault of mine is a tendency to believe winter comes immediately on the heels of summer. Namely, if summer is over, everything is about to go to hell in a hand basket. Not so! I paid attention to fall this year. I even liked it. (You can keep your sun-dropping-out-of-the-sky-at-4:30pm however. And I despise being cold, like Jan-Feb cold.)

A lot of things in my life are going right or at least are not going badly. There’s much to say for that, even though I, like many people, are quick to see what is wrong and perhaps to give it too much weight. The perfect life is not coming for me. I’m not waiting any more for it or any other pie-in-the-sky reality.¬†This is my life. Please know these thoughts aren’t related to anybody else or social media (nowadays any malaise and dissatisfaction people feel is often attributed to comparing oneself to other people, especially those viewed on social media). I guess what I’m saying is that in younger years I was guilty, as are many, of¬†waiting for things to happen in my life that would provide satisfaction or happiness or something along those lines. And this: if you live enough decades your life is bound to meander all around, metaphorically if not literally. You never reach a point and¬†coast.¬†I understand that now and more or less accept it.

When your energy is getting sucked up by bad stuff or nonsense, you don’t have enough leftover to better yourself or your life.¬† At least I don’t. Maybe that’s obvious but I don’t think I always understood that. I have more energy and initiative lately. For years, I think I’ve actively been clearing the nonsense from my life anywhere I can. I was always a straight-shooter but I have less and less tolerance for bullsh*t. I used to more or less jump when anybody wanted my attention or time. Over the years I trained myself to respond differently.¬† I freely give lots of my time and attention when I think it’s deserved. Or appreciated. Or worthwhile. I’m not too busy. I’ve never been “too busy.” Never wanna be either. That said, I have bumped myself to the top of my list. I pay attention to my needs first. Some of us don’t come by that naturally. It’s taken awhile.

 

 

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Lake photos in winter

I live in a fairly (s)urbanized area that has pockets of lovely natural settings. Near me is a small, popular lake. No swimming, rare boating, some fishing, but mostly viewing – there’s a wide pedestrian path that circles it and it is regularly trod by many.

I visit the lake more in warmer weather, but then so does everybody else and it can be quite busy with picnickers, walkers, large groups, radios, kids, bikers, joggers, dogs, and so on. Also, mosquitoes and ticks are an issue in the summer, not to mention, frankly, the funky smell that wafts from the water.

I have been to this lake many times and while I have always appreciated it, I was able to see it with fresh eyes by taking pictures one day last week. (I’d taken the occasional photo in the past but only with film, so my photos were rationed and of questionable quality at that.) I went hog-wild and it felt very decadent to take so many shots. A few of them are really quite nice. I felt invigorated and exuberant when I was done. Being outside on a cold day, near water, and really focusing on my surroundings, moved my spirits.

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There’s a peaceful spot not too far from me where I took a few photos on New Year’s Day. The road itself is closed to thru-traffic nights, weekends, and holidays, but open to pedestrians. It was quiet yesterday but is often a good location to see wildlife. These pictures are from a bridge over the creek.

I left a piece of bridge railing in the picture to show you the vantage.

I left a piece of bridge railing in the picture to show you the vantage.

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If you look at the far back of the picture, centered, at the top of a tree is an eagle's nest.

If you look at the far back of the picture, centered, at the top of a tree is an eagle’s nest.

Slightly closer view.

Slightly closer view.

I'm afraid clarity is lost in the close-up, but here you can clearly pick out the nest.

I’m afraid clarity is lost in the close-up, but here you can clearly pick out the nest.

View of the opposite side of the bridge.

View of the opposite side of the bridge.