A couple of weeks ago the sun came back from hibernation, and my online life went AWOL. I’ve been so busy doing fun things (journalling mostly, which I will show in another post) because I’ve finally had some energy.
But I still wanted to show you the pictures from this year’s first trip to the cabin which took place two weeks ago. A bit late, I know, but everything looks more or less the same now, except the snow is starting to melt really fast! So this may be my last proper winter photos for a while as we move into what we call spring-winter (gotta have a name for when it’s sunny but still cold, ya know).
Well, the cabin is still standing. No broken windows, no leaky roof.
We had to shovel our way inside, but it’s been so cold this year that the snow is really light and fluffy, none of that heavy, icy, slushy stuff.
Plip, plop. Spring approaches one drop at a time.
When the snow is this deep, you have to keep to the snow mobile tracks or you sink down to your knees in fluffy crystals. You also have to watch where you place your chair…
Just posin’ on my own…
We made a fire and grilled a couple of sausages. Life’s good!
There’s something very sharp about the winter sun: it cuts through landscapes of black, blue, and white, separating forest from snowy meadow and sky.
There is no hesitation and no blurry edges. Everything is the sum of what remains when you remove what it’s not.
Geometrical patterns. Frozen moments in time – the flow of brownish water caught in the moment of falling, like stalactites out in the open.
The sky is endless.
The ice is thick.
It hangs on roofs like winter’s promise of spring – because the only way an icicle can form is if the sun is warm enough to melt the snow.
Some days are heavy and dark.
You move like a somnambulist through your life. You don’t see your path.
Everything is a bluish grey, and the lines all seem blurred.
It’s the ebb and flow of energy, the presence and absence of light. It’s the long sleep before renewal.
What if you too dared to follow that ebb and flow, if you dared to take the time to rest?
The road will still be there when you come back.
Why is it that when we need time to recuperate and be a little less productive for a while, some of us beat ourselves up for not reaching our “usual” standards? And why is it that “usual” standards are often the level we manage when we are at our peak? Shouldn’t it be some kind of middle ground instead?
Sometimes we need to do nothing. To know that yes, in a few days we’ll have to do well at something or other, but that’s way over there in the future. For now, we can rest.
Bujoing has helped me see the things I actually do instead of the things I don’t do. Maybe it can do this for others as well. Instead of constantly focusing on the future and what we haven’t done, we can go back over the pages and see the things we dreaded last week, the giant hurdle we braved last month, and feel satisfied that we pushed through.
And while on the subject of bullet journalling, why beat yourself up over the gaping holes in your habit tracker? So you needed a few days off. Who doesn’t? Be sensible: you’re not going to clean the house every day for the rest of your life, no matter how much you believe it while you’re drawing up your habit tracker.
By all means reach for the stars and reach the treetops, but don’t reach so hard that you dislocate your shoulder. It’s fine to fall off the wagon. The wagon will be there when you want back on, and guess what? You have the perfect getting-back-on list in your habit tracker. A few tasks in and you’ll feel like you were never off track!
Be kind to yourself. You never know when you’ll pay it back. 😉
Last year at this time I was sick with untreated hypothyroidism, my father in law was dying, I was preparing for my nerve-wracking defense, I had severe back-ache and knew I’d probably have to (reluctantly!) change jobs.
Not a good time. I felt like a ghost in my own life.
And yet I made this video (with a cold!) to explain the phenomenon of Swedish Lucia that always falls on December 13. (And which will have to suffice this year too because I’ve been too busy to make a new one.)
My year since then has been… interesting. January was a complete disaster in every respect, and each month that followed it brought a fresh new twist (of the knife). My back got better, then worse, then better, then worse, etc etc ad nauseam. I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism and got medication. Other stuff happened. I got my good job back again. It was fun and hard and a little bit frightening.
And in the end, it seems I’m destined to survive 2017. Maybe in hindsight, it’ll be the best thing that ever happened. Because now I’m here, soon a one-year-old in academic terms, and I’m not the same person I was then. I’ve even made peace with a certain TV series that broke my heart the very first day of January and then proceeded to royally fuck with my head for longer than I care to admit.
And as we enter the darkest week of the year, I see more light than ever before.
The thing about not seeing much of the sun for a few months is that we get these pink skies instead. The sun barely makes it over the horizon, but as compensation, its rays hit the clouds just so, and magic ensues.
Oh my God, finally! We’ve only had clouds, clouds, and more clouds for longer than I care to count. And okay, yes, we need clouds if we want snow, but come on. The sun is only up for four and a half hours this time of year, so a sun that’s actually visible is very much appreciated.
And today it was. I headed out before lunch to catch some rays before they disappeared behind the mountains. I chased the sun up snowy forest hillsides and got all wet and cold and snowy, but lord was it worth it. Everything was so beautiful.
Frozen droplets in the trees.
Yellow rays on the bluish snow.
Mist over the snowy lake.
Fluffy clusters of ice crystals in the trees.
Clouds turning pink as the sun disappeared behind the tree tops at one o’clock.
And on the subject of ‘the things we do for a photo’…
But it was a wonderful day that really wiped my soul clean of all the weariness I was carrying around. Now I’m tired in a more physical way, which is better. Time for some mulled wine and Christmas decorating!
Normally when I travel to work instead of working from home, I’m away for a total of twelve and a half hours. And normally I try to actually work all that time on the bus and the train, so as not to waste it. Needless to say, I’m exhausted when I come home, and there’s nothing of the day left. All I have time and energy for is dinner, an episode of a TV series, and bed.
Today, inspired by the new insights my bullet journal is giving me, I decided to change it up. I mean, is it worth it to run myself into the ground just to be able to shave off a few hours on Friday? No. So today I worked an ordinary eight hour day instead, and the results were amazing.
I had so much time! I could photograph, and edit, and write, and all sorts of creative stuff that really is my lifeblood. And as if to cheer me on, the sun came out the moment I came home, and it stayed out while I strayed through the woods and snapped my photos. It felt like I was out there for an eternity, and yet only two and a half hours have passed!
No matter how tired I am, the forest always manages to rejuvenate me.
I can never get enough of these seeds!
I’ll be honest: once I got home again and started loading all my photos into the computer, I did feel a teensy bit tired again. I mean, I did wake up at 4.30 this morning. It’s just that I forget about being tired while I’m out there in the forest, crouching in the moss to capture those backlit leaves.
But being tired is fine, because you know what? Tomorrow I’m changing it up again and taking the 8.40 bus instead of the 5.35 one and staying later at work.