5 Things I’m Thankful For (In the Midst of Winter’s Gloom)

This blog has been discontinued due to amoeba brain.

Hello Friends, yes it’s been that kind of winter. 🙂 For the few weeks (forever, it seems) I’ve been in survival mode, my brain descending into ever deepening layers of slush, reduced to basic functions such as watching TV and scrounging for salty, fatty snacks.

Even running has lost it’s appeal. I continue due to doctor’s orders. ‘You must not let up on the running. It will be the best therapy’ he said. What if I’m reduced to ugly crying because my easy 5K has become an insurmountable task?

It’s time for a pattern interrupt, a jolt of positivity. So, here are five things I’m thankful for.

Work and Fantastic Coworkers

The doctor asked, “Have you been missing work?”

“No, I find it easiest to concentrate there.”

Strange but true. It’s easiest to leave my raincloud behind when I go to work, partially because I have one focused task at a time, and part because of great coworkers who are so crazy they make me feel sane laugh and joke and make me happy. There are crazy conversations about stuffing people into barrels and feeding them spray cheese with one coworker. Another coworker lovingly, and in a motherly sort of way, pinches and slaps me when she passes me in the hall. I told my sister about how at the end of a long shift, I wrapped my arm around this coworker, and she wrapped her arm around me, and we walked off the manufacturing floor together.

“That would never happen at my work,” she said.

A Neverending Supply of Folk Music

Thanks to Spotify, of course.

This song, with it’s sublime string introduction, is one of my favourites right now. I’ve sung, whistled and hummed it almost every day for, I don’t know, weeks? It also serves as a romantic theme in the series I’m currently writing.

Damien Rice: I Don’t Want to Change You

 Winter Running

IMG_0839Despite recent bad, bad runs, I’ve enjoyed running outside this winter. I was a big chicken, and ran on the treadmill for November and December. But soon I got very bored and started staring out at the snow and sunshine, saying, “It’s not THAT cold, is it?”

Cue trips to Walmart to find makeshift winter running gear. The proper stuff is far to expensive, even if it is really pretty… (sigh).

In my grape Kool-aid purple jacket and three layers of pants, out I go to slog where no runner has ever slogged before. I’ll stop when I can’t feel my legs anymore.

Sermon Podcasts and Other Audios

Because sometimes I need help to shut up the voices in my head. An outside voice speaking truth and inspiration can pattern interrupt long enough to reboot my brain and stop the negative thoughts for a while. The church I attend records and podcasts their sermons, so during the week I can listen to them again. LIFE leadership audios are also excellent.

And… Summer!

You know, it always comes back. It always does.

Oh Christmas, Why Did You Have to Go?

They took down Santa’s house this morning–the gaudy snow-covered castle, the plastic reindeer, the picket fence that corralled hopeful parents and fearful toddlers toward good St. Nick. Christmas is over, alas.

Oh Christmas, why did you have to go?

You may understand why I’m feeling a bit down. It’s not that I have a right to complain after twelve days of holidays—the sort of stretch that I haven’t had since I graduated. And after such a long holiday, I was actually looking forward to the structure of a workweek (the structure, anyway). I’m so much better at structure, after all. It’s just that I looked forward to Christmas for so long. I had all these plans—gatherings, parties, hanging out, writing, watching The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. In my most flustered, most tired times, I would hold out the holidays like a beacon of hope.

And now it’s winter, dead winter. It’s so cold that I wouldn’t put a dog outside. Heck, if there was just an elevator in my building, I’d bring my little car, Strawberry, up and park him between the sofa and the fireplace. I’m positive he’d fit, and this would solve the issue of the windshield frosting up from the inside, and the awful noises the car makes some mornings. Maybe that snow that’s been sitting on the floor mats for weeks would finally melt. Nothing melts in minus thirty, and it’s been minus thirty for a long time, or so it feels.

On the upside, I get more of a workout in this weather because I wear a twenty-pound parka everywhere, and winter boots. The boots are like ankle weights and, when I’m indoors, the coat serves as one of those sauna suits that fitness wackos wear. I need all the help I can get because today I stepped on one of the big floor scales at work, and I seem to have gained back the weight I’d lost before Christmas. Two weeks of doing nothing but watching movies and eating will do that to a body.

Perhaps the passing of Christmas is actually a good thing.

Well, it can’t be helped anyway. I just need to come up with a new ‘carrot’ to dangle in front of my nose. I’ve told you a bit about my goals for the year, and this morning I wrote up my goals for the month. I’m actually kind of pumped about them. After a good holiday, my brain is ready for new challenges.

Perhaps what I’m most excited about (and nervous) is sending my second draft novel to three beta readers for review. In the meantime, I will be doing some beta reading in trade, and cracking out my NaNoWriMo novel. I haven’t read it since November.

I’m also pretty excited about how this blog has been picking up steam since my article “For Trade: One Head” was Freshly Pressed. I sure am looking forward to another year of spilling my guts to you, interacting, and reading what y’all have to say.

So, Happy New Year. Stay warm, and may you find new things to look forward to.