I surprised even myself the other day by saying that I am looking forward to Winter. Yes, indeed. Winter with a capital "W" because that's what Winter is in Minnesota. I don't know why I said it, but I found myself believing it to be true.
I didn't always hate Winter, but Winter and I have certainly seen some tough times. Last year, though, my family went out skiing/snowboarding and sledding. We bundled up and went OUT in the Winter. I know I'm repeating myself, but Mr. Bicycle said that he always hated Winter until he got out into it. Now he loves it. There is something that happens inside of us when we choose to experience something...to let it be what it is and simply face it.
I guess maybe this is just another lesson for me in letting go, in not having to be so in control all the time. I cannot control my children, my husband, immigration, or Winter. So, I'd better just get down to the business of releasing those things from my grip. I can do what I can do and nothing more.
I can do nothing less, either. It's my job and responsibility to take care of those things as much as I can and THEN let them go. What does taking care of Winter mean? For me, it means taking care of myself in Winter - vitamins, exercise, sunshine, OUTings (both with friends and OUTside). And it means trying to focus on the things I love about Winter (don't ask me to love immigration, though, ok?).
What do I love about Winter? I absolutely love it that we finally live in a house with a fireplace! I love reading a book by the fire, reading aloud to Mane by the fire, visiting with friends, playing games, and writing blogs by the fire! I love bulky cable knit sweaters, the denim quilt that I made, snowmen, sledding, skiing, snow angels, clear skies, bright stars, and not having to mow the grass. Even as the darkness drives me crazy, I like the way it pulls us in, pulls us closer together around the lights and the warmth in our home.
I have a friend who visited her sister in Sweden last year in the Winter. In January in Sweden it gets dark around 3pm. My friend said that the Swedish people try to embrace the darkness. They try to rest once it's dark and not turn on a bunch of electric light. They sometimes light candles to keep the evening quiet and soft until they're ready to sleep.
I cannot promise that I'll feel this way in January, but right now I'm practicing being open to what Winter brings. I am absolutely familiar with Winter Blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder. So, I'm not trying to say that changing my mindset will change everything or that it will change anything for anyone other than myself. Just knowing myself, though, this is a step in the right direction.