Thursday, February 4, 2016

How to Survive the Winter Months

Winter is not my favorite season of the year. I'll say that and get it out of the way. However, "there truly is a time for everything under the sun," as Solomon wrote in the Old Testament of the Bible. Surviving, and even thriving, during this time of the year can happen if you bring some intentionality to your daily life.

Here are a few of my recent activities that have brought joy to my gray skies:

1. Cooking and baking

There are many things about cooking that breed procrastination, dread, and frustration. Time, menu planning, shopping, and pleasing your diners are just a few. However, I've changed my attitude and it's made all the difference. Winter is the perfect time for comfort food during the many events surrounding the holidays, sports events and family gatherings. It's a great time to snuggle up to a roaring fire and peruse your favorite cookbooks. I love feeding people. I love meeting a physical need as well as providing a satisfying experience of fellowship around the table. Good food and conversation just go together.

2. Going to the library

As I've written before, my hometown didn't have a library when I was growing up. The bookmobile visited every two weeks and I was a regular customer. Libraries hold a special place in my heart, and they're completely free of charge. There's a world of discovery at your fingertips waiting for you at the local library. Movies, books, magazines, and newspapers await your pleasure. It's an excellent place to while away an hour or two...or four.

3. Cleaning, organizing, and decluttering

Call me crazy but I love this more than the average person. It's in my gene pool, I can't help it. If you could peer into the homes of my relatives, we all have this in common. We have the most fun sharing about our OCD tendencies with cleaning. Don't misunderstand me, my home is lived in and I want people to be comfortable more than anything. I just love a clean, uncluttered environment and the feeling of a day's work leaves me satisfied and complete.

4. Movie nights

This one is a stretch for me. I don't watch television except for Downton Abbey. This winter I've been watching classic movies checked out from the library. Again, completely free and a great way to spend a snowy afternoon or evening.

5. Coffee dates

This one speaks for itself. Good friends, good coffee and great conversation. Enough said.

6. Celebrations

This one is special to me. Both my children are adopted and we celebrate their coming home days. We call it their "Special Day." Each year is marked by a family dinner where we recall the miracle of adoption. I never want to forget the two happiest days of my life.

7. Visiting family

My birthplace and home of origin is in West Virginia. My family has dwindled to a few cousins and two aunts, one on my mom's side and the other, my dad's sister. I don't go home much but my heart will always reside in the hills of West Virginia. Winter is a slower season for me and I try to visit during this time. My people are the first ones who had an impact on me and know my roots. We share memories of a time in my life that remind me of who I am, where I've been, and how much I'm loved.

Well, this is my list. What do you do to survive and thrive in this season of life? Please share in the comments. New ideas are welcomed since we have a couple of months before spring arrives. I'd love to hear how you bring joy to your everyday routine.


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