Monday, January 2, 2017

in the cold

This winter, as every winter, we are surrounded by cold.

 The quiet, the bright and happy, and the harsh unforgiving.

The unforgiving we expect. We prepare for snow and ice, spike up our car tires and bicycle wheels, buy winter coats and bring out boxes of scarves and gloves. Some days schools is cancelled, or we call the office to let them know we'll head to work as soon as the ice melts from our car windows.

Every plan is accompanied by a clothing checklist- wool socks, mittens, that hat with the pom-pom on top. Waterproof boots, a wool coat.

We prepare for battle between the bitter, icy winter and our thin, fragile skin.

But so, too, do we expect the warm parts of winter, those bright and happy moments spent next to a fire. Dinners and outings with family and friends, shoes in piles near the door and mugs of something steaming passed around. Our fingers, numb from the journey from one place to another, wrapped around the fingers of a special someone.

These months are full of contradictions.

A few nights ago my boyfriend and I locked the door after midnight and headed into the December air for a walk.

It felt like l imagine the idea of Russia, cold and quiet.
Expansive. Lonely. Romantic

I said,

"It smells like winter at night."

Which it was.
But it's one thing to know, and another to catch the scent of.

There are moments every season where your surroundings and the time of year mesh perfectly with the smells that sneak into your senses. I was just lucky enough to catch one.

Music for cold, dark days:

"My Sweet and Tender Beast" by Eugen Doga
"Streetlights" by Porcelain People
"Guillotine" by Yadi
Music for cold, bright days:

"Доброе утро" by Vera Brezhneva
"Lose It (Jerry Folk remix)" by Oh Wonder (watch)
"I'm Good, I'm Gone" by Lykke Li

Eventually, in the thick of it, we meet the solstice with arms outstretched, embrace the fact that our days will grow longer. Look outside in the morning and see the sun starting to melt the ice. We welcome in a new year, make promises, dream of growing stronger, pushing more in our daily lives to become the people we want to be.

My own goals this coming year have to do with running, entrepreneurship (stick around this blog and you'll see!) and improving myself, following my dreams and actually working towards things I want. I've become addicted to organized journaling and note-taking for this aspect of life, because it's a convenient way to hold myself accountable.

For runners, I recommend Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas' "Believe Training Journal".

For dreamers and go-getters, Danielle LaPorte's "The Desire Map" planner, with prompts for you to remember who you are, who you want to be, and how you want to feel. What actions are you going to take to feel the way you want to, every day? This woman is genius.

Finally, for general organization, Kate Spade has some marvelous planners with pockets and extra note-space.

Are you ready?

You've wrapped -
your body in warm clothes
gifts for under the tree
all of 2016.

Now what?

It's time to open up.
Embrace what the end of winter has to offer-
open skies
new ways to layer
drink ginger tea or trendy turmeric milk
make plans for the future...

Welcome to the bright and delightful cold.

Enjoyed this? Check out last year's winter post hereHappy 2017!

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