the biggest hurdle

Just when we all thought that getting through February was the biggest hurdle we’d face, through snow storms and chaotic debates, made it in and out of long work days and navigated shopping centers in frigid temps and facing winter challenges, we made it into March and ran smack into the hysteria and misinformation of COVID-19. Not that The World Health Organization isn’t doing what they can to spread truth, but we’ve been well-schooled to distrust the truth, repeatedly, and ad nauseam, so much so that doubting everything we hear or read from our reporters is the new normal. So, what to do in a crisis when we are several years into a reign of doubt? I’d like to suggest that we all take a deep breath, right now, inhale and exhale, and press play to watch the waves roll in and out. Just for a few seconds. Let’s start with that.

Continue reading

fuel yourself

The whole of my external world would fit every Frozen location set if need be. Snowbanks line my drive, icicles hang from the eaves, and everything is stuck in stillness. A weak sun battles the fairly constant cloud cover, as we dash about in fairly constant flurries. The temperature this past week fought to even reach single digits, and the windchill only added to the instinct to hibernate. But venture out we must. Adding layer upon layer folks find a way to get outside, to ski and take advantage of the snow in any possible way. The woods are filled with trails and ring with voices even as that north wind bites through our insulated gloves. Northerners have a well-earned hearty reputation, and I find inspiration being among so many who get outdoors regardless of what weather one must contend with.

snowy woods in Vermont

To keep one’s mindset in the positive it is important to keep fueling yourself with all sorts of activities, outside when possible, and inside when not. There is something about moving that just makes you feel better. “Endorphins are only one of many neurotransmitters released when you exercise. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood” (healthline). The science of the brain spells it all out, but the real trick is finding movement that makes you smile while doing it. For me, time on the mat or in the pool are just as uplifting as a swift run. Daily, I set my schedule to include something physical, with enough time to feel fabulous afterwards.

And then there is what you put into your body. Even during the winter months we try to fuel ourselves with as much local and nutritious food as possible. The farm up the road sells eggs, another is a four-season veggie provider; keeping green in our diet, keeping seasonal and local a priority, and planning our meals, all work together to maintain health. The proverbial saying ‘You are what you eat‘ is just truth. In winter it is easy to eat heavy, and while that might feel comforting, we do include some extra summer-like salads to lighten too.

I am lucky to live with a brilliant and ambitious illuminator. Every December our home gets a chance to shine in the darkness, and we leave those lights going well into January, which just makes me happier at the end of a long day when I drive up the hill. I imagine all the weary travelers feeling the same way, and that just adds to my joy. It isn’t about flash or show, it is only a little sparkle, a subtle twinkle, and then, you take an easier breath.

house at night

Don’t forget to treat yourself too. There are days when looking out at the wind, and deciding to curl up with a book and some cocoa would just bring all the rest and relaxation of a spa day to your house-bound day. Take good care my dears. Fuel yourself for those long summer days by living well right now. With marshmallows too.

hot cocoa with marshmallows

 

summer lessons

There are always days which stay with you long after a season has been folded and packed away. Moments when you felt joy or purpose or transcendence or connection, when nothing stood in your way, blocked your view, held you back or caused doubt or fear to creep in. Summer, for me, allowed for a multitude of such glimpses into splendor. Perhaps you are nodding in agreement because of your freedom days: vacation time to dive in, soar above, or just sway on a porch swing. However you got there, I do hope you felt the divine. Sweet euphoria. And perhaps have garnered a few lessons of your own to remember when the cold wind strikes. Here are mine.

Continue reading

surviving the politics

Today I had a colleague call me out for an error, which was fine, but they then threw me under the bus by highlighting the mistake to my boss. Yeah, whatevs, thankfully I have no real concerns there. I mean, I know my value and all that, but who needs more crap, right? So much bad news streaming through our stream. Always more fear. More despair. More bad shit for us all to endure. We search for that one light flickering in the shadows, desperate for one bright second in the dark. What to do? Head to the pool to shake it off the best way I know. Diving into the green and stroke after stroke letting all that cool water slide over my stream till I’m smoothed over again.

indoor swimming pool

Continue reading

back to an alarm

Still a summer sky, a true blue blue overhead but my days now start with an alarm ringing and me dragging toward that brief yoga mat and then work work work although the afternoons are still that sky and that sunshine and I melt back to July when I called all the shots from dawn to dusk.

summer awning under a blue sky

Now sneakers on by four and out the door across the field and around the bend to nothing but corn growing toward the horizon and me feeling free and light. Can you beat that?

corn field under a blue sky

I’d say I’m one of the lucky ones. I promise to start thinking about blogging again, writing again, scheduling time for that, soon… Until then, happy late August days, for now, go run it, xxoo

May Days

May brings the days we live for in northern Vermont. Long afternoons to get outside, all of us, and even in the slanted sunlight we rejoice for this freedom. Winter, almost a distant memory as temps rise, and all around buds green and flowers red. Oh Lady Spring, thank you for all the gifts.

dog on a wooden bridge

Continue reading