Firstly, by way of explanation for those who are new to this blog, my friend Jo and I started this last autumn as an attempt to deal with the low, low moods that the previous winters had inflicted on us. You can have a look back to the first posts to read a bit more about that, but essentially this project was about trying to re-set our relationship with the winter and come out the other end in better shape than we had been managing until then.
From my own perspective it was an almost total success which took me by surprise. I had started to write a post about this back in March but somehow got caught up in a rush of Spring and never quite finished it. Which isn’t to say that I was desperate for the winter to be over, far from it. Almost unbelievably, when spring started to unravel itself and spread greenery all around I found myself a bit disappointed that winter was over before I had managed to do all of the wintry things that I had set out to do. That was a big turnaround from previous years when I had been willing winter to be done with, and feeling miserable when it didn’t bow out when I wanted it to.
As I have written a few times so far, the biggest difference for me was that I exchanged my previous passivity – waiting for winter to trudge past while I sat glumly marking off the days – for an active embracing of all the good things about winter, the things that only really work in the dark and cold that don’t make sense on a warm summer day. We made a list of these on our ‘Ideas for a more enjoyable winter’ page https://wintermoodproject.wordpress.com/ideas-for-a-more-enjoyable-winter/
This was the big difference for me; thinking about all the things to do, eat, drink, read and listen to that help make winter a special time of year that can be enjoyed instead of resented. And of course doing, eating, drinking, reading and listening to them. When considering why this worked I can’t help thinking that it was a form of mindfulness. Now, I know it’s hard to read anything about mental well-being these days without mindfulness being mentioned, so apologies for accidentally being a bit zeitgeist about it, but I do think that paying close attention to something that is causing us problems and thinking about its good sides can only help us to deal with it better. Doing this gave last winter a structure and a purpose that made it so much more palatable than previously. So I figure I’ll do another winter of blogging, if only to incorporate the things that I didn’t get time for last year. This is likely to include quite a bit more about food and drink, music (which we barely touched last year), books and whatever else pops up. I’ll try not to bore you with the running, promise.
Jo is not planning on being a regular contributor this year but may well chip in. As with last year, if anyone else wants to contribute anything, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s to another good winter!