Winter Days

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Hello again. It’s been quiet around here. I was putting off posting until I had my new camera (!!) to take pictures with. My old one couldn’t be repaired for a reasonable price, so I found a 2nd hand upgrade. I’m still trying to figure out how to use it, actually. It is much less automatic than my old one, and I am trying to remember all that stuff I learned in high school photography classes. It’s fun, though.

Daylight (or lack of it) is my main challenge right now, both in photography and daily life. It is so dark, so gray, all the time. We had our first snow today, and it was pretty, but it didn’t stick– it brightened the air briefly, but everything else is just wet and muddy. The sun rises around 7:45, and it starts getting dark at 3:30 in the afternoon. Frankly, it is very hard for me to feel motivated to do anything– I feel like the day’s almost over by the time I get home from walking my daughter to school. I know this isn’t true. It’s just that I was raised on sunshine– lots of it. I know all of the things I need to do to try to get my mood chemicals in order during the winter:  exercise, take vitamin D supplements, eat more fatty fish, get outside every day regardless of weather… I know! I have done these things. Well, some of them… Sometimes. Mostly I’ve been drinking tea and spending too much time with my computer, and cleaning the house. I haven’t quite “plugged in” to life in Bury, and so I don’t have much of anything happening outside of the home– I average about one conversation a week with people other than Jeff and Amelia. As a true introvert, this isn’t as hard or sad as it may seem to many people, but it is kind of depressing and also means that there’s not a whole lot of interesting things going on over here. Sometimes that’s good, but I still feel a bit listless.

In the meantime, I am trying hard to embrace the long evenings and cozy weather. Amelia starts her two week Christmas break this week, and I am going to start reading Alice in Wonderland to her, and doing some holiday projects together. Jeff and I have enjoyed more time in the evening to relax, watch a movie or play card games. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a natural part of the yearly cycle, when animals hibernate and trees grow their roots deeper into the earth. I’m working on it!

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9 Responses to Winter Days

  1. greatdanasworkshop December 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    Miles and miles and an ocean away, I am playing the same game my darlin! I am actually making myself put out of my mind all the projects I put on myself for this winter and just BE. I mean, if I don’t have to get stuff done, who needs sun? Sometime I wish I had only one conversation a week outside of the family. It’s hard to get the hibernation I am actually craving when people keep calling! But I’m not complaining. 🙂 Hope you have a great winter break with Amelia!

  2. greatdanasworkshop December 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    And your photo is lovely!

  3. Andrew December 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    Hibernate as you need to. Winter is an ideal inside time of the year, just like Summer is made for being outside.

    The darkness is nearly at its peak and will recede. Though I remember being in Scotland this time a few years ago and realized just how little light they got. I then remember thinking that I understand why so much time is spent in the pub. It is warm and lit.

  4. Great Scott December 20, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Getting dark at 4pm is just so hard to get used to and is throwing off all of our biorhythms over here! I am from the sunshine state and while I don’t necessarily miss Florida, I really like a bit of sunshine. Oh yes–and the whole “it’s already dark and we haven’t really done anything today” is a bit sad too. I’m more of an introvert as well but I like getting out and exploring–the darkness is making that a bit less enticing than it usually is. Hang in there! PS: What camera did you get? I also just upgraded my equipment and am in the “50% of my photos are blurry” stage. haha!

  5. Ariana December 20, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Thanks Dana! And good for you, for getting into the winter resting groove. I felt this way in Portland too, here it’s just more acute with less sunshine (unbelievably, since Portland is so dark!)

  6. Ariana December 20, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Andy, I can definitely imagine feeling the drive to spend a whole lot of time in the pub!! We’re focusing on making our home cozy so I can stick to tea instead of the hard stuff. 🙂

  7. Ariana December 20, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Sarah, I’m sure it’s helpful knowing that you will probably have more sunshine next year! (You will be going back to the States next year, right?) I agree with you, that one of the biggest bummers about the early darkness is that there is much less time in the day to get out and explore– it just feels so LATE by 5 p.m.!
    I bought a Canon Rebel 300 SEO. It’s older but works well, and not so precious that I freak out about losing or breaking it. Although one of my favorite picture taking techniques is to stick it out of the window of our moving car on sports mode and click away… Might have to stop that!

  8. alison owen December 28, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    I meant to comment awhile ago- I tend to shut down a bit in the winter, too. This year what really seems to be helping me is bikram yoga. Not sure if you have hot yoga/bikram in your town but it’s wonderful to be in a super-hot room for a long period of time. It takes care of the exercise thing that I know I need to do in the winter, plus it’s a great way to soak up some heat (though not sunlight, of course), be around other people, etc.
    Hope you’re coping!

  9. Ariana December 29, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    Hi Alison! Boy, I really wish there was a bikram yoga place here. Our city is kind of behind the times with things like that, and I am still looking for just a regular yoga studio. Everywhere I lived in the US had bikram nearby, and I know that would feel really great at this time of year. For Christmas I received several gifts of merino wool layers for getting out and exercising in the cold, along with a good pair of “wellies” for tromping through the mud. Now I just need to wait for Amelia to get back to school so I can get moving out there.

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