We might not hibernate but winter typically signals a period of slowing down, spending more time indoors, and for me doing a lot of R’s. Funny as I thought about this post, every descriptor began with an R so I decided to run with it.
Rest, Recovery and Rehab
My body says thank you for slowing down, tending to aches, pains and neglected areas.
Recondition, Revise, Repair, Replace, Recycle
It’s a time to evaluate my clothing and gear. Broken zippers, holey socks . . . With discounts at their best from November through January, winter is the time to replace or upgrade gear. It’s also a good time to see if I have clutter worthy of selling, donating or tossing.
My food and resupply bins are usually looking quite sparse by this time of year. Nothing says prep quite like the dehydrator, boxes of bars and Minimus.biz.
Might as well put things away where they belong when done with inventory and restocking. When it’s time to play I want to be able to grab and go.
Rewind and Reflect
This is typically the time of year I catch up on photo processing, blog posts and my map track. What were my highlights and lowlights? Yes, my broken blog photo links have been my lowest low of the year. I’m still working to resolve.
While I’m reminiscing about my joys of the previous year, it’s also a good time to starting planning for the upcoming season. Where oh where shall Jan jaunt in 2020?
The holidays and winter provide great opportunities to reunite with friends and family. It’s when I need more social time. My hiking groups tend to provide motivation along with face-to-face interaction during the dark, wet, chilly days of winter.
My coping strategy is to spend time being active outside at least an hour a day. This has made a huge difference in my moods. Embrace winter! I’m glad I enjoy snowshoeing and hiking in brisk temperatures.
Generosity seems to be in the forefront of our minds during the holiday season. It’s a good time to not only make my annual financial donations but also to thank those who’ve helped me during the year. I think about ways I might want to contribute in the upcoming year. Do I want to volunteer or teach? If so, where, when, how?
For me that means resisting the urge to overeat, be lazy and shop the sales (as I sit here staring at 5 down jackets, a tent, pack and sleeping pad).
I’m still alive and I’ve added another chapter to my book of memories! Hopefully it was a year with few regrets, good health and lots of laughs. If not, I can still sing my thanks for living to hike another day. I’m Alive!
Winter is my most challenging season. The shortened hours of daylight combined with rainy days can lead to the blues. I like many people experience Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD). I feel a bit like a caged lion or maybe more like a tigress. Recently Anish (aka Heather Anderson) posted her thoughts on the changing seasons. One phrase caught my attention, “We’re in a season of darkness now. Look to nature. She sleeps.”
Life is simpler on the trail.
So many of us crave that simplicity.
It’s a place where we find our natural rhythm.
A sustainable pace in sync with sun, wind, moon, blossom, and Fall.
We’re in a season of darkness now. Look to nature. She sleeps.
She is not frantically racing, acquiring, preparing.
That time is done.
Now it’s a time for drawing inward.
Relying on that which was set aside already.
Holding tight to the fire within.
Awaiting the return of the light.
When it seems like there is too much busy-ness this time of year I take my cue from Mother Nature. I step back. I draw in. I take a break. Winter is for resting, preparing for another year. The trail gives us calm because it connects us to the essential ebb and flow. Holding on to that off trail is what keeps me balanced.
I know if I focus on the R’s of winter, I’ll be ready for the greens of spring.