Winter has always been difficult at times. At ‑15 or below, breath becomes a layer of ice on the windows when parked outside, and I can do nothing but wait for the car to warm up again so I can see enough to drive. At that point, it means I’m sitting in the car for longer than my commute. I try to take it as a good way to practice patience, but it’s a hard wait after an eight hour shift on my feet. It’s still winter in all it’s muffling glory though, the time in the year I most appreciate living in Canada. Girls and cats alike are more affectionate too, and I don’t mind being the source of heat.
I tend to get up around sunrise now, and every time I step outside before the rest of the world wakes up, it feels like I’m born again. It’s a chance for me to hit the reset button on the last day. To let go of the past, even if it happened only seven hours ago, and become a blank slate.
I also gradually broke the habit of checking my feeds after feeling jaded about news and media, then coming across this article. After months of abstention, I can say that I’ve gained time and lost nothing. It’s left me feeling increasingly disconnected from the world, but I know that means I’m beginning to learn what really matters.
I’m writing as a way of practicing self-compassion. Weeks get lost to the customers and commute, and when time off involves not thinking or being around people, it doesn’t leave much room for personal growth.
The problem is that nothing feels real or true unless I write it down. The changes are starting to flow together, and I’m at various stages of progress on several fronts. There are no beginnings, no ends, no chapters, no distinctive transitions I can sum up neatly in a title. The lessons stretch out to years instead of months. Development has given way to evolution. It seems silly to write about a feeling that won’t last from the first time I hit Save Draft to Publish.
I’ve been reaching out to new people cause it felt like everything I was doing was wrong. Marie came to feed the cats, not knowing I was back from the hospital. I broke down in her arms, and she babbled at me over breakfast, excusing herself for talking so much cause she was nervous about not knowing how to help. I asked if she’d watch a movie with me, something to do that was normal and not crying. It helped.
Jason’s also been talking me through the upheaval. Advice is easier to accept when it comes from a survivor, especially one who never presumes to know what’s best for me. He’s become the stick prodding me forward one small step at at time, a voice of reason in my ear that reminds me to keep on doing this until living is like breathing again.
It’s a reminder that I’m here only cause people believe in me; they’re the ones tipping the scales when it feels like I might as well flip a coin and let fate decide what I can’t.