Posts tagged with "winter"

nothing lasts, but nothing is lost

It’s been a few weeks since I left the comic book shop. I’m glad to have gone through the expe­ri­ence of being a pro­fes­sional nerd, to have met the par­tic­u­lar set of chal­lenges involved and flour­ished, but I could tell it was time to quit when the stress was car­ry­ing over from one shift to the next, even with days between.

Without the need to run tour­na­ments, or the pres­sure of deal­ing with cus­tomers, I have a chance to breathe again. That means doing my best not to worry about being pro­duc­tive or happy. Just try­ing to feel okay can be enough of a day-to-day challenge.

Cat in Tigger costume

Their spe­cial bond comes from the fact that she lets him get away with more than I do.

Heather and I are tak­ing the next few months off to regain our bal­ance and adjust to our new dosages of SNRIs. Now that I’m in a place where I’m feel­ing more safe and secure, I can tell it’s still hard for me to let go of neg­a­tive thoughts, even when the stim­u­lus is gone. I’m com­ing to terms with the fact that I’ve been fight­ing depres­sion my whole life, and the fact that I’ll likely be on even more med­ica­tion for the rest of it1.

I wish I could turn to writ­ing for cathar­sis, but I’m not strong enough to process the mem­o­ries. Parts of the past are still too recent, too famil­iar, too painful. And some­times it’s hard to think of the per­son I was only a year ago, even know­ing how far I’ve come. I’m start­ing to real­ize that time is what I need most, which means I also need patience and trust from my friends.

Cat and Magic: The Gathering

The only com­mit­ments I’ve kept are my play­group on Sundays, and my Wednesdays with Lisa. Otherwise, I’m lost in Guild Wars; the eas­i­est way to escape and feel pro­duc­tive at the same time is to work on daily achieve­ments by slay­ing dragons.

And that’s how I lost the Autumn. I didn’t even real­ize the leaves had turned and fallen. Now that I’m not work­ing (and I’m the one who always hosts), it feels like I never leave the house. The only reminder that win­ter is here is when the heat comes on, and the smell of dry fur­nace air fills the room. I was look­ing for­ward to the first snow­fall of the sea­son, but the plows have already been out and I haven’t had a chance to take it all in.

  1. On top of the anti-inflammatories, pro­bi­otics, and psyl­lium husks I take every day to man­age my col­i­tis. []

for you, i am sweeping words together

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.

cats and winter

 

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.

torpor

The hol­i­day sea­son is offi­cially over when it doesn’t feel right to watch Christmas spe­cials of Only Fools and Horses. The Trotter boys are out of their ele­ment, try­ing to strike it rich in exotic locales, and the Peckham flat is too far away for things to feel nor­mal. Still, watch­ing them makes me miss the UK more than ever. I’ve taken to episodes of Sherlock to get my dose of London nights until I can find a way to make it over there again.

girl in snow

Pointer of quarry, tamer of cats.

Over here, it’s been a faith­ful Canadian win­ter. Bouts of var­ied snow­fall, record-breaking lows, and a spot of freez­ing rain here and there. My gui­tar must be achingly dry as the mod­est humid­i­fier help­lessly fails to main­tain bal­ance against the con­stant churn of the furnace.

I’ve been pick­ing her up again, rebuild­ing my blis­ters and re-learning old songs. Sometimes I won­der how I was ever able to play cer­tain pas­sages, but know­ing I have before makes it eas­ier the sec­ond time around. This time it feels a lit­tle dif­fer­ent though. I have a bet­ter reach and a more con­fi­dent picky, along with some new pains that have found their way into my hands.

cat in cat bed

 

The cold that per­me­ates the house means Dolly prefers sleep­ing in her bed over any one spot, and I can carry her around with me from room to room to keep me com­pany. Byron is rarely far away. Even though he’s not as affec­tion­ate as Dolly, he’s still my cat in the way he comes to walk on me when I wake, and the rit­ual play­time we have after teeth are brushed.

With the cats form­ing a lit­tle nest wher­ever I go, and the view of ice and snow just out­side the win­dow, I have lit­tle rea­son to leave the house nowadays.

finishing the game

It’s been an aim­less win­ter. Some days full of mean­ing, oth­ers pass­ing with­out so much as a moment worth remem­ber­ing. I’ve learned to cher­ish every storm cause each one could be your last. Who knows when you’ll get to walk on trails cut through tan­gled branches with the snow as wet and thick and heavy as this again?

long driveway with snow

 

The hol­i­days snuck up on me. I’ve been try­ing to fig­ure out where all the time has gone and how best to use what’s left. The only dec­o­rat­ing I’ve done for the sea­son is a real pine wreath (gen­er­ously given to me by Steph) hung on the office door. A small act that doesn’t seem like much com­pared to the glo­ri­ous ceiling-scraping trees in the houses of my friends and neigh­bours, but cer­tainly more than I’ve done in the recent years. It’s an easy con­ces­sion to make against my grow­ing dis­taste for the com­mer­cial­ized Christmas cul­ture when my room is filled with the scent of sap, scat­tered pine nee­dles, and other reminders of life.

car-in-snow

The ever-faithful steed.

My exis­tence is defined by what I have left to do, and the list grows ever shorter. I live week-by-week, through cycles of pro­duc­tiv­ity and play, try­ing to meet each need in turn. It’s always a del­i­cate bal­ance to be man­ag­ing when so much in life is out of your control.

As for the short term, I’m off to Shirley’s for Christmas and my annual dose of fam­ily. It’ll be a com­plete break from my reg­u­lar life of single-serving meals and never being around more than one per­son at a time. I imag­ine we’ll spend most of the days eat­ing fin­ger foods and watch­ing real­ity TV among the ram­bunc­tious flus­ter of her kids. I always look for­ward to see­ing how they’re car­ry­ing their grown-up voices and how their styles have changed.

hot chocolate

 

This is the time of year I’m most scared of being left with­out plans1, but recently I haven’t had enough time alone. It’s left me feel­ing numb and tired and that’s exactly what I need right now.

Friends still make the best dis­trac­tions. It’s easy to hide from any­thing when you’re shar­ing a blan­ket and some early episodes of Trailer Park Boys.

  1. Also why I usu­ally make a trip to Toronto. []

creature comforts

Thank you win­ter for mak­ing my cats super cud­dly and slow-falling snow and the chance to wear new cardigan-dress shirt com­bos. You are totally worth the has­sle of hav­ing to warm up my car (for now). It’s because of you that I learn how trust is found in the gen­tle coo­ing of girls who fall asleep on your shoulder.

Mornings are spent upstairs in the break­fast nook, now that I have work I can get done on my MacBook Pro. To be bathed in the cool sun­light reflect­ing off the snow was a change of pace I never knew I needed.

birthday brunch

Jesse’s birth­day brunch at the Lieutenant’s Pump.

I’ve been liv­ing with­out any sort of sched­ule. It’s nice to be able to make my own hours cause I’m far more pro­duc­tive at night, but it also makes my life free of the struc­ture that keeps me paced and bal­anced. The only rea­son I have to keep any sort of reg­u­lar sleep­ing pat­tern is so I can be awake when my friends are.

Still, I tend to stay up past the point of exhaus­tion so I don’t get stuck in an end­less cycle of thought when try­ing to fall asleep. Otherwise, the cider always helps.

sneaky cat

Soon, hunger will over­take the fear of punishment.

It’s one of those weeks where I’m feel­ing antsy cause I don’t know when I’m see­ing Lisa next and I haven’t heard from her in a while. I don’t pur­sue the issue cause she has her own life, and I have so much to do that it works out any­way, but that doesn’t make me miss her any less. Our time is spe­cial cause there are so many things I share only with her, our exclu­sive lit­tle club for Breaking Bad, cat walks, and super hotties.

It feels like I only talk about my friends lately. Probably cause that’s what my life is filled with now. They’re the good that’s come out of the bad, the ones who picked up the ball when oth­ers let it drop. They val­i­date me and notice what I wear and lis­ten to me cause they believe what I’m say­ing mat­ters. And at the very least, they’re a chance for me to care about some­one else.