Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Termination Dust - Winter Soul-Care

Driving home tonight from a Women's Ministry team meeting I noticed something new! The top of one of the tallest mountains in "our range" has TERMINATION DUST  on it.  September 18, 2019.
We live at the bottom of the "thumb" in this photo

Looking up the road....fall colors and termination dust. 

To the miners termination dust signified the end of a summer and set of a flurry of activity as they prepared for winter. For us, much the same. I have to admit summer is over. Fall is short-lived and the arrival of termination dust is a vivid reminder we will most likely have snow by the end of October. It's coming......ACK.

Fall has always been my favorite season of the year.  However, we've chosen to live forever in a location with a seriously cold winter.  I have spent two winters now speaking the positive, taking Northern Light photos and telling myself it was worth the price of winter to see such beauty, thinking of others and not myself, and "keeping busy." You've not heard me speak ill of winter - because I have determined not to be "that sort."

As we drove back to Alaska, and I fell in love with the spectacular display of colors on the Alcan, I realized I felt not only excitement this year - but quite a fair bit of dread.   I've never feared a season. I did mind winter. Ignoring the dread and fear I feel as winter approaches isn't going to help a bit. I've done that for a couple of years.  It IS cold. It IS dark. It does effect moods.

I've been philosophical. "The trees are about to show us how beautiful it can be to let things die." I've searched my heart. God, what do I need to let die in this season. What should lie dormant over the winter and bear fruit in the spring?

I remember Benny last March when we had another snow storm....he sat at the back door, put his head down and just said, "no, no, no" over and over. ::snort::

I will confess, this quote in a National Review article resonates with me... and has made me laugh out loud every time I've thought of it since. It seems to express my "state of mind" better than the beauty of dying trees this year.
If you live somewhere with cold winters, however, please understand that it is objectively stupid of you to be excited about fall. Let me be clear: For us, celebrating the start of fall is like celebrating that end stage of a terminal illness where you won’t be functional long before it kills you. It means that winter is coming soon. Cold, soul-crushing winter. Months (which can easily feel more like eons than months) of nothing but wind, snow, rain, and rapidly spreading influenza. And you’re excited because you can drink a coffee that tastes like a gourd? Grow up.
And so...I've known termination dust was coming. I've been spending time thinking about HOW I am going to work soul-care, maybe even a bit of self-care, into the winter.  Here is the start of my list...and now that termination dust is here - I'm going to seriously give this some consideration.

  1. Remain consistent in carving out a time for solitude and silence with Jesus. 
  2. Order SAD light bulbs and install at least one in each room of the house. 
  3. I've freed up my schedule so that I have more time to refresh - keeping busy is not the best answer for me - it leads to exhaustion which makes it even harder to get out of bed. 
  4. Start a winter Netflix list and indulge in a series or two over the winter. 
  5. Start a winter reading list. 
  6. Get the work-out room set up downstairs and OUT of the cold garage. 
  7. Go out for tea at least once a week.  Invest in relationships. 
  8. Intentionally mentor Stacia.
  9. Maintain healthy eating for the FAMILY to strengthen our immune systems and help us fight the "winter blues." 
  10. How would keeping an emergency stash of peanut MnM's play into this? 
  11. AVOID carb comforting - it's a thing. It must be a thing. 
  12. Take a winter sport suited to Klutzy, middle aged women. 
  13. 30 min a day in a hot tub would be sure to help...that's a future idea. 
I'd love to hear your ideas if you've lived in a "seriously cold" location.  I'll even paste new ideas into this list. 


TopMom said...

I do not live in a seriously cold place. I have dealt with SAD for much of my adult life. I have a therapy light. You actually should already be using it. The best te to use it is early in the morning. I can definitely tell a huge difference when I am using mine.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Thanks for sharing. I am looking.