Frozen January

This January feels stalled. I am not accomplishing what I thought I would, partially because of where my family focus has been.

I had a laundry list of things I wanted to work on since December 15, but am finding that January is breezing by.

So when I returned from Houston I decided to let January be, and am making peace with not having much to show for it.

The deep freeze left its mark, and I enjoyed the ice sculptures of Lake Michigan on a balmy 30-degree walk.

But then 2 grey days zapped my energy, and I had a 3-hour slump yesterday where I couldn’t energize myself to do anything.

Now the snow is melting, and the weather’s temperature swings are on the upward trend between 30s and 50s.

I’ll keep plugging away on the things I have set out to do, without berating myself for letting time fly by.

Living in awareness and being present is sometimes all we can do, and what is truly important will get accomplished in due time.

Ultimately it is all about perspective, and knowing we can only do what we can in the time that we have, with the resources available to us.

The things that are percolating will come to fruition, just as the plants wrapped in ice will soon be sprouting leaves again.

Life works in cycles, and we need to honor both the seasons and our own circadian rhythms, even when technology has us believing in a 24/7 alertness mode.

Easing into 2018

Weather is interesting. The deep freeze has made it more tiring to go outside. Just bundling up is an effort, and then dealing with the cold another. So I’ve limited my outdoorsyness, and also learned that I am not crazy to think this has been my frostiest winter yet. I had never seen my studio windows completely frosted over.

Now my windows are finally defrosting, I don’t have to wait hours on end for AAA to jumpstart my car, and I am actually heading to warmer climes for another post-Harvey purge trip.

I am taking steps to get some accountability with my new year’s goals, but am also realizing that I need to pace myself a bit. Instead of implementing wellness steps January 1, it will have to wait until the 22nd, and that’s OK.

It is so easy to want to do ALL the things right at the beginning of the year, but truthfully I haven’t finished processing the past year. So both administratively, physically and mentally there is some house cleaning to be done before I can genuinely launch into 2018.

Meanwhile, I am also looking at the Q1 opportunities and have applied to those of course. So several things are on the books for February and March that I will start promoting in the near future. But this week, I am still allowing myself to absorb life, rather than rushing ahead.

Several sources are telling me to chunk out my goals, instead of tackling every single one at once. It is also about picking what genuinely motivates you, rather than focusing on external factors for living the best life. I know from experience that unless I enjoy it, a goal will not have staying power. That goes for eating healthy foods, for exercise, and for other activities.

So I will focus on tailored plans for me, and will follow my intuition on what is the right path to pursue for wellness, work, and life.

Winterscape

It got frosty again last weekend.

brunchingangel

In spite of the freeze, the skies are gorgeous.

WinterSky

Old snow got shoveled and turned into its own sculpture.

icesculpture

Hibernating included having lovely icescapes on the windows.

ijspegel

It’s neat to see what the combination of heaters and ice create.

windowscape

My original angel perused the winter wonderland.

1stAngelIce

Another load of snow came on a quiet afternoon.

snowing

Another blanket freshened up the world.

snowedblanket

Prompting a midnight shift for this snowplow.

MidnightPlow

It’s supposed to melt a bit again by the end of the week.

icedroplets

Seasons have an art of their own.

Frosty beginnings

The new year is off to a frosty start with the ice queen paying a visit again.

Beauty

Her crown is a bit different this year, but still gorgeous. I watched Frozen for the first time over Christmas, and then read the orginal Snow Queen fairy tale.

Iciclecrown

In the real world we are facing crunchy ice-capades with cars as the mounds create ice boulders that make parking an issue. Nonetheless, it still looks festive in some places.

Berries

I like this Narnia-esque landscape in spite of the cold. The blanket of snow softens the winter a bit and creates a clean slate (fleetingly).

Narnia

Here’s to a 2016 full of possibilities and an abundance of inspiration from nature and other sources.

Lake

The Ice Queen visits

My energy is coming back and some good things have been kicked off, but I still need to ease into a normal routine.

1aWinterSun

The Ice Queen paid a visit this weekend and left some lovely art behind.

1fbranches

There is much beauty in this wintry scenery, though staying out very long is not an option.

1bfrozenwarning

I’m reminded of Alicia Forestall-Boehm’s waxed cubes with these ‘drippy’ scultures.

1cIcicleRocks

Makes me want to slather encaustic medium onto something.

1hWaxedCube

White beaches abound.

1dfrozenbeach

Here’s to finding beauty in everything,

1eiciclecubes

being inspired,

1cIceQueen

and celebrating health!

1gicicles

Pause and reset

It’s been slow-going for me since the holidays.

It feels counter-intuitive to lay/laze in bed when the media are blasting New Years’ Resolutions, everyone is sharing their organizing and goal-setting intentions, and you’re supposed to be off to a fresh start.

wintertree

The thing is I don’t feel fresh yet. My immune system has gone into hibernating mode.

Having your windows frosted over by below-zero weather doesn’t help motivate, even if the sun is shining brightly.

frostywindows

So I am giving myself a few more days to fully recuperate.

I can start my official new year next week.

snowboots

In 2014 I carefully mapped out my year on a calendar in early January and a lot of things transpired that I didn’t anticipate and couldn’t foresee.

snowbeach

My new exercise program started in May of last year, and I am just going to keep up with it. I won’t pressure myself with weight or measurement numbers as long as I feel toned.

choppywave

The home does need some organizing, but the clutter isn’t going to disappear, so I can tackle that next week.

My aim is to be open this year. To not try to control outcomes as much, and to embrace opportunities in spite of the fears and naysayers in my head.

crashingwave

Part of that includes not putting so much pressure on myself. The year-end review shows that I was extremely productive, and a few more days of ‘laziness’ can only help energize me for the momentum that is to come.

splash

This is a time to pause and re-set. The hurrying and scurrying will start up soon enough.

Just say sNOw

We’re teased with spring only to be let down again.Within the span of two weeks we get warm weather, big snow melts, only to find our cars covered in snow and ice yet again.

0_iciclecar

It’s getting a bit old.

1_BigMelt

For a moment I thought I could put my snow boots away…

1a_noboots

But not so fast, because let’s look out the window the next morning!

2_SnowAGAIN

Layers and layers of snow ‘geology’.

3_dirtypiles

After celebrating St. Patrick’s Day over the weekend I got to drive home in this…

5_moresnow

I just say NO to the white stuff until late November. How about you?

4_moreMelt

 

creating a new universe

I am truly resonating with this poem right now.

frostflowers

When winter comes to a woman’s soul,
she withdraws
into her inner self,
her deepest spaces.
She refuses all connection,
refutes all arguments
that she should engage in the world.
She may say she is resting,
but she is more than resting:
She is creating a new universe within herself,
examining and breaking old patterns,
destroying what should not be revived,
feeding in secret what needs to thrive.

~ Patricia Monaghan

heartofwinter

hibernating

Some of you will envy me for this post, because I have a luxury this month: time.

I was lucky getting stuck in vortex-land near family, so I didn’t lose money on hotels and cab fares waiting out the winter storm that stranded flights for almost a week.

verhuisd

Nor did I need to call a boss to tell them my return to work was iffy, losing salary and vacation time (although my inner boss felt like I had to get started on 2014 business-wise).

stuck

Instead we had extra family time which was lovely.

Then when I got home I was exhausted from the stress of not knowing when I would get home. So I literally hibernated.

snowing

This cold weather and the abundance of grey skies this year is throwing me for a loop. Chicago winters are quite sunny in spite of the cold, but the past few weeks the sun has seemed sparse to me.

snowbank

When I have these kind of drudg-y days I go to my neighborhood cafe for a boost in caffeine and good cheer, but the thought of bundling up has kept me inside more so that kickstarter has been lacking the past 2 weeks as well.

BrosK

It has been freeing to just listen to my body and pretend to be a bear while I can, but at the same time I feel that guilt of needing to be productive, shoulding all kinds of things, and wanting to push on.

frostywindow

The thing is, it is just me in this life and this business, and the holiday season with all its new-to-me experiences, the holiday rush in a rushed season to begin with, and all the unknowns I’ve been learning about pretty much burnt me out. When I am down, my whole business is down, from production to promotion to planning for what’s next. Calling in sick means hitting the pause button.

buried

So I am trying hard to be gentle with myself. I set smaller goals for each day rather than trying to get to a big list that exhausts me just looking at it. Just because I can’t get 5 things done in a day doesn’t mean I am not living each moment purposefully.

hurryorignalTUT

I still feel present, even when I am resting. The downtime will fuel inspiration for the coming year. We don’t begrudge trees for not producing leaves when the world is frozen.

icicles

Our modern world is able to defy nature with electricity and snow removal, when maybe human beings should take a cue from nature too at times instead of seeing storms as a nuisance. Frozen fuel lines do tell us to stop in our tracks and stay indoors.

I am clearly meant to ease into the new year slowly rather than rush into it with energy blazing.

yellow

Hopefully by February I will have my equilibrium back, and the ideas I have for 2014 will be implemented one day at a time.

Frosty weekend walks

Nope, I didn’t work on the pendant descriptions I had every intention to write.  Saturday morning became frustrating as I fruitlessly searched online for findings that I know exist but apparently can only be found in 24-packs at Michael’s for now, instead of through a wholesaler.

hoping for spring

That’s the trickery of the Internet. You think that you can find things in bulk online ‘somewhere,’ but alas, a retailer just might have exclusivity over that particular product.  So I abandoned the search and shut down the computer, to take a very frosty walk at which I certainly ‘cooled off’.

frosty lake

These crocuses are deceptive:

Deceptive Croci

For the rest of the day I lost myself in a book.

die hellen tage

It is surprisingly refreshing to transport yourself into another world, and immerse yourself into the lives of a group of people as they grow over 20+ years.

I forgot about what pendants to describe next for the Etsy upload, how many and what kind I want to make next week, the product photos I have yet to take, how to best determine the right field names for Bento to set up the database right the first time. Instead, I empathized with fictional characters who became so real in my head that it was hard to let them go after the last page.

ReadingChapin

Yesterday I realized Kari Chapin’s book is due soon so my morning was spent at a cafe getting close to finishing it. I really like this book a lot, and will do a roundup of business planning reads in the future.

After a frosty walk home, I certainly hope that this Robin truly is the harbinger of Spring. We’re more than ready for it up in the Midwest.

Robin