Life can, especially in the white coldness of winter, be boring.
I’m able to take a great deal of stuff in stride, but being bored is not one of them. To stave off this condition, sure to make me grumpy, which depletes from marital harmony, I must—occasionally—do something different.
Sometimes I get the green croquet mallet and whack the yellow ball around the living room, practicing my straight shooting via the long hall into my office. Hitting in reverse, I’m doing fairly well at keeping it from going down the stairs of this split level home. Alex no longer questions what I am doing, merely advises not to hit it too hard so we avoid dents in the baseboards. I whack and whack thinking of the movie A Good Year, where childhood Russell Crowe and his Albert Finney uncle are playing cricket inside the house—the thick stucco wall pockmarked repeatedly, the joy on their faces evident.
Occasionally Alex will walk into a room—any random room—and find me lying on the floor. He asks what I’m doing and I answer: changing my perspective.
For the last month, supper time finds me changing my seat at the kitchen table. He won’t budge, so that limits me to three chairs to pop between. I suppose I could always go to the adjoining dining room until I get done trying out each of those chairs. A man of routine, it’s making him crazy, but he lets it go.
I rearranged my office and moved onto switching about the kitchen. Yeah, yeah, there are only two movable things in that room, but hey they can be changed around, you know? The living room came next with the new arrangement allowing us clear line of sight to the bird feeder and the antics of multiple flying things and three kinds of squirrels.
At Christmastime there’s always the tree to provide a great reason to rearrange the family room for a month. Then I kindly put it back the way Alex prefers it.
My stylist, who keeps meticulous records, tells me that in ten years I’ve had 41 hair styles. Of course, she never shares the notes with me, so I’m thinking she exaggerates a little.
She may be right.
Are you getting the idea? I must have change in my life—whether it’s the physical room around me or my attitude.
In the spring and summer, I’m less agitated (and agitating) because there are seeds to be nurtured—the trays of containers cover the dining room table—followed by weeding to be done and planting and mowing and new things blooming and flowers to be deadheaded and mulching…
Then autumn plunges into winter, daylight fades before five p.m., and I start to feel confined.
For the first time since I left Montana in 1999, I finally have solid winter gear—a nifty 3-in-1 North Face jacket is the start—that means cold weather wimp me makes herself go for a lunch time walk around the neighborhood.
A long list of saved up winter projects help adjust that trapped attitude. Less outdoor activity means that I can finally get to that photo project I’ve been postponing (getting my 32K digital pictures down to a reasonable number—already at 29,818! What progress!). Perhaps I’ll attack the physical photos from my pre-digital days and whittle those down a bit further.
Year round, I’m diligent about protecting my writing time, but without yard work distracting me maybe I can get that cookbook project handled. You know, favorite recipes stored electronically, the physical books passed onto other cooks.
I might, if I find myself to be daring enough, even try to learn crocheting again. I attempt every couple of years and have created some delightfully wonky scarfs. Ask my sister, she uses one of them.
If you live in a seasonal area like the northeastern USA, what do you do in the wintertime to keep your sanity on course and your croquet mallets in the garage? Your ideas may stave off the next crazy thing my husband catches me doing.