Beat the Winter Blues: Living in Winter Wondering-What-To-Do-With-Myself Land

| 2/17/2010 4:52:36 PM

A photo of Shannon SaiaIn my mind, there are vast open spaces in my home. There is fresh color on the walls. The trim around the windows and doors is freshly, crisply white. Tabletops are uncluttered. DVDs are tucked carefully in their cases. Bookcases do not hang into doorways. I can swivel back in my desk chair without catching my chair wheel on the living room rug, or bumping my husband’s recliner with my elbow. Storage is hidden beneath the lean, clean lines of benches and built-ins. In my home-to-be I will not have to stoop ten times every day with wet toilet paper in my hand to scoop up the dog-hair dust bunnies. There will be more space, therefore those dust bunnies will be fewer and farther between, which means that I ought to be able to clean that much less often. Surely this will be the case. I will not trip over shoes, or dog leashes, or – for that matter – dogs. There will be a place for everything, and everything in its place.

It seems like I am constantly trying to solve some domestic problem; constantly looking for some small-space solution; which is why we finally had to opt for the ultimate small-space solution – to get more space. But lately the livable part of my home has been made that much smaller by this week’s back-to-back “near blizzard conditions.” And the as-yet-unlivable part of my home looks like this – which is to say, not livable anytime soon.

Winter construction

What to do? What to do?

It seems that we had the wettest fall ever. We’ve either been up to our ankles in mud outside or, like today, up to our thighs in snow, both of which make it that much harder to keep this small house clean. When you factor in the psychological pressure that comes with knowing that this addition is NOT going to be done this winter; that in all likelihood it won’t be done until spring; that finishing it will coincide with tilling up more yard and starting a huge garden and building a chicken coop … well, I’ll just come right out and say it. I am stressed. I am restless. I am bored. I’m also out of butter. But that’s neither here nor there.

What’s the best, most positive and productive thing that I can do while shut in the house with 6 other beings (two human, four canine) who are also restless and bored?

S.M.R. Saia
2/22/2010 4:04:07 PM

Cindy and Susan...thanks for the encouragement! Susan, I like you're Dad's saying. I'll have to keep that in mind!

Cindy Murphy
2/18/2010 2:53:33 PM

Hi, Shannon. I agree; there is nothing so tenacious as dog-hair dust bunnies...except possibly cat-hair dust bunnies. But there will always be dust bunnies; the snow doesn't stick around for nearly as long - not long enough, in my opinion, But ahhh....I like winter. Lookit all that unadulterated snow you've got! Think of it as a clean palette, a fresh new sheet of paper. Make a flock of snow angels. Write your favorite quote in the front yard by shuffling your feet along to make the letters. Make it more challenging by writing it in block letters instead of cursive. Cut some of those branches from the woody area behind your garden, and bring them inside to force. Grab a pan full of snow and try some of the snow-cream Andrew wrote about in his blog, and serve it with your applesauce cake. Don't waste all that snow - get out and enjoy it while it lasts. It'll not only relieve your boredom for a while, but nothing relieves stress like being outside in the fresh air. Susan - I love your Dad's advice. It's something I'll keep tucked away to pull out when I'm in the heat of battle with the dust bunnies...and losing. Cindy

2/17/2010 8:39:42 PM

I SO know what you mean!! I, too, planted some herb seeds recently just to have something green and growing around here, since spring is a while off yet. A clean house is overrated. Don't sweat the dust bunnies. My Dad has a saying I really like for when I feel stressed--"What difference will it make in 20 years?" It sounds like you need a project! So you've got the seeds started. Anything else you've been longing to do? Start that novel or memoir? Create a photo book on Shutterfly? Call friends you haven't seen for a while and have a good long chat? Gee, I might've just talked myself into some of these activities. Thanks! Susan

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