My Hardest Months: Surviving the Winter

Winter is the toughest season for me. Sure, there’s snowshoeing (I don’t downhill ski anymore), but that’s only feasible on weekends since it gets dark so early. I go to work in the dark, I come home in the dark. The sky seems to always be gray. And especially right now, it’s cold, lung-searing, cheek-pinking, eye-stinging. I look outside, and I don’t want to go.

Somehow, January and February are harder for me than November and December, although in the fall the days are getting shorter and in the winter the days are getting longer. Perhaps it’s the span of time it’s seemed dark — my mind lumps together Fall and Winter as the Dark Days.

It feels fitting that we’ve picked Winter for our New Year celebration, the time of resolutions and reinvention. Winter is a time for reflection, which flows into dreams for the coming year. It’s a time for sitting in front of a fire and letting the fire pass its spark to you.

I’ve always been one for tackling problems with action, for laying plans. So what’s an artist and outsdoorswoman to do when the outdoors feels less than inviting?

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How to Get Outside More Often

I like to get outside on the weekends. If I don’t, the brief days blur together.  Despite good intentions, I often find myself sleeping in or puttering around the house doing chores rather than getting outside. I also find it harder to get out for a weekend-long trip, never planning ahead enough. I’ve developed some solutions that help me get outside more often, as well as some ideas I want to try (there’s always room for improvement!).

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