Sometime around now in January–even without COVID’s “stay home, stay safe” mandates–I realize that I am not really living life.  I’m just going through the motions, kind of mentally in a holding pattern of hanging on until more sun returns, the cold moves on and the outside becomes a fun place again.  

It’s a bit of “seasonal affective disorder”, I believe.  I recognize that I must get outside more.  My best plan is to force myself out to cross country ski.  Every single time I do it, I come back into the house, amazed at how much happier and at peace I feel from just a few hours outside.  

This year we received over twenty inches of snow in December, and I foolishly thought it would stay through March.  Instead, the deluge of rain on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day erased the snow and turned our landscape a lovely green for a few days.  Since then, we’ve been blessed with just a few light snowfalls.  But true cross-country skiing required traveling to higher elevations or further north, not just stepping outside our own front door. 

But it is the weekend again, and our happy group of dogs is ready to gather yet again.  Because of the rules, we always stand outside for a couple of hours. 

And in the afternoon, I meet up with a friend for an hours’ worth of walking along the river. 

As I reflect back on the day, I realize I’ve easily spent three hours or more “outside”… and that, yet again, I feel more like me. 

Being forced outside in the winter?  Guess what:  it’s actually another silver lining!