Drifting through January

Half way through one of the longest months of the year here on the North west coast (why does this month have 31 days anyway, c’mon.) It has a penchant for being the dreariest out of the twelve. Here on Vancouver Island we get little if any snowfall, other than Mount Washington up island in Comox. But whenever we do get snow I’m a happy camper. It’s still novel for me. I was born in California. It brightens the landscape and the sun usually will shine with the crisp weather. And it begs you to go out in it and take a walk.

But we’ve been having an ongoing succession of dark, grey, rainy days and nights. And this month out of all is the one I steel myself against. It’s long, it’s dark, and there are no “occasions” to break it up. My antidote, to embrace this month of few distractions to allow myself to go deeper within, readjust, and redefine myself. Ideally.

And attempt not to overly engage in the crazy making going on in America. But it’s hard. I did a rare political scribble one night when the news of the coup seemed relentless.

I’ve been working through my fridge and freezer. So, not sure where that fits in. Paring down, cooking stuff off, and getting my eating habits back in line, I suppose that’s a kind of clearing out and organizing, and readjusting. Yesterday I made many jars of peach jams from fruit I had in my freezer that I brought back from Salmon Arm last summer. I made some chicken pot pies, I made several loaves of bread. I made some soups. It seems once I start working in the kitchen then that is my day. There was a time I did this everyday. For years it was my career. Now, I don’t feel so compelled. Cooking has taken on a more functionary role than creative. I eat well, I cook from scratch, and that’s about it.

Sourdoughs

My daily yoga practice gapped a bit as did my daily morning walks. True most mornings it has been pouring rain and I think to myself, I should get out there anyway; I’m sweet- but I’m not made of sugar, I won’t melt. Then I correct and think-I’ve got nothing to prove. And I’m not hard core enough to walk in pouring rain. I’ll walk later. But later it’s no longer “my space”, “my time;” walking in the half light of morning with no one else about. It’s a special time. So occasionally, if wasn’t raining, I walked in the half light of dusk, and that was fine.

I began work on another non-fiction short story to submit to the CBC competition; deadline end of February. I’m pulling up a sailing trip I crewed on back in the 90’s down the coast of Baja. Also still working on a creative historical non-fiction novel.

So I plunk along. I’m going to post my second story from the Protection Island Book today too. More for my own record on my blog site; stories are a commitment for a reader to invest their time in, it’s there for me.

I just checked my blog word count- how easy it is to clock out five hundred words in my blog than when I’m writing and working on my other projects. I set a goal to get down a thousand words down during a writing session. Sometimes I make it, sometimes over, most times I can barely squeeze out three hundred words in a three hour session.

No matter though, I love the process regardless. Write on!

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Recovering Creative

I live on a tiny island on the Canadian west coast with about 300 of my neighbours. I am a Red Seal chef and certified baker (retired), an artist, an amateur photographer. I write, (unpublished so hesitate to call myself A Writer) sing, and can bang out some reasonable sounding chords on a guitar. And I grow a veggie garden. Older, wiser, and armed with insights and experience, I am on a conscience pursuit of reclaiming my creative life. I see it as a career change. Next level.

4 thoughts on “Drifting through January

  1. I would recommend that next year you do a gratitude journal for every day in January. Also plan for something you like – it doesn’t have to be a trip or expensive. Maybe just a new book to read and grant yourself the time to read it. I personally love January but struggle with November as the days are so short (by January they are getting longer and sunnier) and have resorted to many things to let myself appreciate the month more. Just a thought.

    1. And a good thought it is. Thanks ! I don’t get too down in January as I may have led readers to believe- I’m never without ways to find things to keep me buoyant, and generally have an optimistic character by nature- but keeping a gratitude journal is always a good antidote to life’s harsh edges.
      Not to be contrary, or ironic, but November is one of my favorite months of the year- I love the approach of deep fall, the colour changes and the earthy smells. But you’re right- January days are getting longer and we’re half way through- it’s in February I begin to get excited with the changeable blustery weather! Stay well 🙂

      1. That’s too funny that our least favourite months is the other ones fav! Of course fall arrives here on the prairies in September/Oct and Nov is often just cold and brown. So glad this year we had that huge dump of snow as that helped immensely.

        1. Nothing colder than a Saskatchewan winter! Except maybe a Manitoba winter. Here on the West coast we get grey and rain. When fall comes the cool dramatic days of October November are a welcome change from summer- but by January and no real snow to break the monotone of grey wetness the novelty’s worn off. Bring the Spring!
          I have a unexplained tender spot in my heart for Saskatchewan btw. A humble, unassuming little middle child of the prairies. Fell in deep love with Val Marie and the Cypress Hills. Told my husband I could live there. He wasn’t as pleased with that notion as I was though.

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