Whiteout

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Winter is such a wonderful season. When the air becomes so cold that it’s crisp, and the leaves have all gone from their branches, and there’s specs of snow that are sprinkled over the foothills, it’s the most awe inspiring time. I always dreamed of snow, even when I lived in Southern California, and palm trees were green 365 days of the year, where June was the gloomiest month, yet the rest of the year the sun glistened off the Pacific.

I never understood why so many flocked to the Golden State, until I left and went east. Some time after being on the east coast and I then I knew. They say you never know what you have until it’s gone, and it’s true. But, despite the longing I always felt for California I wasn’t yet ready to return either. It’s a strange paradox.

Despite my upbringing and lack of any actual “weather,” growing up, I somehow ended up loving seasons. While I’m not anti-warm weather, and beach umbrellas–I love snorkeling as much as I love hiking–there’s just something about the snow. When I glance out my window and see a blanket of white covering the roads, sidewalk, and foothills, it’s magical; it’s like a new year, it’s a blank canvas that you can make into anything you want. Even the ugliest, muddiest, dirt road becomes beautiful with a layer of powder of it.

As the air grows even colder, and my face burns after thirty minutes of hiking, all I think is how good this feels. How clean the air smells, how fresh the snow looks, and how I love the crunch of day old snow under my hiking boots.

Sure, summer is great, but tell me what’s better than returning home from a hike in a winter wonderland, making a warm beverage, and snuggling up on the couch with a loved one? I’ll wait.

Stay warm my friends.

2020

“With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.” -Oscar Wilde

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I have done a lot of reflecting not just on the past year, but on the last decade. There was so much I accomplished, which I would have overlooked because a few things didn’t go as planned.

For instance, I met my husband at the beginning of the past decade. I graduated from university, moved across the country, finished graduate school, moved back across the country, and had a baby. I realize, as I write this, that sometimes I am too hard on myself. Everything, but the meeting my husband part was done this year. Sheesh. I need to take it easy in 2020. Jokes aside, my life at 35 is different than I would have ever imagined at 25.

Instead of focusing on a slew of resolutions which I will inevitably give up on about three weeks into this new year, I’ve decided to make a list of things I have figured out. Just to clarify, I am not against resolutions, and I have made some concrete actionable goals this year. I’m just not going to dedicate an entire blog post to them.

Things I’ve Learned About Myself

  • Hiking makes me extremely happy, even if it’s snowing. In fact, especially when it’s snowing.
  • Breastfeeding has been one of the most intense journeys of my life. Having to adopt a restrictive diet was challenging mentally and physically as my body went through all my fat stores in order to keep producing milk. In short, my body is incredible.
  • Dairy is hidden in everything. So is soy.
  • Travel becomes less important when you love where you live. I still love traveling, and we are planning a big trip for 2020, but for now I am just happy to live in a place that brings me so much joy.
  • Writing fiction is hard.
  • There are still a good number of wonderful people in the world. I forgot this while I lived on the east coast.
  • You can love someone from a distance if that’s what it takes for you to keep your mental sanity.
  • Mental health is important.
  • Baking is surprisingly therapeutic.
  • My daughter brings me immense joy, even though our journey together has been wrought with challenges.
  • My husband is probably the only reason I haven’t completely gone mad this past year. Turns out, he’s an amazing father.
  • Motherhood is beautiful, painful, and the hardest job on the planet. It’s rewarding as well, but man oh man is it hard.
  • Not all in-laws relationship are the way the media portrays. Sometimes in-laws can surprise you and uplift you even more than your own parents.
  • I am still horrible with gift giving and timing. I am the person who buys postcards while on vacation and 9 times out of 10 forgets to mail them. However, I managed to send out Christmas cards this year so that has to count for something.
  • I miss HBO’s programming.

I hope to write more regularly on this blog this year. That’s a goal I feel good about sharing, and hopefully this makes me somewhat more accountable than I usually am with my writing goals.

I hope we all have a fabulous and prosperous 2020!