Saturday, January 10, 2015

{in which i am super melodramatic about my kitchen}

I've never loved winter. I've tried to, and I've been able to find things about winter to enjoy somewhat. I figured: hey. I live in Saskatchewan. Canada. It's colder than Mars here some of the time. I need to figure this out or my soul will just shrivel up inside me like a prune. Prune soul.

So, for the past few years, I've worked at it, and my investigation has yielded fairly predictable results. I've found that it's a matter of just getting out and being busy and not hiding away inside my dark house. So I'd bundle up in a million layers in -30 weather and walk down the street to the shops, I'd hit up the Mackenzie Art Gallery, I'd go to shows and hang out at the greenhouse with a friend and a cup of coffee. I decided that winter and I did not need to be in a romantic relationship, it was good enough if we hung out in the same social circle and remembered each others' birthdays.

This year, though, we're kind of in a fight.

It's too cold to bundle up and go out for a walk - for Sullivan at least - and we had to sell our car this fall so that means no midday adventures or art gallery walking or greenhouse picnics without some pretty particular planning. Which is fine, and it's not a huge deal, it's just that I feel like a hibernating bear, minus the sleeping part (which is kind of the point, right?).

Sullivan feels the same way, I think. He walks around the kitchen in the hilariously unsteady figure-eight of a person who has just discovered what legs are for, finds himself yet again at my feet, and, upon discovering that he is nowhere new despite all of those drunkish steps, cries his little eyes out (no, wait, that's me). I pick him up, he is content for about two seconds, then squirms out of my arms. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. REPEAT. PEPEAT. PEREAT. TEPEART. PETHEILSRJETSZZZ


So we embark on extravagant archaeology expeditions through the kitchen cupboards, we play capture the flag with the dish towel, we read the first half of every board book in his library, we make faces at each other for literal hours on end. Then we sit on the couch and stare wistfully out the window. He points frantically at the cars that drive past as if to say, "WHY NOT US?"

I don't know, man, I say. I don't know. Want to play Scrabble? 

He never does.


So, I don't know. I've been feeling a little fragile lately. Like I'm in danger of temporarily losing my mind, flying out the front door and tackling a random passerby, grabbing them by their hood strings and yelling, "Come in for coffee and lefse! We can play scrabble and listen to CDs!" Don't get me wrong; I like my life (and my kitchen) and I'm crazy thankful for it. I just need a change of scenery every once in a while.

It's okay though. I've felt this way before, and I figured it out then. I figured out what I needed and how to make it happen. Now I just have to recalibrate. There are a few more variables (no vehicle, small child) but it's not impossible.

For starters, I've recently begun getting up early. It feels counterintuitive, considering I'm mostly a zombie at the best of times lately, but I've realized that I need to do this. So I get up just a half hour early every day and sweat my brains out on the broken old elliptical in the basement. It's golden time, with zero interruptions, zero responsibilities, lots of time to think or not think if that's what I want. How does exercise make your brain feel so good? I don't really get it, but I appreciate it. I do that every weekday except for Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, I get up at 6 am to go for coffee at the Naked Bean with Liz. It's early, sure, but Barclay's at home then so I have a car and someone to watch Sullivan. I come home at 8, feeling refreshed and human and like I'm in less danger of tackling my neighbours.

I'm sure I'll think of other things. Maybe I just need to get more creative with my time here at home. I'm open to suggestions. And  ultimately, winter, like everything else, will end someday. (That was meant to be a hopeful, happy sentiment, but it came off a little morose. Sorry.) It's even supposed to get up to 0 next Wednesday, which is extremely exciting. I've already got the stroller by the door ready for a good adventure. Hopefully something involving royalty or pirates. Or just, you know, leaving the kitchen.

A thrill ran through my fingers typing those words.