Today is the first real snow day this Winter! It has been snowing all day and the snow is landing! A Winter wonderland! Yay!
Of all the beautiful four seasons, I am most inspired in Winter usually. Inspired to create and take pictures and also just feeling inspired. All the seasons are inspiring but there’s just something about Winter….
Something about the gray, the cold, the barrenness, the sometimes somberness, the bare tree branches, the glistening white, the footprints and paw prints in the snow, cat, dog, and bird paws!
Something about dreary, dreamy landscapes and the warm, cozy feeling. The idea of firesides and soup brewing on the stove. A steaming cup of hot tea, frozen sunsets, Frigid sunrises, and Winter pj’s….
Something deeply inspiring!
I love the feel of warmth that flows through my entire body when I hold a steaming cup of hot tea or hot cocoa in my hands! The feeling of towels and hoodies just out of a dryer.
For the last few days I have been suffering devastating headaches related to my chronic pain disorder. These headaches are migraine- like headaches, not as bad as the cluster-like headaches I can get where I can’t lay down or be still and sometimes scream through the night til my throat is raw. But still absolutely devastating.
Sickly headaches on the one side usually, where I have to lay down, sensitive sometimes to light and sound. Dizziness.
A throbbing achy ache. It hurts.
Sometimes my headaches and facial pain generally occur, most days, and sometimes they go away and generally I’m pain-free, most days, or only in very mild pain that doesn’t interfere with me. It comes and goes.
But for the last few days, they have been occurring, most severely in the afternoon. A severe ache. Sometimes it’s hard to stand up.
They go away after a while but some days, quickly return.
My physical pain, even when it’s bad, usually doesn’t depress me even though I’m prone to temporary fits of depression. But it does sometimes provoke me to go into a “depressed-like” state. A state where I don’t get out of bed, sometimes for fear of making the pain worse, sometimes thinking what’s the point when I’m in so much pain. I stay in pj’s most of the day, avoiding things I like to do like putting my makeup on, art journaling, going out, even getting dressed..but it’s not depression. I still have the desire to do things, still have interest and appetite, it’s just I feel that the pain will either get worse or mostly ruin the fun of doing anything pleasant. And sometimes the pain is so physically severe I literally can’t stand up or I’m too dizzy and it throbs so much.
But it’s not good to think that way.
I’m going to feel the pain anyway so why not throw a little fun and inspiration into the mix!
Doing fun things as long as I’m physically able to, can help significantly. Help me cope, distract me, and allow me to think of something other than the pain. This pain hurts me not only physically but emotionally. It hurts to hurt so much.
But I won’t let it conquer me. If I want to stand up, I will stand. If I want to go out for a walk I will go. If I want to take pictures, to draw and paint, do stretches, I will. It takes courage and strength some days but I will muster the courage and the strength.
There is so much beauty to be thankful for!
Also when I keep doing fun, inspiring things even when it hurts, the habit will become more and more ingrained, the habit of having fun, coping when pain is overwhelming.
Sometimes my pain even sends me into a deep, deep abyss of dark despair or a full blown panic. But I always find my way back to the sunlight.
For a while my pain disorder has been mostly not acting up, I have been not hurting everyday, and even when the pain would arise it was brief and mild. But this disorder flares up terribly once in a while. It’s ok though. It’s to be expected and at least I’m alive to feel pain, right?! 😀
Whenever I want to crumble, I remind myself of the goodness all around me. The beauty of Nature, my books, uplifting quotes, people, animals, taking pictures….the fact that I’m alive, the fact that pain strengthens us and teaches us, deepens our empathy, compassion for others, and our wisdom if we allow it. I won’t let my pain be in vain. I won’t let it conquer me.
“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank
My head has been throbbing today but when I look out the window and watch the little flurries, when I take a walk and listen to the white crunching, feeling the cold embrace me, when I catch a snowflake on my tongue, tasting the wet coldness, and smell the fragrance of wet concrete and hear the cars sloshing through the sludge in the streets, it temporarily burns out the pain, the emotional pain that accompanies the physical and it helps me cope with the physical pain. I look up a foggy street of white like a dream and the magic ventures through my veins. I know I can go on.
Here are some of my pictures and my favorite Winter quotes!
“I prefer winter and fall, when you can feel the bone structure in the landscape—the lonliness of it—the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it—the whole story dosen’t show.” ~
“And finally Winter, with its bitin’, whinin’ wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow.” ~
“We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.” ~
“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” ~
While I usually promote living for the moment, not overlooking Now just to want something else, I love this quote and concept because it’s so full of hope. It shows that we have things to look forward to, whatever season (whether a season of Nature or a season of life) we are experiencing that may not be pleasant to us at the moment, it will end and something seemingly more pleasant will begin. It’s fantastic to live for now but also great to have something to look forward to and know seasons are fleeting.
“The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.” ~
“Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.” ~
“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” ~
“While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.” ~
“Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” ~
“Once something has outlived its usefulness in one area of life, its purpose for being in existence is no longer the same. The leaf that captures a stream of sunlight, and then transfers its energy to the tree, serves one purpose in the spring and summer, and another completely different one through the fall and winter.” ~
Each season, each day, each stage of life, each sentient being…is important.
“Each solstice is a domain of experience unto itself. At the Summer Solstice, all is green and growing, potential coming into being, the miracle of manifestation painted large on the canvas of awareness. At the Winter Solstice, the wind is cold, trees are bare and all lies in stillness beneath blankets of snow.” ~
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ~
“I love the scents of winter! For me, it’s all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce.” ~
I wish you much love, happiness, warmth, joy, and healing if you need a sense of healing. I hope you are staying very warm & cozy wherever you are if it’s cold. My heart goes out to anyone struggling with the cold weather or chronic pain or sickness, grief, depression, anxiety/panic, eating disorders….anything. We’re all in this together and we can help lift each other. We won’t all experience all of these things but we can use whatever experiences we have, no matter how serious or less serious, and our basic empathy to better understand to some degree, each other’s pain.
“I will keep a smile on my face and in my heart even when it hurts today.” ~ Og Mandino ❤ 😀