Just as Mother Nature is beginning to hint at all things 'Spring', Winter is reminding us we are still firmly within its grasp. During this last week we've had wind, rain, hail, snow, ice and sunshine. The one constant is that is has been bitterly cold. We are now approaching the end of the first month of the year and so far it's been all good. Quiet and uneventful, but I like that. No plans or commitments, it's quite liberating. We've settled back into the Monday-Friday routine again and at the weekend, when Lily isn't attending yet another birthday party (seriously, how many invitations!?) we've been out walking. It has been really quite lovely, a little bit like an extended New Year break.
You see, this whole weekend business is quite new to us. Previous employment in retail and healthcare have meant weekends weren't really a thing, just the same with Bank Holidays. But since the end of last year it has all changed and we're making the most of it. Initially, strange as it may seem, it actually took a bit of getting used to but I think we've found our feet and settled into this new work/life balance pretty well.
Usually in January I have found myself wishing my time away, longing for Spring and some warmer weather. The lull after Christmas and the often dark, dreary days can lend themselves to me feeling low and inactive. More recently, however, I'm trying much harder to enjoy these chilly days and making a positive effort to look after my wellbeing. Thankfully, it seems to be working, although unfortunately, due to the weather conditions the running group hasn't been on for the last two weeks, but I've managed to get out on my own when it has been safe to do so. I've been for a gentle run along the lanes this morning which felt good. It is my mission to finally get fit this year and some health problems within my family have reinforced my need to be more proactive about this.
Last weekend we went to Keswick. The snowy landscape was beautiful and the still air meant that we didn't feel too cold. We walked up Walla Crag on the eastern shores of Derwent Water and following a gentle climb to the top, the sun came out and we were met with some gorgeous views. After a picnic lunch at the summit (along with a hopeful crow), we carefully made our descent down at the steep southern end of the Crag and meandered our way along the lake shore back towards the town, stopping briefly to take in the views and throw a few stones into the lake (as you do).
I'm finding that as long as I am wrapped up nice and warm, there is so much joy to be had in these cold Winter days. A joy, which previously in my yearning for some warm Spring air, I have been too stubborn to appreciate until now.