This winter has felt long. Khalil agrees. I think in future years, David and Khalil will take a mid-winter trip somewhere tropical. I am starting to get the hang of dressing for the weather, though. I have new taller boots, knee-high wool socks, and glove liners. I still need to figure out my neck. My scarf feels like it’s strangling me, but without it, I’m freezing.
Thank you, Jessica, for this life-enriching piece.
Jessica, you asked, "How do you stop the wind from tunneling down your collar?" Have you heard of a winter neck gaiter? It's a ring of fabric such as Polartec that fits over your head and keeps your neck protected from the wind and cold temperatures. My family starting wearing them during our eight years living in Illinois from 1999-2007. I believe that we found winter neck gaiters at Lands End. They're available from other vendors too. Google winter neck gaiter.
So many thoughts are racing through my mind after reading your beautiful piece. I have always overextended myself because I have difficulty saying no, especially to volunteer requests for school, church, scouts and sports. My parents were volunteers, so I thought that was what one did when you had kids. I volunteered for everything whether I worked full time, part time, or did not work outside of the home. Too much pressure is put on families to do too much! I used to feel relieved when a youth baseball game or practice was rained out. A much needed break! These days, I'm more careful to spend my time volunteering for things that bring me joy.
You asked, and I sympathize, because I am very susceptible to feeling strangled by scarves, and also know the need to protect the neck from winter gusts and snow. My preferred strategy is a scarf that is actually long & wide enough to fully go around my neck loosely, with some of both ends hanging down to my sternum. No knot. I have a Lands End one that is "CashTouch" - soft acrylic and 70″x 15″. Softness with a density of fabric is what I look for. Long enough that I can unwrap my neck and then pull the scarf through the sleeve while I'm taking off my jacket/coat.
I definitely think we all need to accept that we can do less than the larger culture tries to sell us on. What you describe, sitting in bed and writing, sounds perfectly productive enough to me.
I'm also a fan of a winter break for warmth and sun. It's something I found as an adult, and the mood lightening effect of getting off the plane in Florida, or California, or a Caribbean island is instantaneous and shocking in its intensity. Such a privilege, and so good for my soul.
Thank you for using some of your precious energy to help me connect with your truths and mine.
I love the 4 burner analogy. Also when did Khalil get so tall??