Brand new styles!!!! The Wrapper, the Tulip, and Seafoam! Oh my!
The Slow Traveler
Carolyn captures a perfectly romantic idea of January spent hibernating.
(Read on for more on that.)
(all images above were taken from @theslowtraveler on instagram.)
New images over on the site. It feels like a breath of fresh air to have a shoot over on the site with a spring-y, crisp look.
Taking it slow, hibernation and "wintering".
noun The act of one who or that which winters in a specified place or manner.
Ok, so I think this word is traditionally used in conjunction with migrating birds or people of a certain age who flock to Florida for a three month sun spell, but this idea of "wintering" has been a re-occuring side-theme for me just recently.
Another definition I read-
noun Provision of fodder, shelter, etc., for cattle during winter.
I think what's emerging in my head this January are thoughts around provision and preparedness. What exactly do I need at this time of year and how to I provide this for myself. Accepting that a change may be necessary. I may want to tweak my "normal" routines or behaviours in order to accommodate for a tougher time of year.
If I think, I can feel the memories of that first truly sunny day of each year.
I can really sense the relief it sparks, I can hear myself commenting on it to my colleagues, I can see in my mind's eye the smile that accompanies the chat. For me, there's a tipping point somewhere in late-March where I feel something ease and settle. I relax my shoulders a little more, perhaps remove a metaphorical layer of clothing as the sun-filled air around me facilitates a "softening".
When that tipping point occurs, I suddenly realise how tense I've been since Christmas. Shoulders have been hunched tighter than they should perhaps have been, body has been wrapped up against a chill that has perhaps kicked more than just my hypothalamus into overdrive.
I realise only with this release, how I have been feeling and behaving. Having to work harder under the conditions to keep up.
This year, I'm attempting to notice the change in real time, as it happens... to provide for it, even? Words that spring to mind when I imagine this provision I'm aiming for-
Reading back through that list of words, perhaps what I'm actually referring to is a hibernation of sorts. Rather than flocking to a warmer climate in order for "normal" behaviour to continue, I'm leaning towards a tweaking of the behaviour itself, at least until the sun comes back and that little something eases.
For me, it's an awareness of my commitments and the pressures I place upon myself (or allow to be placed upon me.) This is the way I can arrange a hierarchy of needs/activities, and let the bottom few drop off. I find my personality needs to perpetually practice this letting go- accepting that it simply won't all get done does not come naturally to me. It's this letting go of the less important stuff that is the provision. I'm working on it.
I'll keep it simple. It's Thursday afternoon (my day off) the house is clean from top to bottom, I'm snuggled with the pup and a great book on the sofa. This was the Thursday just gone and it was bliss.
It's my birthday coming up. I'm having a joint party at my house with my partner, and I love the planning-the-outfit and finding inspiration part almost as much as having the actual outfit figured out. Here are some of my inspo images (all taken from Pinterest.)
Rest, 7 ways.
I saw recently on Rida @beforeandagain's stories (tap for a link to Rida's profile,) a video that referenced 7 different types of rest and it really resonated with me.
The video prompted me to research more into this topic. In case you were wondering, here're the 7 different types of rest and how I plan to incorporate more of each...
Physical - Sleep, scaling back physical activity when my body is tired.
Mental - No screen, meditation, deep breathing. Heading to a particular place in my mind's eye.
Social - Try to socialise with people who fill my cup, be aware when I'm around people who drain it, and create time to top myself back up. Working on healthy boundaries.
Creative - Pure escapism. A meditative run in the countryside, a fantastical novel.
Emotional - Therapy. Offloading to close friends. Recognising my feelings and allowing for them. Being around people who also allow for them. Journalling.
Spiritual - Connecting to something bigger than me. Meditation, the moon, the annual changing of the seasons, month by month.
Sensory - Switching off technology. Fresh air. Sunshine. Moonlight. Sunrise and sunset. Silence and peace.
8. Self Care
Sleep and preparing for rest.
I have a strange relationship with sleep.
As a teenager, I really struggled with periods of definite insomnia, and I remember finding these times stressful at that age. Leaving home and embarking on student life seemed to temporarily cure me. My first year of parenthood with my eldest son plunged me into a phase of dreamless, heavy sleep. I remember at this time of my life, it was as if a switch was flicked as soon as my head hit the pillow- unusual for me, sleep is generally more elusive in my experience. But this was the type of sleep fuelled by sheer physical exhaustion, and not particularly restful. Second time around with baby number two seemed less extreme- perhaps I was already weathered. My relationship with sleep has been in a constant state of flux, up and down, up and down.
For as long as I can remember, my sleep quality has been dictated not just by the phase of life I find myself in (as above), but also by something "supernatural" which comes and goes. I'm not saying I've ever seen a ghost, I'm not even sure what I believe on that front, but the undulating levels of peace I experience at night time, are often prompted by a mild fear of, or at least an awareness of an unknown... something?
Sometimes its plain anxiety- a big launch I need to prepare for, a large bill about to be paid, the usual stuff. On those nights, I can see the situation for what it is and draw a certain comfort. Often though, it's something truly unexplainable that keeps me awake and I'm often very hesitant to even say the words (supernatural, ghostly, presence etc.) out loud to my partner in order to communicate what I experience, for fear of summoning something (I'm not even sure what?!)
Hotel stays have always been a struggle. It takes me a good week to trust a room.
I guess what I'm slowly coming to here, is that sleep does not come easily to me, and truly restful sleep can be even more slippery. For this reason, I am always aware of what works for me and what doesn't. Some things I'm trialling just recently, which have been really helping to repeatedly ease me into a restful sleep are the following-
Water. I often find on the nights where I've neglected to drink enough water through the day that my downtime is disturbed and I have that type of sleep where I'm not even sure in the morning what time was spent awake, and what unconscious.
Screens, especially phones. This is a component I've been aware of for some time- my phone is perpetually on silent and switches into downtime at 9pm, has done for months now. I've stepped that notion up a notch recently. From about 8pm, once the kids are asleep and the dog is walked, my phone remains in another room entirely whilst I rest in the evening. On nights where I read a book or chat to my partner, I find that I sleep far more soundly than the nights where I spent the precious evening time watching a tv screen or scrolling on my phone. This is taking discipline right now- I'm consciously breaking old habits and forging new ones.
Walking in the evening. Once the kids are asleep, I take the dog on a walk. Every night. She loves it, I love it and the fresh air and time away from the house acts as a great defining point in my day, I switch off from Paris the mother or boss and become just Paris.
Lighting. This is another topic I've always been conscious of. I'm not into the big light being on at home. At all. Ever. I know this chat is strangely polarising- in my experience, you're typically either a hater of the big light, or you just don't get the fixation at all. I'm the former. Again, I find the need to ramp this idea up a bit when it gets to evening downtime. Even lamps get turned off, or at least turned down. I really do feel the final few hours of the day spent in dim light (think cocoon/chrysalis vibes) prepares me for sleep and builds towards a more complete rest thereafter.
Silence. Follows on from the above. On the nights where the TV is off and a blanket of silence is allowed to descend, I find the rest I need is easier to attain. Evenings where my partner and I quietly chat on a topic, plan something together at the kitchen table, or simply sit reading in silence with each other on the sofa are followed by nights where I feel more at ease and relaxed.
9. Lusting After
Gucci x North Face Boots.
Not going to happen, but these boots have been stomping around my dreams of late.
10. Grateful for
Music for Airports, Brian Eno or Mixing Colors Roger Eno, both abums to accompany my hibernation.