On hibernating


picnic table sled run

Holiday yesterday in Ontario: Family Day. We celebrated by having a really fun weekend together, not doing anything much out of the ordinary. There were five soccer games, four of which were coached by us (Kevin, mainly). The truck stopped working in the extreme cold; thankfully, we belong to a carshare, and have friends whose cars still turned on, so we got around where we needed to go–and went nowhere else.

I was running this morning with a friend (yes, running! slowly, but without pain). She mentioned that in just six weeks or so we’d be leaving our state of hibernation. Can I admit something? I’ve really been enjoying the cold and the dark this winter. There’s a peacefulness to hibernating, to inhabiting the season. I can feel it settling all around me. Permission to sit in front of the fire and read.

Or to listen to podcasts. This holiday weekend, I spent a lot of time folding laundry, cooking, and washing dishes — far more than I needed to, but I need to do something other than snack while listening to podcasts. First, I tuned in to one recommended by a blog reader: On Being with Krista Tippett. I wanted to hear Mary Oliver’s voice. Listen, if you’ve got time. It’s totally worth it. And then, having discovered that it was possible to listen to podcasts whilst doing dull tasks around the house, I recklessly started listening to Serial, which I’ve been meaning to do for ages — just couldn’t figure out where “listening to podcasts” might fit into my schedule. I’m probably the last person on the planet to discover this show, but I can’t stop listening. Can’t stop! I need to bake some bread or something today …

Other hibernation-season activities ongoing …

daily meditation; writing; story-reading; playing ukulele while the 9-year-old practices her violin (at her request, I must add); reading with six-year-old and listening to his philosophical observations about life (especially while reading Calvin and Hobbes together); watching old episodes of Friends while doing physio exercises; spontaneously making plans with friends–yes, socializing!; and cross-country skiing, which I was lucky enough to do with a friend in the cold and the dark one evening last week while a kid was at soccer practice, an hour of genuine bliss

This sounds like a Grade One writing topic, but hey, I want to know: what are your favourite things to do in the winter? Do you like hibernating? Or are you longing for light and mud and spring?

xo, Carrie

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  1. Janis

    I discovered podcasts this winter too and LOVED Serial. Marion tells me that This American Life is next and there are hours and hours of it. (Also, I’m really enjoying hibernating. But also looking forward to wearing less wool)

    • Carrie Snyder

      Okay, you’re right, and not to complain, but taking off a few layers will save me a lot of time! Also, I finished Serial and now I need a book club-like conversation about it … good grief!

    • Carrie Snyder

      Enjoy the skating, Kerry! A skill I do not possess myself.

  2. Nath

    I like winter, and hibernating (and hibernating is just what we did on Monday. It felt wonderful and cozy.), but I’m looking forward to not feeling cold all the time. And not feeling like I need to plan my outerwear carefully lest I die of exposure on the way to work. Though I still need to go skiing at some point!!

    • Carrie Snyder

      Well, come skiing with me sometime soon!

  3. Margo, Thrift at Home

    thank you for the podcast recommendations. I don’t regularly listen to podcasts either, probably because I haven’t sussed out ones I like.

    I LOVE hibernating, too! Everyone seems to be ready for spring, but I’m still buried in books, sewing, and being snug. I love baking in the winter – trying new recipes (not always smart to have so many goodies around because I’m less active in the winter. . . ). I also love going outside, totally bundled up, to walk the kids to school or take a walk/talk with my friend. We also invite friends over for supper often in January and February – once the holidays are done with (I don’t enjoy them), it’s fun to be with friends without holiday pressure.

    • Carrie Snyder

      Happy hibernating! Here in Canada it looks like we’ll get to enjoy winter well into March, and honestly, I’m still not ready for spring.


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