Saturday, March 4, 2023

Boring But Not Bored

 At the beginning of the year I started a 5-year journal, with about one-by-three inches of space in which to recount each day of the year, year after year. When I get to the end of each day and jot down the events--read a little, wrote a little, worked a little (I have a freelance project going on now, which makes me feel more at home now in the capitalist system in which when people ask, "What have you been up to?" they usually mean, "What are you doing to move money around?"), made a little art, walked the trail, watched the birds, cooked dinner, tidied the house, maybe knitted a bit or grocery shopped or talked to someone on the phone--I think something along the lines of "Wow, my life is really boring." Only the thing is, I don't *feel* bored (although I did go through a restless period last weekend, wherein I felt like I need a big project to work on, something physical and not reading-writing-art related, like building a shed or remodeling a bathroom; luckily I did not act on this impulse, and the mood, which I diagnosed as spring fever, eventually passed).

February can be a hard month, with the first halfway between the solstice and the equinox, a good eight to twelve weeks until spring in my neck of the woods, no matter what the groundhog says. Though the days are perceptibly longer and the quality of light more golden, we started the month with the coldest weather of the year (-14.4 on 2/4) and we're wrapping it up in a similar vein (-0.8 this morning). The freelance job I'm doing is on a heavy topic and many of the books I've read this month have been heavy as well, and I've had to antidote it all with a heavy dose of rewatching ridiculous television shows every night. 

For all these reasons, February is the month I most feel like hibernating, by which I mean loading up the wood stove and reading a little, writing a little, making a little art, knitting a bit, walking the trail, watching the birds, fixing a pot of tea in the afternoon. Maybe burrowing is more what I mean than hibernating--cozying down into a pleasant waking doze beneath a comforter with a plate of cheese nearby: torpor, dormancy, senescence. In other words, exactly what I've been doing.

Which isn't to say I've done nothing at all this month--at the beginning of the month I caught up with a few friends at a party and led a full-moon hike at a nearby nature center; yesterday Z and I met up with M for a day of cross-country skiing on some gorgeous groomed trails, and the snow was so perfect I decided that perhaps, rather than hanging up my cross-country skis for good (which I'd been considering, because I always feel so resistant to going), I'd instead trade them in on a pair that isn't missing the back half of one of the bindings and the top half of of one of the pole handles and most of the pole baskets, along with some boots that are warm and comfortable and don't raise blisters. In between I had a book talk and met a good friend for lunch and had countless appointments. And now that I'm nearing the end of the month, I think I'm ready to wake up a bit, to poke my head out of my hole and see if I see my shadow. It is, perhaps, another symptom of spring fever.

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