It's the third week of the month that always seems to fly by the fastest - January. I started this blog post feeling like I have nothing to write about, when in reality, so many things have happened in the past week. A get-together with friends, shopping for cat supplies in preparation for adopting a rescue cat next weekend, a busy week at work, walking over 10,000 steps in snow on a frozen sea, completing new Netflix series and learning a new board game.
It's been a month full of good, wonderful things... But at the same time it's also a month that's a bit more tiring than usual. So far, I'm doing better this year than most years at keeping up my gym and sleep schedule, but I have to say, the long nights and cold weather are getting to me.
Despite how pretty the snow is, and despite how wonderful my trip back to Malaysia was, I still feel the adjustments to the sudden change of weather and the different routine in my muscles and bones. Everything feels muted, softened, toned down, from my reflexes, to how fast I recover after a workout. Calm magazine describes it quite aptly - doing daily tasks feels like moving through treacle. You want to move faster but you feel weighed down.
Instead of fighting it, I'm learning to embrace this sticky feeling. Instead of the usual electropop songs I've been listening to I've been switching to haunting piano melodies or mellow acoustic tunes... Even while working out. Instead of more cardio I'm doing more stretching and yoga and slow, strength-building weight workouts. Instead of waiting for inspiration to hit me for this blog post I'm noting down observations and recording them, even if nothing that comes to mind is particularly eloquent or mind-blowing. Instead of thriller drama series on Netflix I'm watching historical period pieces like Hymn of Death and Flavors of Youth.
There's something about shifting pace with the turn of every season. Realizing that I will have to leave behind old rituals makes me appreciate them more. Ushering in new ones brings a sense of hope and anticipation. The whole process reminds me that nothing lasts forever, and everything will change. It reminds me to make the most of today, and at the same time, to prepare for the unexpected.
I've lived most of my life in a country on the equator, which means every month is not very much different from the next. Coming to a country where the change from summer to winter is so extreme, it's hard to ignore the lessons that the changing seasons bring. So even on days like these that feel like moving through treacle, I know that spring is just a few months away. I wrap myself up in warm fluffy clothing, light a candle, open the window to enjoy the wonderful smell of a wood fire from a neighbor's house across the road, put on some reflective music, and enjoy these little moments for what they are - rituals that will change with the seasons.