Blog, Living, Simplicity

Winter Nesting

Winter Nesting.

This last few weeks I’ve felt the need to stay home. Pottering, cleaning, fixing, making. I usually love to be out in the freezing cold, or in the wind and rain, but for some reason the pull to stay indoors is strong. A little routine is developing – feed the birds, de-ice the bird baths, sit and watch the garden with a hot cup of tea. Slowly come around and begin to potter around the kitchen, tidying away the washing up from the draining board. Loading the washing machine. A quick whizz round with the hoover. Small things.

I’ve wanted to retreat more and more recently. It seems part of a bigger shift, to step away for a while, to feel deeper rhythms somehow. It’s always been hard to let go of online connection, but the last few months I found it easier and easier. It was the right time to lose social media. It was the right time to stop listening to the news. It felt like a sort of saturation point had been reached and after that, it was easy to switch off.

I’ve retreated from real life a little, too. I’ve been rubbish at keeping in touch with people and lockdown has dragged on. It’s been hard to keep myself afloat in this third national lockdown, although where I live we’ve been in enhanced measures for most of the last 12 months. Part of me is used to it now. Part of me is worn down. What was it like to meet friends in a café? To sit next to someone without wondering just how many viral particles are floating around in the intervening space? How does it feel to hug someone, to put an arm around their shoulder, to laugh loudly without covering your face with a mask? What is this doing to us long term… I wonder.

Small rhythms, though, are getting me through. Withdrawing has been cathartic, in a way. Putting on mascara for a teams lecture is a big event. Going to the supermarket once a week is huge. I shop differently, picking up the things on the list, not lingering to browse, not really seeing any new items. A quick round and out and back home. Mask off. Hand wash. Breathe out.

Evenings are spent in blankets, under cushions, with a twitch stream or youtube video, a magazine or a book. I’ve been spinning wool, something to do with my hands, a rhythm that quiets my mind. Flow. Making things with clay. Tidying up. Organising spaces. Usually I’d walk, and walk, and walk to calm my mind. But rhythms can be found in small things too and recently the desire to walk has left me. It will return, I know. In a week, or two, or more. It’s okay.

Simple things, solid things. Actions I can have control over. A space I can influence. I can’t change the news, I can’t change people’s opinions, I can’t change the world. But I can organise a cupboard, clean a floor, create a meal. I can make something out of metal and beads, I can play music, I can look after the wildlife in my garden. So this is what I will do, head down, out of the big rush of the world for a while. Quietly, softly. Nesting.


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6 thoughts on “Winter Nesting

  1. I’ve been doing similar things, Sal! I know we’re not in lockdown here in NZ, but for me 18 months of caregiving for my son (who has recovered from anorexia. Yay!) the pandemic, lockdowns, the election and insurrection in the US…I love the news. I love knowing what’s going on. I get passionate about social justice and write letters to my local MP, but right now the noise is just too much. I’ve installed Freedom.to on my phone and on my computer so I can’t go on any social media during the day. I’m playing more games on my phone, which my competitive brain loves! I’ve just rearranged the pantry, I’d be gardening if I didn’t have a frozen shoulder, so I’m listening to podcasts and doing online jigsaw puzzles instead. Without the constant FB, Twitter, Instagram noise, everything is calmer. I only check the news a few time a day. The time I’m not on social media, my brain is slower which means I feel calmer (I have ADHD. My brain is fast already…) I loved this post, it makes total sense to me. Sending love across the world xx

    1. Yey Clare! It’s such great news about your son’s recovery!
      I feel the same about life off social media, it is so much calmer, even if we’re busy doing other things – a different type of busy, I think. Doing, rather than consuming? If that makes sense…
      Love back across the world to NZ *waves* 🙂

  2. Nesting is what we are doing as well here in the USA. Speaking for my husband and myself, things seem a bit calmer after the inauguration. We will be able to register to be vaccinated soon. It may take a while to get an actual appointment, but knowing that we can at least register gives us hope. In the meantime we are making our home as cozy as we can, cooking good food, reading a variety of books, creating art, sewing/mending, doing little home improvements, as well as working from home. I have been minimizing how much news I consume, just enough to know what I need to know, not so much to aggravate my anxiety. Same goes for social media. I only use Instagram and I have limited the number of accounts I follow. Luckily my meditation teacher is tech savvy enough to conduct Zoom classes each week which helps calm me and gives me more connection to others. While I’m an introvert who loves her private time, I do so miss seeing my friends and family in person and am looking forward to gathering again in small groups to socialize in person again.

    1. I really get that too Annie, I’m an introvert too but am really missing friends and family now. Hopefully the end is in sight, it’s great news that you can register for vaccination, I think ours is going to be summertime by the time they work through all the priority groups but they’re getting through them quickly here in the UK (something going right is kind of a surprise!)

      I watched the inauguration from over the pond here, and it was like a big breath out – just a settling of calm, I’m glad it seems to be continuing. Meditation is wonderful, I’m in a whatsapp group that post links to meditations and it’s really helped and a way to connect when we can’t see each other in person!

      Glad you are nesting too 🙂 I think those everyday things are bringing a new level of comfort at the moment… 🙂

  3. Hi Sal, long time no see… Yes, it’s a strange season in some ways, though I have to admit we’re not very badly affected by the restrictions as some, leading a quiet home life etc. It’s actually been a pretty cosy winter and we even had substantial snow again after about 15 years of paltry scatterings, which was very enjoyable with nowhere to have to drive to! Yes, we miss going out to cafés and seeing some more vulnerable friends but spring is nigh and things are looking up, it seems.
    Are you still studying?!

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