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California, New Zealand. Two passports, two homelands. And detours.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Operation Happiness: 9 things getting me through the winter


Not my finest season.

Happiness may only be a dog sunning itself on a rock. But I want it. And usually, and thankfully - very, very thankfully - nothing stands between me and unearned joy, peace, tenderness for the world, etc in spring, summer and autumn.

But winter. Winter, I'm a drooping flower. Anxious about everything. Restless, lonely, sun-starved. Overly navel-gazey, competitive. Sullen...

Augmenting the usual S.A.D. sack blast is a 360 life change for me in the last six weeks. Its a very wanted and positive change, but its a move from sun and wildernesses to a cold, light-less city and a job where I'm writing again, but it also requires me to act smarter then I am, and be a pain in the ass.

This is draining for a people-pleaser.

I spend a lot of time on the phone at a desk that is saturated in yellow post-it notes, on the fourth story of a grey building, which looks out to a clock on another grey building, and a grey sky above all of this, trying to compose hard-hitting questions on subjects I've had about 53 seconds to make myself all-knowing on (it's not always like that but on some days it feels that way).

This time last year, for a reference point, I was coming back from a cycling trip around Prince Edward Island with Angie Kelly, the wind and rain on our faces, sand in toes, blueberries and cheese for dinner, feeling lovely and alive and grateful...

Winter...ai, ai, ai....

My happy list so far: stormy walks on Oreti beach, weekend trips getting OUT of the city, Jo Seagar cooking school's apple cake, baked in the morning, so the whole house smells like cinnamon; late afternoon sunlight on the floor, my french press; waking up buried under duvets to see birthday flowers and sunglasses for when I need them, and I will, there will be light again; and Fleurs Place, my favourite restaurant in the world at Moeraki. Its like an old lighthouse with stained glass windows and fish that's come right off the boats and everything comes on these old plates, like something out of your nana's cupboard. As for the eharmony video: my flatmate downloaded for me after he came home one night to find me on the lawn, headlamp on, trying to coax a stray cat into our gargage with a chicken drumstick. I keep it as a cautionary tale.

And when all else fails to raise the spirits...

Bad boys in suits. It's my guilty pleasure winter thing.

So fun to watch them misbehave (from a distance)

Don Draper's best quote from clie on Vimeo.