28 January 2008

how to get through January

I know that many people who consider moving north fear the darkest months, when it can seem like you never see day, so here's a list of the things that have made this January manageable and even entertaining.
  • the car. Sad to say that this has made the biggest difference, but when you're talking snow being blown into interestingly sculptural drifts by hurricane force winds, it matters to not be waiting for a bus in it.
  • Just like my mama said, you have to get outside and do something active. It's why we grew up skiing and why I've been swimming regularly. Lying in a hot tub while the snow flails around you is grand, not to mention that perfection of warmth. Plus, the sting of cold snowflakes on your arms will make you swim faster. The perfect training motivation!
  • Dinner parties. Candles, cabernet, and conversation help make those hours and hours of darkness rather cozy.
  • Lots of coffee. My most recent round of place-to-live negotiations have involved more socializing over coffee than actual details-of-apartments discussions. When the weather's neither ski-able nor hike-able, nor mow-the-lawn-able, everyone's much more willing to while away the hours of a gray afternoon over pots and pots of coffee.
  • Big windows. My new office has a vast view across Esja and the mountains to the northeast, so the scraps of daylight are captured and appreciated to their maximum.
  • Escape. Sure, it was only Norway where it gets darker earlier in the day (and lighter earlier) but at least it's a change and a new perspective.
Really though, I think it's just having spent more time here and being used to the rhythm. Plus, by January the sun's on the upswing, so you know that brighter days are ahead.


Northern musings said...

I wish I could start work at 10am. Then I think I could face the day. Did that today and am still fired up and here at 17:45 (albeit reading some blogs - but hey you do need some down time). It is much easier to go to work in daylight and come home in the dark - than go to work in the dark and come home in the dark - no matter how good the coffee is or the view. But that is just my SAD talking - otherwise I love it here - so much more agreeable than +40°c

tsduff said...

I would just love to have that view at work... LOL not that you can see much in the dark. Winter is on the wane, and soon the sun will again make its home over Iceland. You always make Esja sound so beautiful - she is.

ECS said...

musings: I have to confess that sometimes I do start at 10. My office is flexible so sometimes I just have to give up and go in late. I just love the chance to witness so much sunrise- even when it's at 11 a.m. it's still a special time.

tsduff: Well, by now it's not dark for most of the day, since twilight starts at 9:15. It's a whole day of mountain-gazing! And yes, it's a beautiful mountain and I never get tired of looking at it in all the permutations.