Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Finding hope in Mother Nature

I live in a climate that sees much seasonal change. I've always enjoyed experiencing all that each season has to offer. I love the warm, hazy days of summer - the overabundance of blooming vegetation; clear blue skies filled with white, fluffy clouds; walking bare foot through the grass; and letting the sounds of a thunderstorm lull me to sleep. Autumn also fills my heart with gladness - the harvest of so many delectable foods, pulling out comfy sweaters to combat the crisp air, pumpkins! (I love pumpkin flavored foods), and the gorgeous array of colors. 

The fall colors were spectacular here this year. 
The majesty of autumn. I don't like to say that I have a favorite season, but I am quite partial to fall. 

And then the leaves fall, leaving behind a drab landscape. The days begin to grow even colder and the first light dusting of snow appears. I love seeing the dull, brown earth blanketed in a clean layer of white. I love bundling up to go snowshoeing in the woods. I pull out my really thick sweater, don comfy wool socks and enjoy tromping through the snow. The woods are so quiet and pure on a cold winter's day. I even love trudging down a snow-filled sidewalk in the middle of town. I enjoy brushing the snow off my car and driving on the slick streets - it makes every day feel like an adventure. 

Taken on a recent winter snowshoe trek

Above all, I love that underneath that beautiful layer of snow the world is beginning anew. Winter is a time for the earth to recharge, to shed the old and prepare for the new. Magically, as the season begins to change, the dirty piles of melting snow recede to reveal the first green glimpse of spring. It's a magnificent cycle that showcases Mother Nature's genius.

Now, as the world around me waits in wintry anticipation for the arrival of spring, I like to imagine that my body is doing the same. I've been spending a lot of time nourishing myself - acupuncture, herbal supplements, eating right, sleeping well. Perhaps this time of nourishment will reawaken my fertility - maybe my spring revival is just around the corner.

Taken last spring - this tiny crocus was the first thing to bloom in our yard.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Recapping my not so glamorous fall/winter

I know I disappeared for awhile and some of you may be wondering what I've been up to. I wish I could say that amazing things have happened in my absence, but they really haven't. Life has been sliding by rather uneventfully over the past few months. 

This fall I participated in a community theater show. It was a musical so there was a large cast full of delightful people. My niece and nephew joined me in the ensemble, which I absolutely loved. I'd never shared the stage with any relatives before so it was a real treat. 

The holidays flew by in a blur of calorie-laden food and family get-togethers. We hosted J's family Christmas for the first time. This seemed to be a big deal for J. He went a bit overboard with presents and decorating, and I went a bit overboard with baking. My family enjoyed a few days together at my dad's home. We spent the days playing in the snow and huddled by the big fireplace in the evenings... and ate. My family can't help but gorge ourselves when we all gather together. 

I actually ended up getting my period when I was at my dad's. I was extremely moody in the days leading up to Christmas and my period was a couple days late, so naturally I began to hope. Seriously, I don't know if I've ever been that moody before. Everything pissed me off... everything! Then I started to get pissed because it was Christmas and I didn't want to be pissed. Poor J, he took my mood swings like a champ. 

I just got my period again the other day and thankfully it did not begin with the same bout of moodiness. I don't know if I could handle it two months in a row!

I've been seeing an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility issues since late September. I find the treatments extremely relaxing and have been noticing subtle changes in my body. My period cramps are now almost non-existent (okay, this is actually a HUGE change), I generally feel more relaxed and well-rested, and my PMS symptoms have been lessened (except for the pre-Christmas mood swings from hell). I'd like to think that I'm on the right path, but I still have doubts. I'm not getting any younger. Can I afford to spend so many months on this or should I move ahead with other treatments? I waver back and forth. 

At the moment I am whiling away the last few moments at work. It's been a slow day and I'm looking forward to going home. It is absolutely frigid outside so I am not exactly looking forward to heading out into the cold, but luckily I know I have a cozy chair and a cuddly dog waiting at home.