Sometimes, after dinner, the dishes washed and the kitchen reasonably cleaned, a window of time opens. My family disperses into their various corners of our home, allowing me to settle into the living room. I switch into comfortable clothing and I wrap myself in the soft, oversized blanket my wife gave me for Christmas.
Tonight, I look outside, into the darkness, where the only light comes from the faint glow off the newly fallen snow. I listen to the breeze shaking the trees, rattling the house, causing the chimney to whistle.
During an awful pandemic that mostly restricts, in the midst of a Minnesota January, freedom can sometimes be found. There are options for what to do I don’t remember always having.
There are times when I light a fire in the fireplace and drink some herbal tea before settling into some pleasure reading, writing, or Netflix. Occasionally, a family member joins me for a game of Yahtzee or Quirkle. Some nights I go upstairs and settle into my tub, surrounded by candles, smells of lavender, and classical music played by Alexa.
In the past, I probably would have interpreted these unstructured, unplanned, unexciting nights as “boring.” However, I’m now finding power in reframing them as opportunities to “settle.”Continue reading