December recipes for life

Only 13 days until the sun will turn. I wait for that day more than for Christmas. Here in Norway the winter is called mørketida, which means “the dark time”. And I came to realize that it is not the cold which is the most difficult in winter (now it is not cold at all), but the darkness. I grew up in Ukraine with cold winters – and I never complained about winters. But I grew up with the longer light day. And here what keeps me down is the light day from 9am till 3am. If we can call it light. Some days feel just light nights, or early evenings. November this year has been amazingly full of light. Little rain, a lot of sunshine. And I kept through thinking: “um, this is not so bad, I got used to Norway”. But December hit me with the short dark days and long darker nights, and I feel like a half of myself.

And this is what I like the least. Not the biting cold wind, or icy streets, or late sunrises, or no sunrises. But this version of myself. I feel reduced to 50%, like I am on the season sale already 🙂 I love that bubbly Marina that I know from summer. The one that is possible in sunnier place even in December. But this one, tired, sick, complaining – this version of myself I don’t like. But let us not stop here. Here I have stopped so many times in my life. I have pitched a tent in this place and lived there for a long period. Until I learnt: this doesn’t work. This doesn’t help. And if I don’t want to go down that road again, I have to find something that helps.

So here I want to share what has helped me so far. Small things that have kept me up this week. And so far so good, as I learnt from the story I share in this post. So here are the things:

  • going through old photos (and feeling those emotions again)
  • waiting for the package (clothes I ordered on Black Friday)
  • waiting for Saturday night and going out to dance
  • red lipstick
  • pretty dresses for work
  • …and general decision to look good and feel good
  • latin hits on my way to work (when I arrive swinging)
  • …and the same music on my way home, walking fast for half an hour, dancing in my heart
  • the red flower of poinsettia (called in Norwegian julestjerne, which means Christmas star) on my table
  • my friend’s phrase “life is alegria” (life is joy), and trying to find proof for this (when you search, you find)
  • red whine on Friday night

This week I was sick, the sun was gone and my own sun (my man) is away in his sunny hometown. I started to feel like going down the negative spiral, my oh my, this way I know way too well. But suddenly I decided that I will not give up without a fight, and somehow I have pulled myself up by the hair. Just by the pure intention of having fun that day in whatever circumstances. And I loved myself the way I was that day. I even got better suddenly. I have heard that winter is the time when the nature is falling asleep, and maybe, we should fall asleep with it – so we can wake up in January. Though I would love to hibernate, but I don’t have a chance to. When I am not asleep, I still don’t feel awake. And to be honest, if this would be the last day of my life, this is how I would love to be that day: smiling, flirting/joking, with red lipstick and a pretty dress, standing strong and walking with the head high, swaying to the tropical rhythm playing in my head. Viva la vida! Whatever happens. I want to have a Mexican passion for life – even in the Nordic conditions.

And here are some memories from a different December. Two years ago we were on a road trip around Andalusia. My favorite part of Europe where I feel myself home, even in the unknown streets. Our first destination was Malaga which I love madly, where I had had some adventures during summer Spanish course. This time I arrived on my own, waiting for my man to arrive later, and walking with my new camera, my little sweet Olympus Pen, drunk on the sunlight and on the love for a place. I could sit and sigh that this December I will spend totally in Oslo. Or I could admit how rich I am to have all those places in my life. There are forever a part of me. If you have ever had strong feelings for a place, you know what I mean. Rise up your hand, all you lovers out there!

I would love to hear your ideas too. Do you have tricks that help you survive this season? What are your sources of joy in December? Let us share the wisdom! 🙂

plaza de la Constitucion
ready for Christmas


view over harbor
promenade and the lighthouse

4 thoughts on “December recipes for life

    • Maybe, living in Italy you don’t miss Spain. Like the Spanish who travel to Norway bc it is so exotic for them 🙂 I love Spain though, but it has been my passion since childhood 🙂
      Thank you, darling! Red lipstick really helps sometimes))

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So this is your secret to surviving 11 winters in Norway! 🙂 Hehee! My secret is coffee, chocolate and daydreaming. But now I’m trying to not daydream, but to rather live in the moment and enjoy every little detail of every day. This is hard because a )I’m a dreamer and b )it makes the dark days seem even longer! But all jokes aside, you are right. No amount whining will help, better change your attitude or your location. For me, I’m working on my attitude. Lets see how it goes… it’s a process, won’t happen overnight! Ps. I have an Olympus, too! An E-PM1 Mini, not sure if it’s part of the PEN series or not, but it looks pretty similar! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • These are just some of my secrets 😉Before I used to write “winter survival strategies” in advance, now I just collect what works. Feel like systemizing would be nice, so maybe blog will do that for me)) I know everything about whining, but then again I know so much about the dark sides that I don’t want to go there anymore. Before I would just fall through into it – now I know the way and try to stop when I see myself starting on that road. Complaining is just not effective (I know I tried :)), though being honest with oneself is crucial. I am working on that balance. And good luck to you in your work too 😉
      P.S. Hello, Olympus buddy 👋 those small ones are so lovely, don’t you think?

      Liked by 1 person

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