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! 🙂