The combination of the temperatures plunging over the weekend and the first official day of winter saw my mood take a dive as well.
Winter has not been my friend, especially in recent years given one child’s eczema flare-ups and the extra care needed to prevent and deal with those. The related need for limited air-conditioning and a carpet-less and relatively cushion-less house which means we have a constant battle with the cold. At least, I do. I can laugh about having to remind the kids to put warm clothes and socks on only so much until it’s really not funny anymore!
Then there’s just the whole big-family sickness thing where if someone brings something nasty into the house it takes ages to work its way through all of us. Seriously though, I have a bit of an anxiety problem which I’ve noticed is worse in winter. Summer living is just a lot easier, overall.
But time is precious, and three whole months is far too much risk having counted as a loss in my mid-summer memory. Hence the plan. I’m going to try to keep on top of the eczema this time, with a focus on coaching this child into taking on skin care as her own responsibility. Starting with typing up a little ‘happy skin plan’ for her today, based on her doctor’s recommendations. I’ve done an inventory of everyone’s warm clothes and starting buying a few things to fill in some gaps. I also bought new throws (non-wool) for our sofas, and a lovely woven basket with faux leather handles to store them in.
I’ve worked out a few events to look forward to that will see me and my family through winter relatively bearably. It’s a nice mix of cosy staying in and getting out and about. Maybe Winter 2016 will be our best one yet. Here’s hoping!
- Go to Vivid (Sydney’s excellent winter light and music show) again, this time taking the older children as well. This was the one really fun thing that stands out for me from last winter.
- Have a bunch of people over – one of our children is being confirmed in August so we’ll tie it in with that.
- Check out our local pub. We’ve never been. This Saturday could be the day my husband and I give it a try, which will make it the first of our winter date nights.
- Find a friend to come with me to take advantage of a week of free classes at the local gym in July. If you’re in striking distance of North Rocks Fernwood, and interested, and female (it’s a woman-only gym), and won’t laugh too much at me trying to lift weights, let me know.
- Go mandarin picking at a farm. This is an activity organised for our school’s families so there’s little effort required on our part, we can just join along.
- Take the family on a day-pilgrimage to go through the holy doors at a cathedral as part of the Year of Mercy.
- Find a new game to play at home, or a new jigsaw puzzle. Since the end of daylight saving after dinner and bathtime the older family members been enjoying doing a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle (see pic above), and the younger ones have done smaller puzzles or played together. Or we’ve played a board game or just read books or finished up homework or housework. It will be time for something fresh soon.
- Take the older children out one-by-one for a hot chocolate at night for a treat. Evening cafe options are limited where we live but there’s an Oliver Brown that will be open after dinner, and is enough of a drive away (10-15mins) to feel like we’re going somewhere, so that will work.
- Ask our single or older friends over mid-week sometimes. A couple of weeks ago one of the children’s godmothers came over on a Tuesday night after she’d finished work, and it was a lovely change to the usual routine and our usual mid-week mood! It gave the kids an incentive to have their homework done quickly as well.
- Go to the movies. A friend and I had pencilled in a night at the movies soon. I don’t know what’s showing at the moment. Let me know your recommendations!