During the darkest and shortest days of the year, it’s time to look for small joys to sustain me.
I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t manage cold well. I go inside and spin when the weather gets chilly. It’s a preference, not a rule. I don’t like riding in heavy clothes. It feels restrictive. I’d sooner ride in the high heat than a cold day. I can get on the bike down to about 40 degrees, but it’s not often that I do. Instead I spin in place, take advantage of warmer days when they pop up, and wait for spring to make riding outdoors more attractive. As I write this, it is the solstice. It is officially winter, and after today the days begin to get longer again.
Lately I’ve been taking in Christmas light displays with my girlfriend. There are several in the Washington DC area. It’s been a fun way to share the holiday season. That’s the kind of small joy that brightens up a stretch of short and cold days. It’s good to have the holidays coming up to spend time away from work and step out of myself.
Still, my holiday preparations are complete, and I’m taking care of small details. The bikes have to go in for yearly maintenance, my yearly checkup is scheduled, and I’ve gotten my COVID booster shot. The busy work before the holidays is nearly complete. There is always a flourish of activity at the end of December. I’m spinning toward Christmas and the New Year and appreciating small joys wherever I find them. In these short winter days, it pays to look for those small joys.