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  • Lijing Cobb

Awakening

First day of spring is in a week. While I’m really looking forward to that, as if that day is significant for something, I’m holding onto the days I have until then, one more week of winter when the body is more dormant than the rest of the year. If you are like me and ask yourself why you are so lazy these days, this is it. We are about to wake up from the inertia of winter, and just like when we try to wake up from a long nap, this is the time of struggle. The body wants to stay inactive, while our biological clock knows that it is time to wake up and get moving. The struggle is real.

Yesterday I took a nap on the couch from 9:45-10:45 in the morning. Normally the nap bug doesn’t hit me till around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, but I succumbed to it anyway. Why fight it? When tired, sleep. After lunch I encouraged my kids to go out and play in the fresh snow, and they encouraged me to go out and play with them, so I fought back the urge to say no and stepped outside to join them. For an hour we were out, making snow balls and aiming for each other, chasing, laughing, while the dogs romped around.


After we got in, I commenced a movie marathon on the couch where I’d already spent an hour that day. 2 hours later, we finished our first movie. My 10yo had started making pizza from scratch in the morning, so she went on to finish the pizza while I forced myself out of my lethargy and got on the mat for some deep stretches. When I went downstairs pizza was ready, and as everyone else ate I preoccupied myself with cleaning up instead, all the while telling myself that it is necessary for me to move my body and prepare for more activities in the days to come.


After dinner and cleaning up, we had about 4 hours till bedtime. I had suggested earlier to the kids that we should play a new game when daddy came back, and it was time to do that. But clearly my 10yo was also on the same timeline as me and wanted to build her house in her Minecraft world instead. So children and adults went separate ways. My husband suggested that we watch the new Ryan Renolds’ movie The Adam Project, and I wholeheartedly embraced his suggestion because, you know, it’s Ryan Renolds. The movie turned out to be excellent, and while Ryan was entertaining as usual, it was Mark Ruffalo’s performance that brought quite a few tears to my eyes. When it was over and Netflix suggested another movie with the young Ruffalo in it, I pressed the play button again, since it was only 8pm. Shortly after Just Like Heaven started, our kids met their quota of video games for the day and came up to join us, so all 5 of us were squeezed into a small section of the couch (prime real estate, obviously) to watch this last movie of the day. My son wedged his body in between my husband and I so tightly that from time to time he had to de-squeeze and stretch out his numb ribs, but he persisted in staying there. My 7yo first sat on my right arm as she finished her ice cream, then sat on my belly for the rest of the time, because apparently that was more comfortably for both of us. Aside from covering their eyes and groaning when the fated kiss finally happened, the kids enjoyed the movie just as much as the adults.


By 10pm we were in bed. Altogether I had spent about 7 hours on the couch yesterday, and stayed lazy. It was perfectly fine. My body and mind appreciated the break.

Some days are just like that, right? My husband came back home from a long day at work (every day he comes back home from a long day at work), and as he sat down at the table, looking exhausted, he looked at me with a smile on his face, but the words that came out of his mouth contrasted sharply with his smile and relaxed body language.

“It is so depressing to come home from work, and then have to go back to work in the morning and do it all over again.” He sighed. He’s feeling the drag too. Unlike me who has the luxury of talking about and staying lazy in the low energy winter period, my husband has no choice but to keep going full steam every day. He’s going against his biological clock.


A few months ago I had told my husband that I thought he could thrive in any environment, under any circumstance. Uproot him to a country with no money, no friends, no connection, where people speak a different language, and somehow he’d make it work. I truly believe that. Yet this man is offering me an apologetic smile and using the word “depressing.”


Before he left for work this morning, my husband came over to give me a hug as usual, and thanked me for a relaxing night. Watching two movies on that couch with me and then the kids was exactly what he needed to decompress and move on to the new day again.


The two inches of snow we got yesterday is frozen to the ground and tree branches today, but the weather forecast predicts temperatures in the 50’s, 60’s, and even 70’s over the next 10 days. What’s frozen will soon be thawed out. All we gotta do is use caution and move slow today, and before long we will see the ground clear and signs of new life come along. The new day and first light always bring with it so much promise and hope. That’s the rhythm of the day, when we are called to action by the bright light. Evenings, rainy days, cold days, windy days: they are all nature’s way of telling us to stay in and enjoy quiet activities.


In whatever station of life we are at, never despair or fidget to get out. Let the transition from one phase to another be smooth. Even the most resilient of us goes through dark days, so don’t forget to go outside and enjoy the sunshine. As I line up movies on Netflix and Amazon to watch with my husband at night, I look forward to sharing the quiet time with him when he can feel that everything is quite all right.


This plant is done with winter and ready to share its vibrance with us in the warmer weather. Just a few weeks ago it looked lifeless.


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