winter wins

I've been writing off winter.

Actually there hasn't been much writing lately... bad choice of words.

I have been wishing away winter (yes, better) anxiously awaiting spring and colors and warmth.

Winter's reaction to my dislike? A slow, painful pace.

My relationship with winter is more complicated than most of the connections in my life. There is no denying the scientific effects of shorter days, frigid temps and less sunlight. It turns us into carb-loading sloths choosing a Friday night in over a night out on the town. I have had enough! I could move. Pittsburgh has it claws dug in my pretty tight though (I like you too, Pittsburgh). So crumble up that idea and throw it away. I could set up camp in a tanning bed, soaking up the warmth and lights all the way to happiness. Alas, the scientific effects of that idea are far worse. And to be honest, I enjoy being pale. No, I really do. Promise. So I will take a cue from my girl Leslie Knope and make a pros and cons list minus the cons. I know all the cons of winter. I have bathed in them for long enough already. Time to give the love to this winter with the three pros, three personal wins from this winter thus far. 



// Published // 
At the beginning of January the story behind my leap, in 500 words or less, was shared thanks to Holl & Lane Magazine. It challenged me as a writer. No extra frills, take out a sentence here and there and focus on the guts of my story. To date, it is the most straightforward, raw piece of writing I have yet to publish. It reminded me personal storytelling evolves, just as the story does.

// Ritual Groove //
I have hit my nightly ritual groove. Rituals are awesome, did you know that? The mere beginning of a ritual is a switch. It clears my mind and narrows my focus, no matter what could be clouding it at the time. Set aside all those hygiene habits, those are a given. First, before the sheets are pulled back I light a candle with a wooden wick. Ta da! A mini fireplace right on my nightstand. The crackle of the flickering flames soothes and calms. More hygiene habits - lotion on the hands, Vaseline on the lips and then I gently ask my pup to "get skinny." It comes as a shock to many that my husband and I still sleep in a full size bed. We do and so does our pup. There are no words to defend our tiny bed other than it just works for us. I reach for my book which currently is The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey and prior to that The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball and remove my steel bookmark that is an outline of a buffalo. I read until my eye lids way heavy and the words become blurred. Once the book is placed in safe keeping on pap's nightstand, I pray and blow out the flame of the day. Over the past few months, the end of the day has grown to be my favorite part of the day.

// Peregrinator's Paradise // 
Peregrinator's (per-e-gri-na-tor) Paradise is a business venture forged by my dear friend, Cara and her business partner. Tessa. They are determined to (and they will) bring folks "an affordable and minimalist lodging destination that focuses on giving travelers the opportunity to invest in experiences, while providing them with the comfort, convenience, and intimacy of a home in the heart of their adventure."  Sign me up! Late last year I was asked to hand write their new logo. Cara and Tessa wanted to ensure the image representing their Brand had the organic and personal touch that is implanted throughout their entire road to operation. On a dreary day in the 'burgh, Cara and I met at Alloy 26 and set to work. Whether it was the wide open space inviting room for endless creation or the spark between our ideas, the logo was set quickly. It was one of those creative moments that just clicked. I know these two young ladies will see their vision through, and I can say I was a mini puzzle piece to the grand picture. 

These might not seem like cataclysmic wins, but they are good for a pat on the back, a side smile or a mini self-dance party. Sometimes the small wins is all you need for the final push. Writing these three wins from this season is what I needed for a little pick-me-up. Okay winter, truce?

What are some of your winter wins?? They could be big, they could be small, they could be just right. 

Share and share some more below. 

Cheers, Jessa

Photos by the talented Jenn Ott

// wearing head to toe Free People - Santa Cruz Henley, Reagan Button Front Jeans, Dolman Quilted Jacket, Chloe Delicate Chain Bolo //