Winter Wellbeing: What are you doing this winter for you?

I live in the north where winter means snow. That means my garden is put to bed. Over the spring, summer and fall, my garden brought me more joy and benefit than usual this year of COVID. It kept me active and gave me precious time away from the computer screen. It was my refuge whether reading or just observing. It was also a place where, for a brief period, we could safely distance and be social with neighbors and friends.

I want to find a winter replacement. Something that gets me up and moving and away from the computer screen where most of my connections are happening these days. Ideally, I’d like to create something, not just clean a closet. Something that brings me joy. I want to do this for me.

What are your ideas? What are you doing for you and your wellbeing this winter?

@migizii

@mayofeb2020 thx for your feedback….I will try to offer occasional insights from my walks, but I’m not a photographer as I just enjoy being outside and being in the woods (as that is where we live). I have found walking in the winter to be such a quiet and peaceful time to walk and we (my husband joins me) rarely ever see people. Today an eagle soared overhead as it must have enjoyed the strong winds that made it very cold and not quiet…..but seeing an eagle (migizii in Ojibwe) fills my soul. ❤️❤️

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@migizii, I had wondered about the origin of your username. How lovely to hear that it means eagle in Ojibwe. It sounds like you have a special connection to eagles. I'd love to hear more.

FYI to everyone: The winter project I'm turning my energies to is birding. I'm intent on backyard birding. My office is on the second floor and I have the advantage of seeing bird up close and personal in our backyard apricot tree. Especially in the winter it is full of cardinals, bluejays and juncos. The neighbor's property behind us is higher than we are and the red-tailed hawk family love to perch on their tall pine. Birding also gets me away from my desk. I'm learning more about identifying birds and their calls during morning and weekend walks. Naturally my thoughts often return to my garden as I plan which plants to use to attract butterflies, bees and birds.

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@colleenyoung

@migizii, I had wondered about the origin of your username. How lovely to hear that it means eagle in Ojibwe. It sounds like you have a special connection to eagles. I'd love to hear more.

FYI to everyone: The winter project I'm turning my energies to is birding. I'm intent on backyard birding. My office is on the second floor and I have the advantage of seeing bird up close and personal in our backyard apricot tree. Especially in the winter it is full of cardinals, bluejays and juncos. The neighbor's property behind us is higher than we are and the red-tailed hawk family love to perch on their tall pine. Birding also gets me away from my desk. I'm learning more about identifying birds and their calls during morning and weekend walks. Naturally my thoughts often return to my garden as I plan which plants to use to attract butterflies, bees and birds.

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I just walked from my sofa where we were watching the birds at the feeders – to my computer – we moved the feeders to the porch landing this Fall so we could watch from indoors, and it only took a couple days for everyone to find them. I just noticed we have a lone juvenile gold finch hanging around with the cardinals. And juncos are new here – we don't see them in summer. Every couple of days, the birds all disappear, and when I go for my walk I hear the eagles calling as they fly near here.

Here's a fun energy food for your feathered friends:
1 lb peanut butter, 1/2 lb lard, rendered suet or solid shortening (I use one plain suet cake from the farm supply store), 1 lb coarse cornmeal – melt together over low heat, let cool until semisoft and spread on a rough log or pine cones. Roll in hulled sunflower seed (optional) for an extra treat. Hang and watch the birds enjoy. If you use pinecones, I suggest hanging them with wire so the squirrels cannot steal them, which they do if you use twine. Store the extra, covered in a cool place and reapply as needed.

Wish I had a picture of the "feeder logs" our friend makes (not many rough-barked trees in Texas) – about 3-4" diameter & 18-20" long, shallow one inch divots drilled all over to hold the mixture, eye hook in one end for hanging. We use these in TX to fatten up the migratory birds before they begin the trip northward in Spring, here most seed eaters prefer them to suet.

I did this project with my grandson last week and we hung the cones from branches they could see out the picture window.

Sue

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@colleenyoung

@migizii, I had wondered about the origin of your username. How lovely to hear that it means eagle in Ojibwe. It sounds like you have a special connection to eagles. I'd love to hear more.

FYI to everyone: The winter project I'm turning my energies to is birding. I'm intent on backyard birding. My office is on the second floor and I have the advantage of seeing bird up close and personal in our backyard apricot tree. Especially in the winter it is full of cardinals, bluejays and juncos. The neighbor's property behind us is higher than we are and the red-tailed hawk family love to perch on their tall pine. Birding also gets me away from my desk. I'm learning more about identifying birds and their calls during morning and weekend walks. Naturally my thoughts often return to my garden as I plan which plants to use to attract butterflies, bees and birds.

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Hi Colleen! Although I read all the heartfelt messages that come in, I do it in the evening when my energy is low and it’s harder for me to focus and concentrate to give all of you my input, support and care. However, everyone, please know I care deeply for all of you and your journeys…..life has many roads we all must travel and there is so much support here! I thank all of you and am grateful everyday for this space❤️
Now, the origin of my username comes from the Ojibwe name for eagle. I worked with the Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe for many years and the eagle (migizi) is one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings. Although I am not of their tribal background or race, gradually they accepted me and gave me so much in terms of compassion, knowledge, and laughter. I worked in the capacity of mental health, providing therapy to severely emotionally disturbed children and youth in their small community in the school setting, in a Level IV special education program and the Alternative Learning Center. The kids and their families had so many challenges, yet the love that they shared was unconditional and endless in spite of the depths of grief their community often experienced. Ok, I guess I’ve rambled enough. As you probably noticed, I loved my job (in spite of intense stress), but had to retire due to Covid this year because my bronchiectasis interfacing with the kids would be too high risk for my health. Fortunately, I’m now 65 and Medicare is here for me. But now I grieve for the kids and leaving them without therapy right now…..eventually someone will be hired and then they will have new opportunities. Though, as I mentioned, they are used to loss and unfortunately, I am another loss to them. Sorry to make this sound sad….I also grieve my loss to not be there anymore but my health feels more stable, although my energy level continues to stay somewhat low. Thanks for asking and Have a wonderful holiday!

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@migizii

Hi Colleen! Although I read all the heartfelt messages that come in, I do it in the evening when my energy is low and it’s harder for me to focus and concentrate to give all of you my input, support and care. However, everyone, please know I care deeply for all of you and your journeys…..life has many roads we all must travel and there is so much support here! I thank all of you and am grateful everyday for this space❤️
Now, the origin of my username comes from the Ojibwe name for eagle. I worked with the Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe for many years and the eagle (migizi) is one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings. Although I am not of their tribal background or race, gradually they accepted me and gave me so much in terms of compassion, knowledge, and laughter. I worked in the capacity of mental health, providing therapy to severely emotionally disturbed children and youth in their small community in the school setting, in a Level IV special education program and the Alternative Learning Center. The kids and their families had so many challenges, yet the love that they shared was unconditional and endless in spite of the depths of grief their community often experienced. Ok, I guess I’ve rambled enough. As you probably noticed, I loved my job (in spite of intense stress), but had to retire due to Covid this year because my bronchiectasis interfacing with the kids would be too high risk for my health. Fortunately, I’m now 65 and Medicare is here for me. But now I grieve for the kids and leaving them without therapy right now…..eventually someone will be hired and then they will have new opportunities. Though, as I mentioned, they are used to loss and unfortunately, I am another loss to them. Sorry to make this sound sad….I also grieve my loss to not be there anymore but my health feels more stable, although my energy level continues to stay somewhat low. Thanks for asking and Have a wonderful holiday!

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@migizii, What a lovely reason for choosing the Ojibwe eagle name as your username. A big salute to you for the many years you devoted to also providing "compassion, knowledge and laughter" as you worked with the many children whose lives you've touched in the Alternative Learning Center.

People working in the mental health fields have personal attributes that many of us do not possess. You and they can only be admired for their abilities to work in fields of unique and highly stressful challenges. I hope realizing that will bring you deep satisfaction and pride.

There is an understandable loss and grief when we retire and separate from a profession that is more an avocation than mere career choice. However, all those whose lives you've enriched and improved will long appreciate your impact on their lives. Remember that no one can take away our memories of that which was most important to us.

For those of us fortunate enough to have spent our professional lives working in areas that we loved, retiring initially can bring a feeling that we've lost a large part of our identity. However, I have every confidence that you will find new additional ways to bring meaning to your life and those of others, much as you bring to these forums.

I remember giving a shout out too when I became eligible for Medicare in retirement! What a relief to benefit from that additional health care coverage! As often as I complain about the numerous shortcomings of our nation's medical providers, I am so grateful to be living in a country in which it took less than a year for scientists to produce the life changing Covid-19 vaccines.

Wishing you the best as you embark on this new lovely phase of your life called: retirement!

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@fiesty76

@migizii, What a lovely reason for choosing the Ojibwe eagle name as your username. A big salute to you for the many years you devoted to also providing "compassion, knowledge and laughter" as you worked with the many children whose lives you've touched in the Alternative Learning Center.

People working in the mental health fields have personal attributes that many of us do not possess. You and they can only be admired for their abilities to work in fields of unique and highly stressful challenges. I hope realizing that will bring you deep satisfaction and pride.

There is an understandable loss and grief when we retire and separate from a profession that is more an avocation than mere career choice. However, all those whose lives you've enriched and improved will long appreciate your impact on their lives. Remember that no one can take away our memories of that which was most important to us.

For those of us fortunate enough to have spent our professional lives working in areas that we loved, retiring initially can bring a feeling that we've lost a large part of our identity. However, I have every confidence that you will find new additional ways to bring meaning to your life and those of others, much as you bring to these forums.

I remember giving a shout out too when I became eligible for Medicare in retirement! What a relief to benefit from that additional health care coverage! As often as I complain about the numerous shortcomings of our nation's medical providers, I am so grateful to be living in a country in which it took less than a year for scientists to produce the life changing Covid-19 vaccines.

Wishing you the best as you embark on this new lovely phase of your life called: retirement!

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Thank you so much for your lovely and thoughtful reply.

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@migizii

@mayofeb2020 thx for your feedback….I will try to offer occasional insights from my walks, but I’m not a photographer as I just enjoy being outside and being in the woods (as that is where we live). I have found walking in the winter to be such a quiet and peaceful time to walk and we (my husband joins me) rarely ever see people. Today an eagle soared overhead as it must have enjoyed the strong winds that made it very cold and not quiet…..but seeing an eagle (migizii in Ojibwe) fills my soul. ❤️❤️

Jump to this post

@migizii Seeing an eagle is so beautiful I love now in a senior building and up on our roof saw a golden eagle so beautiful I walk as much as I can just found out I have stenosis in lower back When out walking I only see traffic no nature 😞

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