Becoming a bear cub

Is it the winter weather or the post-Christmas dinners? Something about this time of year, particularly this year, makes me feel like curling into a ball, like a baby bear cub, and just sleeping the days away.

I don’t seem to be the only one either, I’ve been checking in with friends and we’re all at it. Well, those of us, like me, who’re on Christmas leave; we’re sleeping like it’s an Olympic sport and reporting in on our impressive times.

This is the first year in I can’t remember when, I’ve got Christmas leave, besides the statutory days. I usually leave this time of year for my colleagues with children to take leave and be the one staying back to cover. I love to travel so used my leave for that or it seemed a complete waste of days off. Taking leave, to go nowhere, is a foreign concept for me. But, if I’m going to have to stay home, I’m going to embrace it. This time, staying home and staying in is for rest. I’m not starting projects, learning new things or using my time wisely – I’m turning doing sod all into an art form. It seems to be just the right time for it and if we needed any further excuse the government’s plunged us into something called “Tier 4” – don’t ask, it basically means stay home, again.

I spoke to Sadie and Nottie on the phone, both were still in their pyjama’s, as was I at lunchtime on a Monday. I’d recommended a new reiki sleep music that had had me having Alice in Wonderland type dreams. Nottie tried it and reported sleeping in to lunchtime, longer than she has in years. It’s my new favourite sleep music by MusiclyZen. I enjoy opening my curtains to let in the light of the moon sometimes too, it seems to stimulate calmness and just looking at it glow makes me smile.

Are we hankering for peace, respite or is it just the natural pull of what our ancestors would have done this time of year – when people lived in harmony with the natural world and light. Maybe that’s just me making excuses to be lazy. Laziness was sacrilege in my childhood home, so it feels a little rebellious to give into it now, even as an adult. There’s something more to this though, in my soul I know I need this time to replenish. I don’t need a book or a guru to tell me that, I feel it.  

Over Christmas I was visited by ghosts of travels and relationships past in my dreams, some re-visits I relished and some I really didn’t. I’m not one to dwell on the past, I don’t see the point, which is why I guess I’m forced to do it in my sleep sometimes. Not sure what’s happening astrologically to make a full week of it though, felt like car crash sleep therapy. Glad, that’s over!

I’ve found myself all through Christmas feeling retrospective – looking back, picking over memories like old bones, scattering them about like runes to see if I could spot any patterns or signs.

On this rainy Monday I enjoyed doing little more than lighting the fire and poking at smoking logs while watching the rain run down my window. Nothing but grey outside.

Even my dogs have taken to sleeping even more than usual. I’ve been letting them climb into my bed at night and we’re all sleeping as a pack. It’s quite an accomplishment to sleep with three dogs as you end up in very odd shapes throughout the night. Their sleeping breathing and snuffles are soothing, and they smell great as I bath them in a shampoo that smells like baby powder.

It’s four in the morning as I write this from bed, being on leave has me keeping some odd hours, my baby, a Bassett hound, has manoeuvred herself so she can have her head on my heart. Something she does to feel comforted as that’s how I raised her. As a tiny puppy sleeping on her own, she’d wake and cry and fret. Bringing her into bed and resting her on my heart would calm her and put her back to sleep. It’s how I learnt to sleep very still on my back for months.

This is also the time of year to indulge in movie and TV guilty pleasures. Except I don’t feel guilty at all, I love old movies and have just made my way through an entire season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I could certainly relate to some of the marital issues Teresa had and how she kept a quiet dignity throughout it. Her brother is great to watch as he’s such a fantastic husband. The complex relationships and how things can go so wrong so quickly over a few words fascinates me. The Jersey girls add in throwing and flipping things for added drama as well. It’s a way of travelling when you can’t and seeing how other people from different cultures live.

Morphing into a bear cub and hibernating – it just seems to feel right, right now. The colder weather helps, the drawing to the end of a challenging year, emotional and mental exhaustion, Christmas indulgence, mulled wine, fancy French cheese and chocolates, the urge to pull the bedcovers over my head at the announcement of another lockdown, that Christmas permission to slob-out and not feel guilty about it. Somethings calling me to hanker down so I’m giving into it and going back to cuddle a dog and drift away on cloudy dreams, hopefully to Barbados or the Pacific Islands and not an ex-boyfriend of Christmas past!

Published by JoJo

Confessional writer, starting over at 50 - I promise you brutal honestly with a few laughs along the way.

8 thoughts on “Becoming a bear cub

    1. Let me know how you find it? I’d like to get a cat in here too – love the purring when you’re falling asleep. Wishing you a great nights sleep

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  1. Be good to yourself – that’s the only piece of advice I can give – and you seem to be doing that. Your ‘pack-sleep’ sounds just right, so enjoy your lovely dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just relaxing and being yourself is the best thing about the Christmas holiday for me.

    From 2001 to 2013 when my mom died, I made the pilgrimage from Vancouver to Iowa to see my family. After mom died in 2013 and my dad moved to Missouri, I ended up visiting him in early December so I had Christmas with my wife.

    We take advantage of the days off to just lounge around, sleep, watch TV, play some games, and just be together.

    If I were alone, I would do the same thing. I have no family anywhere close (Dad died in 2018 so I don’t even visit him anymore) so it’s just a chance to recoup energy and enjoy ourselves (or myself if I was alone).

    I love your attitude. It’s the best way to be!

    Liked by 1 person

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