It’s been raining for 24 hours and everything is muddy.  Fortunately snow flakes are once again in the air, and hopefully all will soon be frozen again.  They ground is still quite frozen about an inch below the surface, so when the dogs run on the grass, the top layer slides around under them, ruining the lawn.  I have to keep them in the house today so as to not do too much damage to the yard.  We could go up into the woods, and likely will in a little bit.  I am feeling very tired today, and a bit low.  It’s grey and quiet around here, and I’m a bit down about how few people I have heard from over the holidays.  I really don’t consider a general post to Facebook as a personal greeting, even if it starts with “hey everybody!…”  Electronic greetings are good for the environment, but such generally directed group posts are getting to be a bit of an extreme.  But I digress…

The dogs are all napping after having enjoyed a marrow bone each, still on the quiet side after their fun-filled day yesterday.  My goal this week is to do something one-on-one with Kestrel every day.  After just two days in a row, she is already seeking me out and hanging around me a lot more than she normally does.  This morning I woke up to find her curled up on my pillow with her head on my shoulder.  It’s about time that I developed a closer relationship with this wonderful little dog!

I felt pretty good last night after spending two whole days outside, and hanging out with friends.  Today all I want to do is crawl into bed and stay there.  I have a lot of work to do, however, and a walk with the dogs will likely make me feel better.  I brought my four weave poles and one jump, and will do a little agility training as well.  That is something I can do in the garage after dark.  I am really ready for the days to start getting longer again (which they are, yippee!) so that I don’t have to cram everything into a few short hours.

Today I am realizing that my life is far, far, far too solitary and that I need to change that.  I get energy from spending time with good people, and get depressed when alone too long.  I am going to spend much of this quiet week ahead contemplating what I need to do to improve my life and to be happier.  The past year I have made many changes, and they have really moved things along well.  I am much happier and feeling better about things now than I have in years.  But I am also more acutely aware of just how far I have yet to go.  I really need to develop some kind of permanence in my life: a reliable job, land that I plan to stay on long-term, friends in close proximity who I can rely on for help and cheer.  The extreme quiet of Christmas day made it clear just how off the radar I am even to the people I care for.  I was away all day, and when I came home, the phone had not rung once.  I also received exactly one Christmas card this year.

Another project for this week is to get out New Year’s greetings to friends and family.  Having heard from virtually no-one makes me wonder if it is worth it.  Should I put my energy into re-establishing old ties?  Most of these friends disappeared when my health failed and I stopped being able to work at friendships.  I suspect I was a rather miserable person to be around, so I can’t blame them.  But now that we’ve drifted apart, does it make sense to look to the past for social connections?  Or should I just let them go and start afresh with the new people in my life?  I am not sure.  I know many people just got really busy, what with raising kids and working full-time (or more) and building up their lives.  That we drifted apart may only have been the result of distance, and not desire.  But what purpose does it play to try and rekindle these lost connections?  I have spent a lot of time letting go of the past this year, maybe letting go of old friendships is what I need to do to make room for the new.  A lot to think about as I sit here on my own, watching the snow and transcribing my research interviews.