Well, Christmas is officially over. The decorations are covered in dust and need to be packed away. The lights outside are frozen to the house and need to be unplugged. The inflatable snowman and Santa are half buried in snow and one has a broken light bulb. The elf has returned to the North Pole. The remaining Christmas cookies are stale. The magic of the season is gone. And in its place we have winter.
So winter is not my favorite season. In fact, it’s the worst time of year for me. As I’ve gotten older it’s gotten worse. I like to describe myself as being “seasonal” because it’s a gentler way of saying, “I’m a miserable witch from January to April 1st”. Every year I say I’m going to do my best to survive the season. I understand that I need to exercise more regularly during the winter months. I know I need to plan activities to look forward to even though all I want to do is sit under a blanket. I’ve admitted that I need to increase the Vitamin D in my diet or find a way to increase my exposure to light. I get it. Yet every year, despite my best efforts, winter simply gets me down.
This morning I opened up our new family calendar. We purchased a calendar this year created by a photographer on Cape Cod. Each month features a stunning photograph of the Cape, our favorite summer vacation destination. I skipped to July and wrote “CAPE COD” in huge letters on the week we’ve already set aside for vacation. I flipped all the way back to January and whimpered a little. Before I could feel too sorry for myself, however, my littlest bounded into the room excited about a new toy she received for Christmas. As she showed me what it could do I silently wished (as I do at least two times a day), that time would freeze so my baby would stay a baby. And then I laughed. Within the space of thirty seconds I went from wishing we could fast forward time to July to then wanting to freeze time on this frigid miserable winter day. And right then I told myself that I need to cut it out.
I need to stop wasting three months of every year by being miserable. I need to find a way to enjoy more moments that I have with the ones I love, even if it’s zero degrees outside. I need to keep doing things that make me happy, even if it means bundling up a bit more to do it. I need to remember that time is still moving forward and I can’t afford to take any of it for granted. And I need to find SOMETHING, ANYTHING that only winter can give me that I actually enjoy and will look forward to. (If anyone has any suggestions I’ll gladly welcome them).
I spent way too many years being relatively unhappy overall. The reasons why are not worth detailing but that fog has lifted and my life is, overall, filled with blessings, happiness, and peace. I can’t risk that happiness every time January rolls around. So here we go. We have 89 days until April 1st. I need to fill those days with smiles, fun, and energy…and maybe a trip to a warmer climate…just for a few days.
Happy New Year to you all. Make it a great one.