Winter. There’s not much about it that I like.
I know there are some people out there saying, “No it’s fall – it’s so crisp and lovely!” but I’m really sorry that I don’t feel the same way. It’s not spring or summer, it has been in the 20s in the past week, and so for me, it’s winter, no matter what the calendar says.
I have a hard time in winter – I am a summer baby who thrives off of the feeling of warm sunshine on my body, living outdoors as much as possible and having a nice tan. Off of bare feet whenever socially allowed, hair gone blonde from the sun and warm nights in the country with the windows open. Right now, the heat is cranked up in our apartment and I’m still cold; my skin is dry and I have gross winter hair. I put on boots and a thick coat to go out but my toes and fingers still feel like icecicles thanks to the poor circulation that runs in the family. I am in my personal season of “yuck”.
I usually hold it together and keep myself cheerful through the holidays by watching cheesy holiday movies, baking myself silly, decorating and making homemade Christmas gifts which I’m sure my loved ones are ecstatic to receive each year. This frenzy of holiday making lasts until about mid-January and then I just know I’m facing three more months of bad weather and lack of motivation before the sun is out and the earth warms back up.
I don’t really enjoy feeling this way, and it’s just due to the fact that I love the way I feel and how life is in the summer. But this year, I am determined to stay cheerful and to get the most out of this season. Shorter days are a bummer for me, with it getting dark so early, but on the flipside, I don’t feel like I have to go-go-go until 9 at night because the sun is out. Now, I have 2 babies in the house for most of the day, so let’s be honest, I am go-go-going anyway, but at least now, I’m trying to embrace this as a season of rest, and remind myself that it’s ok to be snuggled into my home at night, winding down for the evening and enjoying not being productive on a grand scale and running hither and yon until every scrap of sunshine is gone at night.
I have this mindset that if I’m not doing something productive then I’m being lazy. If I rest without doing something, its shameful and a blot on my character. I forget to rest, or choose not to because I feel that I need to prove myself by getting things done. Then its no surprise that I find myself overwhelmed, exhausted, depleted and cranky. If God Himself rested, I need to get it through my thick skull that it’s part of His design and I too need to rest in order to be at my best for Him and my family.
I want to take this winter season to recharge my spiritual batteries by committing to having time with God everyday to read and pray and learn. I was an avid journaler up until baby girl was born, and really found that to be therapeutic, so I want to get back to that. I want to spend time and energy on creating a cozy home and taking care of my family. I want to reconnect with friends and loved ones and make an effort to see them more often and be present in their lives. I want to take care of myself physically with rest and exercise and maybe even taking a relaxing bath every now and then! I love to cook and want to experiment with new recipes for healthy food and learn to bake safe foods for me and my family. I want to read and imagine and be creative with my writing and drawing and painting. I want to enjoy the little moments with my daughter that will not be here forever. I want to watch her grow and do crafts and activities with her to challenge her. I’m going to try to find a group of moms to connect with and learn from. I want to challenge myself to be more positive, set and achieve goals, no matter how small, and be an example to these sweet babies of living each part of life to the fullest. I am so blessed, and am going to choose joy this winter season and let myself be immersed in my blessings and fully enjoy them.
So in short, it’s my mindset that needs to change. I still hate being cold, but I’m going to try to see this as an exciting season of rest and renewal, rather than a time to just be endured.
Psalm 23 1-3
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.