I hope you all are doing well.
January has been a good month for our household, although it flew by rather quickly.
About two and a half weeks in, the Christmas decorations were taken down although I did keep some twinkly lights up as they bring my husband and I joy during the dark nights of winter.
As much as I tend to miss Christmastime and all it’s festivities, there is something wonderful about taking all of that down and starting fresh with a clean slate for a new year!
I haven’t always enjoyed wintertime, however.
For several years, the dark nights and short days of winter filled me with sorrow and a sense of dread.
I lived for the first day of March and for springtime – and while I adore the spring, I realized that I needed to learn to make peace with January and February instead of wasting 59 days a year!
How did I change my outlook for these winter months? It wasn’t easy, but like most hard things, it was worth it!
First, I allowed myself to grieve the passing of Christmastime.
Grieving is a natural, human emotion that shouldn’t be kept in a box and left unresolved. There is no shame in it, and people grieve for many different things uniquely to them.
To do this, I had to let go of the pride that told me I was “being silly” or “babyish” for needing to grieve over the passing of Christmas.
In my personal life, I have had two very traumatic instances happen right after Christmas.
Because of this, I have to work through powerful emotions to live freely – and this involves letting my pride go and grieving as I need to.
Secondly, I listed some practical and cost effective things I could do to stay cheerful and happier even though the days would still be short and the nights long and cold.
For me this boiled down to adding some twinkly lights in the living room and kitchen/breakfast nook and our room and also focusing on deep cleaning and various crafting in the afternoons and evenings!
This was a key step to replacing the dread I had previously always felt, and for introducing excitement and simple joy into these two months instead.
Another step was to fill my life with people I care about, and nurture the friendships I have – along with celebrating the engagement of my brother-in-love and getting to know his future bride, my future sister-in-love.
These steps will be unique per person and is definitely not a one-size-fits-all or a quick fix; it has taken two years of serious concentration to start changing my mindset for these two months, and truth be told, I still don’t have it down to a T.
Perhaps I never will, but I would rather try and it be a continuous effort than to never try at all and remain in dread every beginning of every year!
My favorite slow, wintry, activities are rather simple in nature and take concentration to execute correctly – embroidery, sewing, baking (more than usual!), lighting candles, journaling, writing poetry, and going for nature walks before the sun sets is a few of the ways I’ve been spending my time.
Your favorite winter activities may look different, but if you are looking to start some, I would suggest something that takes patience and a little bit of time to finish, allowing your mind and soul to slow down just as winter does and let yourself just be!
There is much power to be found in the quiet of a stilled soul.
Wintertime has a simple type of beauty that is often overlooked, but shouldn’t be. It may not be colorful like spring, warm and flourishing like summer, or cozy and demure like fall – but it has its own bare type of enchantment that isn’t achieved any other time of the year.
Learning to embrace every season has blessed my life richly, and my households as well!
Embrace every season and make peace with whatever months seem stagnant to you – not only will you and those around you be happier, but the contentedness this creates will become an unexpected blessing as well.