Monday, January 4, 2010


I made you all a picture today for this post. Here you go.

Yes, it is very disturbing. It's supposed to be me as a bear, hibernating in a cave. But it turned out more scary that I envisioned.

I've been doing a lot of thinking and I wanted to get these thoughts down. I love Christmas. Summer is my favorite season, but I am such a fan of the magic of Christmas and the snow everywhere. We got a ton of it this year, in fact the weather man said it was a record Christmas day snowfall for Lincoln. And I hear that my friends and family back in Scotland got lots of snow too.

I had a positively wonderful time blasting Christmas music through my kitchen speakers, playing games with the family, baking copious amounts of cake bars and cookies, wrapping presents, singing carols, drinking mulled apple cider, watching the kids climb the walls with excitement and anticipation, melting at the cuteness of my 2 year old monkey singing, "little donkey" in her bestest voice, smiling at the husband snipping out paper smowflakes with the kiddos and all the other fun holiday activites. The snow, the bible stories, the magic, the excitement, the charity, the time with Daddy being off work.

And then it was over. And I have a house full of paper, packaging, pieces from toy sets that we promised ourselves we would keep together this year now scattered all over the house. A kitchen full of dirty dishes. A ton of laundry I have been neglecting to do. Kids with let down and head colds. And a Christmas tree I can't bare to take down. It's dead as can be, lopsided and ugly. But I can't take it down. I'm not ready for it to be over.

I always fall into a funk this time of year. Without fail. Oh, other than 2007 I guess, because we had an international move 2 weeks away, a house to pack up and a going away party to organize. And it kept me going I guess. But other than that year, this is a time of year where I just want to shout "Boo" to the world, pull the blanket over my head and sleep for a few months.

I hate going into the stores or turning on my radio this time of year. Because I see diet programs and exercise equipment every where I look. And the most annoying thing is how everyone is talking about New Years Resolutions. It's January now, and we're all supposed to be buzzing full of motivation to clean up our lives and be perfect in every way and full of new plans and get our houses organized and our schedule set. Our church is advertising all the new classes they have coming up and everyone is hyped up about big plans for this new year.

If Bah Humbug would apply here I'd use the phrase. I'm not ready to give up on Christmas yet. I still feel festive and full of cheer. I hate the daily grind. I hate the normal every day effort. I am soooo not motivated nor do I feel like buzzing around making promises to myself that I know I'm not going to keep.

And so I do some soul searching. Why do I feel the way I do? I don't want to drive, or even leave the house. I want to stay home, warm and snuggled with my kids. I don't want to start a diet, I want to eat warm, comforting, home cooked foods. I don't want to socialize. I don't want to go through my closets and clean stuff out. I want to sleep more, I'm tired, unmotivated and dissatisfied. I'd be content enough in my own little cave with my cubs snoozing beside me, if not for the pressure I feel to perform. Radio adds, posters, store windows and people all around seem to be prodding me to do more and they're all full of energy but I just can't seem to squeeze out a drop. And it can make me feel completely inadequate. What is wrong with me? Do I have depression? Every year I find myself asking that.

This year I noticed something and I am taking on a new approach. We were driving past a lake that's frozen over and the kids started asking questions about how the fish stay alive in there with all the ice. We drove past a bunch of migrating Canadian Geese. And we started talking about how God set up nature in such an amazing way. That winter is a cleansing and nature is so prepared to deal with it. Some animals hibernate, their metabolisms slow down and they rest so they can put their energy towards keeping warm. We talked about how the cleansing aspect of Winter plays an important role in nature and the whole cycle of the seasons.

And I remembered that I am a part of that too. I am always very effected by the seasons. I adore Summer and the heat of the sun. I love barbecues outdoors with friends, going to the pool and playing water games. As soon as Spring comes around I'm hardly ever at home. I scoop up the kids and we go out. Doesn't matter where. The zoo, the park, a bike ride. We're out, playing, picnics, running, breathing, laughing, living. During the spring my soul feels explosive with new life, ambition, motivation. I feel on top of the world in Spring.

In Winter, I just don't. And that's ok. Maybe I'm just not supposed to. The only resolution I am making right now, is to put off my resolutions until Spring. For right now, I'm going into hibernation, and I am not going let myself feel down or guilty about it. I'm a part of nature too. I will take down the tree whenever I feel ready to let go of Christmas. And then I'll go back to taking it easy. I'm blessed to be homeschooling and not have to go to a job. The kids and I will do more reading and discussing things in bed or on the couch and less of the exhausting activities for now. There's a time for everything under the sun. This is a time for resting. Short days, long nights, comforting foods, spending time together, slowing down, huddling together for warmth, drinking hot cocoa, leaving the chores till later.

I'm not on top of things. My house is messy, I have library books to return and e-mails to write. And it may just have to wait. I'll get to it. Come Spring if not before. I'll make up for it. Life is a cycle.

As soon as I started letting myself think like this, I felt such a burden lift. I'm not going to get bogged down with guilt. I'm going to praise God for the wonderful way he created nature, and the diversity of the Seasons and how beautifully he integrated all aspects of nature together. I'll take this period of hibernation to reflect and bask in the beautiful things I've been given, to savor the PJ days with the kids while they're little, and to maintain the spirit of thankfulness and charity that I enjoyed over the holidays. Sounds healthy enough to me! I feel so much better when I'm not forcing myself to go against the grain.

So that's why I drew a scary human faced bear with snow.


Oh, btw, during a couple of these laid back days I've taken the time to start working through editing some pics. I hadn't had the chance in ages. I was backlogged to September. I'm though Sep and most of Oct. Then Nov and Dec to do and then I'll do a photo dump on here. Because one of my fav things about having a blog is being able to post pics. And I haven't done nearly enough of that lately!! Hoping to get that back to the way it should be.

So here's to a great 2010 for you all, and I look forward to peeking out and facing it some time in March or April! Until then I'll make some awesome memories and enjoy a wonderful time in my cave with the cubs.


DJ said...

Great post, Niecey, and great pic too! I swear I can hear my metabolism grinding to a halt over winter. The only fresh air I've breathed in the last few weeks has been going to and from the car and when I've had to go and put the recycling out! I keep thinking about how the peasant class of France used to effectively hibernate - i.e. very short days, lots of sleep - in winter to conserve energy and vital resources and I think; hmmm, sounds alright to me... ! All the best for you and yours in 2010!

Laura said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. I love Christmas and hate when it ends. I hate New Year's Day because to me it's the day that says "Party's over - go back to work". December 15-30 are my favorite 2 weeks of the year and I hate when they end. It feels like there's nothing to look forward to for so many months.

Michelle M. said...

I can definitely relate. I love all that goes into gearing up for Christmas, but it can be such a let down when the celebrating is over and everything seems to be falling apart around you.

Since my baby boy has RSV, I am going to be trapped in my house for the next few weeks. So I will basically be "hibernating" in my own way. At least I don't feel pressured to have my house clean... since no one is going to be visiting us anytime soon :)

Laura - Ex. Dir. said...

I like your picture and I agree with your thoughts on winter. Brrr - I want to hibernate too! Summer is my fav season.