January it a grueling month filled with the let down from the holidays, fatigue from the cooking, cleaning, shopping, traveling frenzy and from the disillusionment of New Year’s resolutions gone awry. In January, the days are shorter, nights longer. A deep chill penetrates your bones making you long to dive back under your duvet and hibernate until spring. During winter’s tough trials, hang on.
In the winter, our bodies feel older, weaker and wearier. When your joints lock, your muscles ache; your head pounds from the relentless pace, take time to wallow in your misery, and then hang on.
When bad bacteria devours the good, when mitochondria misfire and when every cell of your body feels inflamed, hang on.
When you lose a loved one and feel so bereft you can’t go forward, hang on.
After losing a beloved family member or friend, to think of better days ahead is unimaginable when each hour is so unbearable. With time, the loss will be processed and assimilated into the most poignant memories, but for now reminiscing and crying is the best therapy.
Take time to grieve.
In our smiley-button society, we forget that it’s okay to frown and feel down.
We bury our emotions in too much food, drink, alcohol, exercise and other addictions, anything to numb the pain. But pain permeates. Instead of masking it, embrace it and recognize its value. Our ability to feel emotions ties us to humanity.
Our electronic world spins so fast, we no longer take time to process those events that most deeply shape us into human beings.
Life is not only holiday gifts, birthday cakes and wedding parties; it is also incurable disease, chronic illness, tragic loss, difficult compromise, and the pain in letting go. Whether waving goodbye to a toddler off to day care, a teen leaving for college, or a sister, daughter, or mother moving away to another state, hang on.
Change is inevitable. You can run, but you can’t hide. Hang on.
This year set aside those well intended resolutions and ignore endless to-do lists. Instead vow to be in the moment. Cherish life in all of its uncertainty. During aches and pains and disappointments and losses, hang on.
Best wishes for 2018. May your new year filled with resiliency, hope and the fighting spirit to hang on.
Wise words, my dear friend. I totally agree that learning to live in the moment helps to counteract all the realities and challenges of life. I call it a “nesting period” when I give myself permission to be still and just be.Beautiful post. May 2018 be filled with renewed health and continued blessings for you and yours.
I like that image of a “nesting period” to regroup and renew. Wishing you all the best for 2018. I am really looking forward to your book coming out soon.
So poetic and poignant dear Pat. As Buddha says, ‘nothing is permanent’. So everything will pass, good and bad, happy and sad. ‘Hanging on’ is all we can do sometimes. And also focusing on the sun ray that stubbornly pushes through the clouds, or the lovely connection we just had with another human being… these are the precious present moments that guide us through each day. Love and health to you and yours in 2018 xxx such beautiful photos here too!
Thank you for the lovely connections you continue to make through your words. Even though I haven’t seen you in decades, I still feel your voice lifting me up long distance. May your new year be filled with laughter and love, peace and wisdom, and dance!
Thanks dearest Pat. It’s fifteen years since I left La Chat. So much has happened since then. We just ride the rough with the smooth hey? Love and hugs from dancing feet xxx
Great advice, Pat! I think all of us know how difficult it can be to continue running on that hectic treadmill and feeling all the while like an unknown person is turning up the speed! Perhaps that’s why our bodies eventually rebel and say, “No more. Time for a rest.” And maybe, just maybe, the bears have it all figured out and prefer to hibernate, ha!
Debbie, I bet I could hibernate through winter…just load me up with a lot of carbs and a stack of good books. ha Hope you can keep up the pace in 2018 and know when it is time to slow down for sanity. Wishing you all the best for 2018.
I also find this time of year to be a challenge. The combination of cold weather and short days makes me depressed. I tell myself that the days are getting longer, though — that seems to help my state of mind!
Sending you warm hugs of friendship to brighten your January days. Just think we are halfway to February.
Sending you a wishful end to the winter blues. I have found cooking forgotten recipes, getting in touch with lost friends and staying off the computer and FB to be helpful. Longing to visit exotic places I will never see, rallying against Trump, worrying about my three adults children ends up being a cycle without end. I have started volunteering with a literacy program ever week and that has helped my mood exponentially. Just getting outside one’s own world helps a lot.
Thanks for all the additional tips. I especially love the one about volunteering with a literacy program. What better way to pay it forward than by helping others learn to read.