January has come with wave after wave of some kind of sickness around here. Ear infections, tummy bugs, random rashes, and allergies. We have all turned a curve and are on the mend, but after going through countless tissue boxes, a few trips to the doctor, and one anti-biotic, I'm done with all of this under-the-weather business for a while.
Our neck of the woods isn't spend covered under blankets of snow like the rest of the country seems to be. Though the city did shut down due to some ice and a dusting of snow on the ground. Be though as it may, winter is and always has been my least favorite season. Bare trees, dead grass, gray lifeless skies, and high utility bills I begrudgingly turn on my heater.
Most every January, I can usually feel winter settle into my heart. I become quiet and introspective and there is this sorrow that follows me around. This gnawing thing that begs my attention and tears and feelings. Something about the deadness of winter highlights the places in my story and my life that need to be grieved and felt and talked through. The the process of talking through it leaves me feeling undone and that's my most unfavorite feeling of all.
I want to have it all together. And I want you to think I have it all together. Why it's so important to have it all together, I'm not really sure.
On top of my usual January funk, it's been hard to write here. I've been hurting, I've been angry and I've been struggling. And sometimes, I have an awful way of allowing my words to drip with contempt so I can passively lash out at others, even if I know they aren't coming here to read. I'm not proud of that fact, but it's true. It has felt kinder to be quiet and to take some of those words to a more private space.
This winter as I have not been consistently kind to myself, I've discovered that taking care of yourself and being kind to you is easier said than done. It's far easier to care for and find kindness for others. I don't believe it is our natural inclination to be kind to ourselves. It's almost as if we are more at home when we beat ourselves up. Perhaps it's a more natural, fleshly inclination to point out our own faults, to look at the places we have failed or dropped the ball rather than giving ourselves a break and some grace because we are frail and human and so needy.
The thing about winter, just like any season, is that it never lasts forever. It always, always gives way to spring, to life, to fresh and new. As I sit with the places that have frozen and chip away at my icy anger and hurt, I'm remembering that is season is like any other. One to be lived in, one that only lasts for a time. Today, I am holding on to the promise of spring.