Dark Thirty

We are four days from the winter solstice, a time where the days turn the corner from being the shortest back on their march toward June when they are their longest. It is a time of darkness and sleep and rest and recharging. I never really looked forward to the December 21st deadline until a few years ago. The date is insignificant - just another day in December - but as someone who isn't a huge fan of winter, December 21st has taken on a new meaning, given me a new hope.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I fall into depression in winter, but it is a more difficult time for me. Knowing that I have these feelings, I'm trying to be more cognizant of what is going on internally and make adjustments to try and stay ahead of the curve-of-whatever-it-is-I'm-feeling.

My goal is to try and appreciate the nuances of winter for what they are. If that means going to bed to read at 9:00 PM only to fall asleep by 9:45, well so be it. If it means keeping Christmas lights up well into January, as my wife and I have talked about, then so be that.

The other day as I walked to work, it was snowing lightly as I left home. By the 3/4 mark it was coming down in big fluffy flakes and despite the fact that I loathe big snowfalls, I had to admit it was kind of beautiful. (These kinds of observations will no doubt change in late January, but last week it was beautiful.)

And I am determined to make the best of whatever this season throws at me. If it snows, I plan on Cross Country skiing more. If it's brutally cold, I will hunker down at home and drive to work instead of walk. If it is sunny, I will relish in the sunshine. If it rains, well, it will melt some of the cursed snow.

At the same time, I will focus on connecting with my friends from church and I will know that it's okay to recharge, rest and restore. Naps will be my new gospel. I'll connect with my kids via texting and phone calls. I'll take my vitamin D and try and keep in shape.

All of this becomes a priority because I realize our time here is short. We can choose to dread winter and be crabby and downtrodden about the darkness and cold, or we can try and make the best of it and live life as if it was a gift. And on the down days, I am committed to fake it till I make it.

With Christmas coming in a short week, I cannot wait for my kids to come home. They bring their light and a new energy to the house that will carry us to mid January and I am grateful for that.

So, in this season of darkness and quiet, I wish the same for you and your families. I encourage you to find what it is that carries you through the next 90 days and latch on to it. Like Keith Richards said, "I'm glad to be here. I'm glad to be anywhere."


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