It’s no secret January can be a hard month. The flurry of holiday celebrations are winding down, the days are dark, and in the north the days are cold.
Still, cold is relative. As I write this we are in the middle of a beautiful January thaw. After most nights below zero the first half of the month we are now enjoying daytime temperatures above freezing. I hear talk of forty degrees in the coming days. I am, however, hoping we can avoid the rain and thunderstorms forecast for this weekend.
I know my moods in January follow the weather, and when we are dealing with a swirling blizzard I have a hard time shaking angry thoughts of, “I HATE winter.” When the winds are calm and the sun shines it’s magically easy for me to pivot into recognizing the beauty of the snow, the purpose the winter serves in our climate, and my love of four seasons.
I also love coming home on a winter night. The dark tells my mind I don’t need to be thinking about the outside work until tomorrow. If I planned ahead I have a delicious something bubbling in the crockpot. JR and I can start a fire (real or by clicking on the gas fireplace) and catch up on the day. Best of all, I have a snugly baby I can hold and feed and read to as I wind down for the day.
I love the quiet of winter evenings, and I try to internalize that love to combat my not-so-favorite parts of winter.
This January also brings more uncertainty than normal for a few reasons. Along with the rest of the country, I hold my breath as leadership changes. I wouldn’t believe anyone who claims to know exactly what the next four years will bring, but I know change is here. As always, I pray for the future of our country and our world. I watch the cabinet picks and follow the confirmation hearings with persistence. I consider calling my senators about some of them. I wonder when we will get a Secretary of Agriculture nominee.
On the farm front we are working through mountains of paperwork, meetings, and business planning for the future. It has ups and downs. My role will eventually change to include more office and financial work. This change plays to my strengths, but I haven’t yet figured out how to rearrange my other work to make room for this change.
It’s easy to let worry overtake you during the dark months of the year, but I know I am capable of focusing on the good and moving forward.
One recent slice of good I want to share is Speedy and my first stroller run of 2017. It was already warming up Sunday afternoon, so I loaded up the baby and the stroller and drove to the lake paths. We enjoyed three easy miles, and I was happy to take a break from the treadmill. It was exactly what I needed. I ran hardly at all in December, so January is a needed fresh start. I have my eye on my seventh Earth Day Half Marathon, and I’m hopeful I can make it to the start AND finish feeling good. Further goals TBD. ☺️