I’ve always dreaded Januaries.
Maybe it’s because the post-Christmas solitude often feels empty and uncomfortable.
And it’s cold outside.
Instead of counting the days until Spring, I’ve decided this year to find ways to enjoy the long, dreary winter and live in the moment. I’m baking. I’m watching old movies. I’m visiting people. These are all things that you can do any time of year, of course, but somehow they seem like they belong to the winter.
And of course, celebrating post-Christmas winter traditions helps too. For example, we did out first ever Epiphany house blessing where we chalked the door.
The changes in the liturgical calendar really help to keep us centered. Ever since I started going to daily Mass, being aware of the different feast days and their associated traditions has really made my life feel more full. (Actually, if you’re interested in a really cool blog on liturgical living, check out Carrots for Michaelmas. I’m a big fan).
But of course, as with most things, there’s a deeper level of this “living in the moment” thing. I’ve been trying (for the last year) to step away from all my plans and dreams, and just exist. I’ve been trying to stop thinking about what I should be or what I would like to be and just be, well, me.
Specifically, I’m trying to just be God’s daughter.
Many years ago as I was talking to a priest at my high school, I told him, “You have no idea how much fun it is to be someone’s daughter.”
I was speaking in reference to my human parents, but I meant it in respect to God as well.
Being able to love someone as their daughter is a unique gift. I really believe this, and I think that is also why it hurts so much for people when their human parents are unable to allow their sons and daughters to love them.
And even if our earthly parents aren’t perfect, we have this opportunity to be in a love-filled relationship with our heavenly father.
What does this look like?
Jumping into his arms to hug him at the end of the day. Crawling into his lap when we’re sleepy or scared. Pouring out our hearts to him and listening as he does the same with us. Stopping by his house to say “hi” in the middle of a busy day.
It’s pretty simple, really. He’s Dad. I’m Connie Ann. And this is where I am right now – trying not to worry about the future, or whether or not there is anything else that I’m supposed to do or to be. If he wants me to do something for him he’ll let me know. For now, I’m just going to sit right here and be his little girl.
4 thoughts on “How Not to Hate Winter”
You sound so much like me – by nature a planner and goal-setter, but now trying to drift or take things as they come. I love your approach to it. Good luck with it!
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Thank you Stephanie!
Love this. I realized a few years ago that I had to chuck the “plan.” My life always had a plan. Graduate high school, go to college. Get married. Have babies. When going to college didn’t immediately follow with getting married, I thought, “That’s okay, grad school, THEN get married.” When grad school happened, but no man in my life, I figured the plan could change to getting married by my mid- twenties, because obviously God wouldn’t make me wait past that. Constantly I kept butting up against where my alternative plan came into play, and constantly it was seemingly ignored. Only when I got rid of the plan and had to start living in what is in this moment could I start to find a little peace, so obviously your opening is something that strikes a nerve and reminds me to live the fulness of the story that is this moment, not what I wish for or think should be. May you have peace in the ordinary time of this new year!
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Thank you! Wishing you peace too! 🙂 I was listening to a youtube video where a priest mentioned that our crosses are specifically tailored to where we need to grow, and I can definitely see that in my life. I had my life planned out in 7th grade: I was going to go to the public high school, then go to University of Maryland and major in archaeology, then be a biblical archaeologist. Oh then the plan changed again- I was going to graduate from my Catholic high school, study theology at Steubenville, and come back as a religion teacher. Oh then I was going to graduate from Catholic University’s music school and direct the National Symphony Orchestra.
I think I’ve finally reached a place where I have zero plans – except then now I’ve signed up for a mentoring program to try and hammer out new career goals. Maybe there’s a balance that I need to find.