It’s January, and I know that the sun is setting soon, here in the late afternoon hours. I’m alone in the house and that’s more rare than not. At least that’s been the case as of late. I’m sitting in my favorite place in the house — a gold chair in the southeast corner of my sitting room — and enjoying the few remaining minutes of daylight. I’m a night person, for sure, but in wintertime, the sun shining in on me when I sit in this treasured spot has been nothing short of therapeutic. I don’t dislike winter, or the cold, really. I don’t prefer them, but I can appreciate the changes they bring, the departure from the norm of the other seasons. I just like seasonal change.
But, life seasons. Life seasons, as opposed to meteorological seasons, don’t always appeal to me in the same way. The changes don’t always go over well with me. I *try* not to complain, but rather try to weather the somethings that come my way with some sort of decorum, finding something to be thankful for in all things. This has been a hard season, this New Year. We’re only three weeks in, but they’ve been a long, challenging three weeks. Sickness took over our household a couple days before the ball of light shimmied down the pole and signaled the hope and anticipation of 2016.
That seems like a while ago. I’m not even certain what changes or aspirations I had in mind in those seven days between stockings and noise makers, between gifts wrapped in bows and gifts reflected upon as the clock would strike midnight and a New Year would be ushered in. So much has been muddled and painful and tiresome and pushed through since then. As I sit here in the beautiful rosy-peach light that is fading too quickly, I find myself trying to put pieces together, daily schedules in place, maybe even give a passing thought to making a meal plan for the coming week, here in my favorite corner.
But then, I give up. I can feel the tension in my body. An almost shaking going on. My best attempts at clear thinking are failing, really. I realize that I just need to be. My colorful cat keeps me company, and relieves some of the stress I’m feeling just by being close, letting me love her. It’s been a particularly troubling 24 hours, on top of the aforementioned rough start to the year. Sometimes you find yourself in a position where you’re just not sure what direction to go and even though you’ve made a decent weighing of the options on both sides of the coin, there are still unknowns and you question your decisions. Or your resolve. Sometimes fear and sadness take over and you could pretend to be brave, pretend to be in a place of confidence, but, really, you are just going through the motions. And you find yourself praying, seeking counsel, making the best decision you can, and trusting God with the result. Because that’s all you can do.
And sometimes you just don’t realize the weight you were under until you’re all alone, staring out the window at the snow, unable to put two thoughts properly together, and you just lay it down. You give yourself the freedom to not be busy, to not be productive. Maybe the productivity is actually in the being quiet. The reflecting on how challenging the recent weeks have been. The stopping on purpose. My tension-weary skin says that yes, an all-out stop is the way to go. Because, I’m not often alone. And I’m tired. And the benefit that I could reap from letting my shoulders fall for a while might just be what’s necessary to stand taller tomorrow. The dimming light isn’t warm, but it’s warming. My curling up in this chair isn’t movement, but it can take me somewhere. To finally take real steps in this New Year.