(Written February 18, 2019)
One of my goals for this year was to write more. I was hoping to publish something here or submit an article about once a week in 2019. Turns out I forgot how weeks of weather that don’t creep above -20 happen in this season in the north. The days are light longer - the sunset while we eat supper about five comes just in time to save us all from the maddening darkness we have had for months. The extra light in February is a trade off for weather so frigid it can actually be unsafe to be out of doors for longer than ten minutes no matter the clothing one is wearing and during the longest, coldest snap we have had in my lifetime my brain starts to revolt. I told a friend I felt as if I hadn’t had a creative or deep thought in weeks because I haven’t.
So no blogging or public writing for a month now. Sometimes I feel frustrated that my writing always seems to get pushed to the bottom of the pile. That I don’t find enough time to overcome the weather and reawaken my brain to write out a few of my thoughts here. Irritated that I am the sort of person who needs to move my body (preferably out of doors or in the water) almost every day to feel like, well myself. That when February arrives I need to take different care of myself: aside from the exercise, I rest more, read good fiction and watch bad TV.
Someone asked me recently why I write online at all (here, and on Instagram I think she meant). All I can say is it is a core part of who I am to put words down somewhere where a small number of other souls read them and might think yeah, me too. I understand how it may seem a bit weird if it is not your jam, we all have our things that make us feel fully alive and this is just a part of it for me. Writer. You aren’t really a writer if no one has a chance to read your words.
I’m not hoping for anything magical, no bestsellers or life changing advice. What I’m hoping I find is a little encouragement and empathy for myself and on the beautiful days I’m paying attention to how the spirit is flowing, for someone else who reads my words too. But at this time of year the putting down of words can only happen after the moving of the body, the feeding myself of healthy foods, the getting out of doors, the talking to my husband after full days of parenting and working. And for right now, in this bleak midwinter, I’m at peace.
Five years ago I would have just pushed through. Written the words anyway, ignored the resting, avoided sitting down and cuddling with my children just because. Multitasking while they talked to me, working on something that could be crossed off of my to-do list. Staying up too late and never really being where I was. Refusing to not do what I had planned to do.
One of my fears I had after cancer and knew I was NED (no evidence of disease) and wasn’t kicking it any time soon, was I wouldn’t learn anything. I wouldn’t make lasting changes from the experiences I had. I was worried about wanting to be so proficient at getting on with it, I wouldn’t sit long enough in the aftermath to decide where to go from there. It’s almost laughable; but I was worried about not doing a good job of post cancer life. Afraid of wasting a potentially positive life changing experience. (Some of our personality traits are so, so SET IN STONE I even want to do a good job of having diseases and at learning from them. I don’t know if this makes me laugh or cry frankly.)
Turns out I am doing a pretty good job. I learned something about waiting. About wrestling. About how God is good. I thought incredibly hard about if I didn’t have much time how I would want to spend it. About how if I was dying (quickly) which things I 100% did not regret giving my daily moments to. And which things I did. I don’t get it right every day, but I wake up the day after and try again.
So here I am. Doing those things. Not doing others. Learning. Changing. Clinging. Accepting.