What should I do about Winter?

Welcome to winter!  I often find it intriguing, especially for us in snowy places, that the time of New Year's Resolutions and long, dark, depressing winter days happen at the same. Resolutions are meant to bring us hope, motivation and anticipation of a new and better life. Yet the dark days of winter can often squash and hinder even the best of intentions.

So, how do we adjust to these realities: that the good and difficult are often juxtaposed and that it is healthy to incorporate them both into our personal and relational lives. Let's break winter up a bit, at least in thought to see if that helps to bring a bit of spark back into winter.

W: Wonder and awe at the miracle of changing seasons: that dead-looking things will come back to life in time, that you can actually walk on water, that creative play through snowmen, angels and forts is only possible now...Enjoy it by walking outside (warm clothes help this be enjoyable, of course), taking a drive along a river, walking by the lakeshore and exploring the icebergs, watching your breath float away, hearing the crutch of the snow under your feet.

I: Intrigue and Interest with those we are around, and the circumstances we find ourselves in. Be curious about what is new and different for a repetitive situation: ask how and why with intrigue, not disdain, as your attitude.

N: New thoughts and approaches to old circumstances: just as in winter we put away our summer toys and clothes for a while, we can also put away some of our other unneeded habits and behaviors for a while and approach life with new ways of dealing with circumstances and behaviors. In the summer I go across the water in my powerboat; in the winter I go across the water on my skates or iceboat. I put my water skis away and take out my snowboard. The desire of wanting to go fast over water is the same; my approach on how to do this now fits the circumstances more appropriately and pleasingly.

T: Tenderness and Touch that is gentle and kind helps to ease the tension of blah days. Use these often, for yourself and for others. They will help the time of waiting for summer and sunshine to go by faster.

E: Experience and Expressions of joy, gladness and delight at the simple things - warmth of a fire, beauty in a snowflake, a smile, warm cookies, beef stew -- ease the anxiety and heaviness of dark days. Do them for yourself and for those you are around.

R: Rest - with a cup of tea or hot chocolate, a good book, good, truthful and gentle thoughts or a good friend - is good for your body and for your soul to take time to review, regroup and renew through resting.

Happy New Year!

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