After playing around with 60 degree days in December and hitting the 50s once or twice in January, winter is now definitely here in Indiana. Ice, bitter cold, grey, dark, and on the best days – some snow quietly falling. My bent towards being a homebody has turned into full-on hibernation, and I don’t hate it. Winter is the oddest season of the year for our family. Zach is on the starting line of tax season, so I am gearing up for long hours with the kids and not as much margin to ask him for help on a regular basis.
In some ways, winter is the time when I burrow in, keep our days simple and just focus on the kids and our house. At the end of a long day, there’s no reason not to light some candles, have a glass of wine, and snuggle into flannel sheets with a good novel. I know I have to rest well to work well. One day at a time. We put a lot of things aside during busy season and try to just do the work in front of us and play or rest during the spare moments. I turn off my phone more often, deleting the things that are distracting and draining. Simplicity works in our favor.
The holidays always do a number on Zach and me (and now the kids, too). There’s so much goodness packed into Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s a blessing to be with our loved ones and eat the cookies, read the Christmas story, open the presents, and sing the carols. But there’s also a lot of added pressure and work – packing a full car of gifts and suitcases, traveling, messing with sleep schedules, shopping, and picking our way through all the traditions – tree decorating, advent, Santa?, gingerbread houses, baking cookies, holiday parties – to find what works for our little family.
January is always a welcome respite for us. We stay home, re-establish routines, start a new calendar, and dream a little about the upcoming year. Zach and I kept our goals simple. Read the Bible and exercise. They are the two things we’ll regret not doing if another year goes by without getting in a habit. Well, that and potty training Evelyn and figuring out our parenting style/discipline. We’ve spent most of January trying to find our rhythm – experimenting with when and how we can make our goals happen.
It’s like taking a deep breath before starting an adventure. Getting back to the essentials – cutting out the fluff of loud decorations and consumerism and a loaded calendar – while the world outside is quieter version of herself, blanketed in white.