By Janet Lane. If you share portions or all of this article, please credit me janetlane.wordpress.com. Thank you!
Look at the calendar and rejoice. We’re in that deliciously leisurely time of the year, the time to recharge our batteries.
We floated (or collided, crashed and survived, however it might have been for you) through the holidays, the hymns and carols and candles and celebrations. We sipped egg nog (innocent or otherwise), licked candy canes and finalized our gift lists. We stuffed the stockings, survived the card flurries and last-minute gift wrapping, and the unexpected relatives who showed up at less than opportune times.
Now the house is back to normal and we’re well into the new year.
Past the resolutions. Tape measures have circled our bodies, those irreverent little scraps of numbers that ruthlessly count the rungs of our self-indulgence, how far we have veered from “ideal.” Weight scales have been challenged with the bulk of our holiday merriment, motivating January contracts with the fitness club and making us don new armors of guilt. We’ve set ambitious new goals for our writing, too, and we’re on our way.
But it’s the lull we feel now. A welcome hush has fallen over our world. No parties to attend, no packages to ship, no relatives to visit, no traditions to rekindle or keep alive.
February is ours.
Winter has toyed with us, giving us balmy weather, then plummeting us into subzero temperatures. We know it won’t release its hold for several more weeks .
We can choose to continue revving our motors, idling our engines high, spinning our wheels and creating additiona goals — or we can seize the moment and opt for bliss.
I vote for bliss. The luxury of self-love, a Valentine to ourselves because we care about us. We appreciate our considerable talents, our secret dreams, and the joy we experience when we write.
Think for a moment about someone you have loved deeply. A parent, a sibling, a pet. Doubtless you rejoiced in their joy, smiled at their pleasure, encouraged their delight. Can you light your own fire during this gift of winter, this February, the month of love? Can you cease trying to make each moment “useful,” each goal “acceptable,” and nurture your inner child, and your precious talents?
Sooner than we can imagine, the season will arrive of planting and weeding and watering the hungry lawns and gardens, made dry by summer’s baking sun. Schedules will be interrupted by births and weddings and vacations.
But February, quiet February, wearing her lace and Valentines, offers love and affection.
Don’t force her to rush like the other seasons. She is quiet, she is soft and supporting. For a change, give to yourself. Allow yourself to be lulled and nourished.
Before the month has passed, accept three of the following gifts to yourself.
/__/ Fill your creative reservoir by watching a movie marathon. By reading new books, by sitting b y the fire and watching the flames dance and tickle your fancy in a warm, golden way.
/__/ Visit your photo albums, and re-live your moments of passion and pleasure. Find a photo that stirs your heart, and enlarge it to an 8 x 10, or hey! Get wild and make it a 14 x 20, and put it where it makes you smile, again and again, like the soft lapping of waves against the shore of your soul
February can do that.
/__/ Peruse your cookbooks, and find three recipes that sound fabulous, and try them, for you and another, or spoil yourself and do it just for you. It’s February. You’re allowed this special time.
/__/ Write a rich, meaningful letter to your brother/mother/daughter/best friend. Think of ways s/he has enriched your life, and share at least three of those ways with her or him, what they did, and how it affected you. Then smile at the happiness that thinking about his or her gifts to you has brought you, just realizing them.
What do you love most about yourself, about your writing? Please share, and make me smile. :-)