Writer’s Workshop: Finding Joy in My Winter

A few berries still cling to one of our trees
A few berries still cling to one of our trees

Believe it or not, avoiding this blog has been as impossible as avoiding myself.

Not a word has been written for months. I’ve purposely found other things to do than write and yet, this blog has been on my mind, in my heart, every day. It was not my intention to disappear, but the longer the silence, the harder it was to find my voice. The deeper I buried myself in laundry, housekeeping, home school and other people, the easier it was to stop being accountable. Accountable to myself, anyway.

I could easily avoid the scale, the grey hairs popping up, the constant achy joints and lack of sleep. But the minute I thought about writing anything, I had to take a look at myself again, flaws and all. So I chose silence over honesty rather than run the risk of filling up space with ridiculous excuses.

The weight of winter is suffocating sometimes.

Joy is so much easier to find when things are going well, when our relationships are constantly blooming, when the seeds we plant seem to grow all on their own and certainly when we can physically feel the warmth of success. Joy escapes me when shadowed by dark thoughts, unexpected friction and lack of motivation. It becomes much “easier” to tend the gardens of others instead of taking care of my own. At least then, I can lie to myself, pretend I’m too busy to work towards a personal goal, and pat myself on the back for accomplishing something.

Due to large amounts of snow and bitter cold, I have not left my house since Saturday evening. School was supposed to resume this past Monday, January 6th, but our area closed schools for three days straight. For the first few days, my house was filled with extra bodies. Both the girls had friends over to celebrate the snow days. I unpacked suitcases and cleaned while listening to five girls sing karaoke, tore down Christmas decorations while hanging up wet snow pants, and studied lesson plans I already knew from front to back.

But yesterday there were no extra bodies.

Yesterday was just me and my daughters. We made a short school day out of it and finished laundry. After dinner, I found myself staring out a window, getting lost in the white canvas. Everything looked peaceful and relatively undisturbed. I was mesmerized by the nothingness.

For a moment, I felt like a blank slate.

DW was gone for the evening. I called the girls into my room, asked them to grab a book or something and declared it “quiet time”. We snuggled under the covers in our pajamas, the dog squished between blankets and robes. The heat from our bodies quickly bound us together. Sleepy heads  rested on each of my shoulders as breathing sounds slowed to a soft purr. The Tortoise reached for my hand at the same time The Hare leaned over and kissed my cheek.

“I love you,” they each declared.

“We should do this more often,” they each proclaimed.

“I agree,” I answered.

Last night, I was reminded of the joy in my winter.

Mama Kat Button

9 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Finding Joy in My Winter

  1. That was very touching. You may have been away from writing but you can still bring it. I also have been away and feeling as you do, and finding excuses. Perhaps it is the this time of year. Maybe I should invest in a sunlamp. Your girls gave you sunshine in the dark. Glad you found your way back.

  2. Wow, I didn’t realize others felt so much like me! I absolutely have the hardest time finding any joy over the past year. Before I used to find it in the little things. These days I can’t even find it in anything. Working from home, this past year has kept me home and I have struggled! Having moved and working from home has prevented me from developing friendships. With older kids I don’t have an opportunity to meet other moms. Hoping I can figure it out. This has been a very long winter. My post shows what it’s like here in the neck of my woods.

  3. Absolutely beautiful. I think I understand, too…
    Yes joy is easier when life is warm and beautiful and flowing. But joy is accessible in all times, under every circumstance. This past year has been challenging and teaching for us here at our farm, and we have really cemented the idea that we are to SEEK joy and GIVE thanks constantly, deliberately, no matter what.
    I love that glimpse of family quiet time and how your body heat bound you all.
    I love the snowy blank slate.
    Just beautiful. (I wrote something similar to this last week… http://lazywmarie.com/glittery-sunday/ )
    I think you and I have some things in common. So happy to meet you today!
    Now go enjoy those salt and vinegar chips, LOL

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