Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Moving into the Winter of our lives

Here in Minnesota it seems we went from (a late) summer right into fall. One day it was in the 80's and the next it was in the 50's and hasn't rebounded to anywhere in between. It's been cold and rainy, so much so that it prompted me to ponder, "October showers bring November....?"

While I wish we had some warm or at least warmer, fall days before the snow loomed, I know it's coming one way or the other: Winter. Alas, don't fear the winter. After many late evenings, feeling sleepy from all the sun. After time spent outdoors as much as possible. After doing everything we normally do in our daily lives, AND fitting in barbecues and baseball practice and walks outside, I for one am actually looking forward to winter.

Winter is a time to snuggle into your house and snuggle with your family. Watch a movie and eat popcorn, cook some homemade soup, get caught up on household projects or just sleep a little more. I often say I don't have a favorite season. My favorite season is all of them, as they begin and we shift from one set of activities to another. As the newness of each season approaches with anticipation we look forward to something different, even as we go about all the same routines and habits of old.

Speaking of old habits and routines, the changing of the seasons is also a little time for reflection. As you move into this winter, take time to look back, before the year is over completely, on what has transpired. Is this year going the direction you intended? Have you accomplished those things you wanted to do? Has it gone the way you wanted? Are you getting the results you want in your life?
Either way, I think winter in general, as opposed to just January, is a fantastic time to make some changes. Winter is a time for staying in, for being together, for self reflection. You go out less, you interact less, you spend less. Just like in the current economy. Sometimes life is lively and exciting and growing and expanding (summer) and sometimes life is calm and peaceful and introspective and reflective (winter). What will you do in this winter, both of season and of economic cycles? Go with the flow and take a look back at yourself.

Self reflection can mean reviewing those goals you set earlier in the year, or earlier in your life. It can also mean you find what's not working so well and find ways to make it better. Read more books, educate yourself, find someone you can talk through your problems and issues with, take charge of your health, spend more time with your family. Take this time, this winter of your life, to do whatever it is you need to do to prepare yourself for summer and the next cycle of expansion!

"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. "
~Ruth Stout