“We are five months into 2019 and it’s still January.”
“January…it’s the Monday of months.”
And my personal favourite…
“January, it’s a tough year but we made it.”
There are so many memes about January being the longest month, well, pretty much, EVER…74 days long, or something to that effect.
The thing is, though, that‘s how it feels, at least it does to me. It’s usually quite cold where I live (we wear a minimum of seven heavy layers so we don’t freeze our skin if we do decide it’s necessary to go outside—winter in Alberta is no joke), the days are extremely short (we see so little daylight in our northern locale it’s literally depressing), and we’re generally confined to our homes for long stretches at a time…sometimes up to several weeks. There aren’t any holidays to break up the monotony, and time creeps slowly forward at about the same pace as a heard of turtles.
For interest sake, it’s been one month since I’ve posted anything here on the blog. (For what it’s worth, this feels like a church confessional, and I’m also having a deja-vu moment like I may have said this on here before.) But in any case, this post breaks precisely 31 days of blog silence.
Sure, I could say I’ve been busy doing other things, which of course is true, at least to some extent.
I’ve been reading a fascinating book, The 5 am Club by Robin Sharma, doing online course work, cleaning and purging the house, writing in my Five-Minute Journal, doing yoga, meditating, testing my strength and stamina with kickboxing, as well as exploring my word of the year, nourish, in the nutritional sense by exploring ways to incorporate a more plant-based diet in my life (more to come with a dedicated blog post about this later).
At the same time, I’ve been isolating myself. Staying home. Being quiet. Sitting with unpleasant emotions I’d rather not feel. And if I’m being completely honest, the aforementioned process has seen me be far less intentional with my time in January than I had planned. This is definitely a common, re-occurring theme as my Five-Minute Journal asks me, every night without fail, “How could I have made today even better?” and my response often has to do with spending less time on my phone.
But alas, it’s true. Much to my dismay, I’ve allowed myself to be distracted and wasted oodles of time on social media. And while I’m on on here confessing all my sins, I’ve also taken to being distracted by online shopping, both to alleviate feelings of boredom as well as to avoid other things I’m having a hard time with, or just downright not wanting to do.
In between these things, and among the other routine demands of my daily life, I’ve enjoyed some small pockets of stillness. These slivers of quiet are, in one word, glorious.
It is in these moments I feel as though a beautiful blanket of fresh snow has draped itself, ever so effortlessly and gracefully, over the otherwise dull and lifeless landscape of my life.
A crystalline snowfall cleans and purifies the external world. Similarly, the quiet allows me to see clearly, making my perception of the world immaculate, even if only for a moment. The sun dances across the spotless surface of my freshly snow-covered mind, gleaming and sparkling as the light hits at sharp angles. And in these moments, my life is a blank canvas, with no limits as to what I might be able to create. I have access to an infinite number of possibilities.
And then the husband and kids come home, bringing animation, noise, and all manner of calamity with them. Oh, so much noise! Voices clamor for attention, as people yell to make themselves heard from one corner of the house to another. The girl—bless her heart—sings unabashedly at the top of her lungs as the boy blares video games in the basement while yelling at his friends over a mic. The dog barks endlessly for scraps of food or someone to bring him down the stairs or to help him down off the couch. Ding. Buzz. Beep. Alarms sound, signalling the need to go somewhere or do something important. My head rings from the chaos.
January certainly marked a return to chaos in my household, and I am thankful that it was interspersed with some pockets of quiet.
I know a little chaos in life is inevitable, but I so enjoy quiet.
It is where I connect with myself and my breath.
It is where I am able to extract order from chaos.
It is where I can hear my thoughts, separate one from the next, and discover slivers of clarity.
It is the source of my creativity, and the place from which I am able to access and honour my deepest truth.
As we welcome February in my neck of the woods, it looks like we may need to hunker down for some much colder temps and another big dump of fresh snow.
It is so beautiful and peaceful, and calls me to remember the profound power that is inherent, both in the quiet and the freshly fallen snow.
They almost seem to be one in the same.