In the Dead of Winter

It’s officially been a month since my last post. Winter has a way of sucking the life out of me.

I am not overly fond of the holidays – full of stress, extra commitments, stress, shopping, and stress. On the heels of the regular holidays comes my birthday and now, my wedding anniversary. Perhaps for some people, this would mean that December and January are full of great joy and excitement. And sometimes, I do feel that way. What kind of person doesn’t enjoy Christmas, New Years, birthdays, and anniversary’s? But often, all of these events mean that more is required of me – more time, more energy. I feel the pressure to cook, clean, shop, entertain, visit, and be joyful. It’s the last three in that list that really take a toll on me. I only have so much small talk, smiling, and bubbly-ness inside me and when that very shallow well runs dry I have to pull water from dry ground, which is exactly as hard as it sounds.

Most people have the benefit of these events being spread throughout the year. They cook, clean, shop, entertain, visit, and are joyful in much smaller doses. This allows for rest, relaxation, rejuvenation. Perhaps I should be grateful that I get it out of the way in one fell swoop. There is only one time of year that I am required to cook, clean, shop, entertain, visit, and be joyful.

This year, the season is particularly more difficult than other years. A friend of mine passed away on New Year’s Eve. And while I can’t say it was exactly sudden, it was still shocking. She has been ill for sometime. Recovering from surgery turned into a steady decline that ended when she passed away in her sleep.

The last time I saw her, she was glowing with life and vitality – basking in the joy of a women’s retreat. It is impossible to reconcile my memory of her with the reality of her death. And yet I am glad that I have such a robust picture of her in my head. Having forgiven myself for not seeing her during her protracted illness, I admit that I am grateful not to have a “dying” picture of her to remember.

As I believe is the case for most people when someone they love dies, her death has reminded me to tell my friends I love them and to not take life for granted.

Thank you for reading. small-heart