When Things are Dormant
It hasn't felt much like winter in Kansas City. Although there have been some cold days and a little snow, we have been having some warm days and highs in the mid to upper 50s. I've lived in Kansas City for five years now and I don't think I would claim to be a mid-westerner yet, but history would tell me that January and February are the worst of the weather, and I shouldn't be lulled into a false sense of security over the 'early' spring that is trying to make an appearance.
From the end of August until now, things have been hard. So much, so much that I was ready to take my Christmas decorations down on Dec 28th, when normally they are up until at least Epiphany. There has been good, but mostly, I've just wanted to move on and pack up the last few months. I've been hurt, sad, angry, tired, overwhelmed, unfocused, apathetic, scared, and a whole host of other things.
Part of the troubles of the last few months resulted in my husband taking a medical leave from work. Which resulted in me also taking 'medical leave' although, since I work for myself, I didn't have to jump through nearly as many hoops as he did. We both needed it, but for very different reasons. As we've both eased back into work over the last couple of weeks, I've had some time to reflect on the last four months.
Here are some of my unfiltered thoughts...
Those 4 months are gone. This isn't a surprise. They are gone for people who had a good time too. But, I don't have to keep reliving the hard experiences.
It's okay to be angry. I spent a lot of the last 4 months angry. I'm still a little angry. But every day it is a little less. Anger can be a sign that something needs to be changed, a boundary was broken, or there was trust lost. I am learning from the experiences and how to handle them differently in the future.
Hard times bring about a lot of reflection. I've spent a lot of time over the last 4 months wondering when it will get better, or easier, or if we'll catch a break. It seems to be a lot of wasted energy. Instead of focusing on all the bad, I should have been focusing on the good because there was some good in all the hard. I just wasn't able to see or feel it.
I've got a great community. We started attending a local church (instead of one that was 30 minutes away, we now drive 5 minutes). It is small, but having a community here has been a huge blessing. I've received text messages asking if we need a meal, get-well cards in the mail, and a lot of encouragement from the people wanting to support us.
I've not lost anything, taking a month off of work. Or maybe I have, I don't know. What I have gained is clarity. Being an entrepreneur things are constantly changing. Your idea of what you do, and who you serve is constantly evolving (more of this to come in the next month!).
So where does this leave me? First, I'm finding a bit of hope in these spring-like days, even though I know winter just officially started a few weeks ago. Knowing that I've got a couple more months of winter and the ability to be 'dormant' and work on things provides a little relief. It is okay for me to be working on things, and have little to show for it externally.
How does this relate to health and wellness? I've been leaning heavily into rest. There are a lot of phrases - 'you can't pour from an empty cup' or 'if you get tired, learn to rest, not quit' and 'rest is not idleness.' I've heard them a million times, and I'm sure you have too. It is easy to ignore them and their meaning, but that doesn't remove their truth. The basics matter - nutrition, movement, and stress management. As much as these basics have been a struggle, they are what have gotten me through and will continue to get me through these next few months. Until spring is officially here, and warmer days are here to stay.