The holidays are over, the long gray drapes of winter settle upon us, and it is into an apathetic winter that I find myself thrust.
It is the same every year, despite my efforts to remain positive, upbeat, productive, and energetic during this cold stretch. Like the cold winds that blow outside my window, so my spirit seems to freeze and grow dormant.
I could give this “slump” some formal name, but does it really need one to be dealt with? I know the tools required to push on, foremost is perseverance. Despite mood, feelings, and the weather, it is important to just do it, to acknowledge it all and then move on.
You get up, do not only the things that must be done but what you desire to do as well…such as write, even when you do not feel like writing. This applies to all things – exercise, smiling, positive attitude…. eventually, with time, patience, and perseverance, it becomes natural and no longer needs to be forced.
I suppose that is the discipline part of it. I smile despite my moods. I remain positive despite the chaos of the world. I keep getting up even when I wish to remain hidden away. That takes courage and discipline. It is like preparing the flowerbed for winter, knowing that eventually the flowers will bloom again.
So why do I write all of this? What is the point of this dribble of rambling?
It has come to my attention that I am not alone in this apathetic mood that accosts me during the months following the holidays. Many feel disoriented, lacking in schedule and motivation. The ongoing pandemic has hardly helped the situation, especially when we thought it would be over with by now.
Though it is easy to believe things “last forever,” a quick glance at history will reveal otherwise. Everything is in motion, always changing, never stagnant. Good things and good moods come and go but so do the bad. The apathy…it will move on if we allow it.
To hang on to this apathetic mood or the negative thoughts and emotions, is like planting ivy – while pretty to look at from a distance, up close you discover that it is invasive and willing to choke out all other plants. Apathy can grow into bitterness, jealousy, discontentment that threatens the happiness and beauty of life. This does not mean one cannot have ivy, just that it will need careful attention, pruning, and a vigilant eye.
When feeling down or a bit “off” I have a choice in how I can handle it. I can let it take over my garden or I can direct it, prune it, and watch it closely so that it enhanced things without smothering the flowers. Apathy can be an asset in self-reflection, the first step toward change, so instead of trying to hide from it..acknowledge it, this is your soul’s dormant stage.
While winter presses on, and the apathetic mood might hang about a bit longer, I have faith that like a daffodil, wonderful things are happening even in the coldest ground, ready to spring up through the snow and shed it’s beauty and symbolic hope to all.
So to all those, feeling a bit “off,” struggling to find the purpose of life, wondering what will happen next, don’t give up. Keep putting one foot before the other. Keep smiling. Keep writing. Keep moving. The sun shines even in winter. Allow this to be a time of rest.