I was thinking about you and about me and about My Daily Present last night, and I was thinking that I just wanted to sit down together and have a heart to heart. Can we do that?

Every. Single. Year. Winter is just THE SEASON for personal work for me. Somehow, I forget this by the time it’s November, and I’m not prepared when it is suddenly January, and I need nothing more than to put down the outside world and turn my focus inward.

Guys, it happens EVERY YEAR. You’d think by now I would be better prepared (I AM NOT). You’d think I would have made a plan. Set up a strategy. Carved out a ritual. NOPE.

What I do is I get hit over the head. Flail around a bit. Stop. Drop. Roll around. Sit up. Face the music. LIGHT BULB. That’s right! It’s that time again. Time for private, personal work.

So, every year (let’s just imagine that phrase in neon blinking lights), by mid-January, I am here, right where I am even today: Needing a lot of private time, a lot of QUIET time to peel away at the layers. To unearth. To drill down.

Right this very minute, I am up to this work, and I wanted you to know. Because it’s the kind of work that I can really, truly do, but it isn’t the kind of work that I really, truly want to share. Not just yet.

This isn’t because I like to keep secrets (we all know I’m terrible at that). It’s more along the lines of my needing to invest a kind of wholehearted devotion to vulnerability, and this vulnerability requires quiet. Respect. Close confidants. It feels most natural to me to act like a mama bear with myself during this time. To nurture and cover and protect this tender work. When old things come bubbling up to the surface, it is my most precious responsibility to move slowly and gently in their direction. I cannot blare the truth from the rooftops right now, because I simply don’t know it. What I know is that THIS is my season for self-care, self-repair, self discovery and personal work.

Doing this work this way is the best and only gift that I can give myself when life hands me LESSONS (looking at you right now, life). It’s the kindest, gentlest, most practical way to work right now.

I’ve learned (FINALLY) that if I don’t stop and step into this time with appropriate attention and care, if I ignore the signs and push myself to pretend or fake it or grin and bare it, then many ailments will follow, including:

  • Sickness
  • Injury
  • Pain
  • Anger/Frustration at all living beings
  • Sadness
  • Stuck-ness
  • Lack of creativity
  • Loss of perspective
  • Loss of connections
  • And more!

Yes, the cost of not hunkering down when hunkering down is in order is just TOO HIGH for ol’ me. I can’t do it anymore. I did it for years. I would skip the process. And, every time! E-V-E-R-Y-T-I-M-E I would get in a pickle.

So, I don’t do that anymore. When winter rolls in and rolls deep, I go ahead and roll with it.

Which brings me back to the point, and that point is this:

I don’t know if you’re like this, or if you can relate. Does your motherboard start to need rejiggering in one particular season each year? Do you start to find yourself hiding or shutting down or feeling insides on the outside kind of exposed? If you do, then I want you to know that I am right there with you. Doing my trenches time. Digging up and rinsing off and laying down and letting it come or go or be.

I want you to know that I know how hard it is to face yourself when things feel complicated. When your idea of how you thought your life would turn out turns caddywompus, when your marriage goes bump, when your work as a mother becomes more challenging than you feel equipped to manage. When relationships fall apart, or you lose your passion for your work or you simply find yourself without purpose, in general.

These times are hard, but I have learned, they are as necessary as a season. They are as usual as the turning of the page on a calendar. And, if you are trudging through some places in yourself that are feeling STICKY AF, then I want you to know that I am, too.

I’m not publishing a bunch this winter-not nearly as much as I had hoped. But, I am writing often and a lot. I am writing my way right through this season and this moment with everything I’ve got. I am just writing and writing and looking and looking and waiting and waiting. I am pushing self-care, I am pushing quiet, I am pushing gentle, I am pushing SLOW. And, I’m trying not to push much else.

Thank you for your patience while I work quietly and precisely in my own personal way. I am so grateful that I chose to reclaim my writing space when I did. I am a writer, and I write to understand myself, the world and pretty much all of the things. Even when I am not publishing, I am up to some kind of curiosity endeavor. I am most certainly here, hard at work beside you.

Let’s do this.