It’s currently 38 degrees and raining, with a freeze warning overnight. Winter won’t end in North Carolina, apparently, even though the calendar says it has been spring for nearly three weeks. Spring has long been my favorite season, specifically because it signals the end of harsh, cold winter weather. It’s a time of warmth, renewal, and refresh. Not this year. Not yet, at least.
One of my goals for The Dogwood State is to create a positive space. Nobody wants to pursue a life well lived when they’re in a super bad mood, right? With that said, I’m not ignorant to the sheer weight of life— the struggles, challenges and injustices that are bravely faced by so many. When I’m overcome by a particularly difficult season of my life, I often feel like it’s winter in my heart and not just outside my window. One of my favorite bands, The Avett Brothers, wrote a song about this feeling.
“They say flowers bloom in spring
Red and golden, blue and pink
They say seasons turn in time
Theirs are changing, why won’t mine?
It must be winter in my heart.”
When I feel like spring won’t come, there are two things I focus on to help deal with the discomfort of a long winter season:
What I can do now
It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something. Inaction never helped anyone. I’m not talking about anything that takes major effort. Just do something small—for you. Take a stroll or a quick drive, send an email or Facebook message to a friend, listen to your favorite album, watch cartoons with your kid, read a chapter of the book that’s been on your nightstand for months, sign up to volunteer for an organization you’d like to support. I could list a thousand ideas here, but I’m sure you get the gist.
When I’m in a funk, I like to organize and declutter my house. That’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoy the results of this task, so I gladly do it—and it makes me feel better!
What I’ll do later
Here’s the thing: Winter will end. I find comfort in thinking about what I’ll do when it does and how much joy and relief I’ll feel when I arrive at a new season. Case in point: I purchased the domain for this website on February 29, 2016. It took me more than two years to work through the hardest season of my life before I found myself in a place to share these thoughts with the world.
You don’t need to launch a website, of course. But I know there’s something you desire, big or small. If you’re in the midst of winter, know that something better is waiting for you. Spring is coming soon.