I confess: the dark winter months of January and February, on into part of March are hard for me. This has been true for a number of years. In this period of time I am apt to be cold, so will stay ensconced in my little home where I can push the heat up, and wrap up. The downside of this is that I am cut off from social interaction. And although I am an introvert, I nonetheless need people in my life – don’t we all? The more I do these things, stay in the house and miss out on regular face to face connections, the more irresponsible I become – to me.
Let me say I know what I need to do. I need to write - or paint – or craft – or plant – or…so many choices. Creativity feeds my soul. Being hopeful, feeds my soul. But for whatever reasons, I become less enthused, less hopeful, and so do less. I have on the other hand, mastered the art of going back to bed. It is an escape technique I witnessed in my mother. And as much as I loved and still love my mom, I do not want to become her in this regard. In old age she became quite reclusive. I want to do better.
Add to the cold and the dark of the season this year, is the political fray going on in our nation. I am worried – downright scared of what might happen. I cannot conceive of our having a leader who advocates exclusion, who belittles others. These are not the founding principles of the country.
And on another note, I am being moved out of a part time job that I have held for many years. And here, for the job, as for other commitments, I AM responsible. It is always hard to be set aside, and no less so for me now. This job has gotten me out of the house, given me a natural social outing, and challenged me in beneficial ways. I wonder what (if anything) will come of that time for me when I am responsible to myself for its use.
As I considered this post I was reminded of the PushMe PullYou game (was it a toy at one time?). The image is above. I want to go this way, but instead then I pull that way. The end result is standing still – inadequate investment in either pull. My Google search turned up a PushMe PullYou Syndrome; who knew!
Likely the more relevant pointer for this inability to act, to move, to be responsible to myself, is in the New Testament where the Apostle Paul says to the Romans “What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.” We all move into the dark places of our souls from time to time – when we emerge, as we always do, the light and the love matter all the more. Perhaps this is my Lenten journey.