I forgot how good it feels, how restorative it is to be quiet and still. January has a way of making that clear again. The weather turns cold, dreary, and wet, asking us to settle into our nests indoors. The grocery store offers expensive tropical produce or less expensive local root vegetables, so we make slow-cooked, warm, heavier meals. The sidewalks and trails are uneven and icy, making it harder to run safely, so I run less.
I have a computer and TV to fill empty time slots at day's end when the kids go to bed and honestly, I'm so wiped out after our long days that a screen sometimes helps me turn my brain off and zone out.
I am weary and conscious of zoning out. Sometimes it feels good (so good...) to let Nick Viall take me away for two hours while I eat brie, put my feet up, and let my eyeballs glaze over. He asks nothing of me, and that is wonderful after days where people ask me to do lots of things for them. It's a balance. My 'free time' is finite and though mindless entertainment is an easy, addictive and tempting pursuit each evening, it doesn't equip me to do my job(s). In too heavy portions, it detracts from my energy pools and leaves me sluggish. January leaves me feeling sluggish and slow, heavy and sleepy.
Feeling sluggish and slow leads to apathy, whining, complaining and despondency, I have learned. (The hard way, as any good lessons are learned) My daily (ish) yoga practice was on hiatus, but truthfully, I didn't really miss it. One night last week, after putting the girls to bed, I packed the school lunches, emptied the dishwasher, brought the laundry up for folding and studied a bit. I walked into the tea room to turn on Netflix, and paused. Great things happen in a pause. I took my yoga mat, laid it out and did a half hour yoga video geared towards opening my hip flexors, stretching out daily stresses and unwinding before bed. It ended in a seated meditation that I continued on my own. In that space, in the quiet, still space, all I heard was my breathing, and I was transported.
I heard quiet. I realize that's an oxymoron, but I'll tell you: hearing silence is so much more restorative than kid noise. Than any noise, really. In that silence I nurtured my mind's soil, making it a ripe breeding ground for ideas, truths and clarity to grow. I needed me some clarity. Spending my waking hours bouncing from one need/want/request to another is draining. My cup needed filling, and in that quiet I remembered how.
Thanks, January. Thank you for your slow, inclement weather days, lazy haze, sweatpants vibes that comfort me when I am drained. Thank you for showing me how to fill my cup. There are evermore draining days ahead, many more shows I will not make the time to watch, many more evenings I finish the day's work only to realize it is nearly midnight. I will kiss my girls on their sleeping heads before going to my own, and before I sleep I will sit in quiet to listen for what I might hear.