Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wasting January

December 2015 brought lots of snow and lots of snow shoveling.  I was no slouch in December!
Three years ago this month, I retired.  And I have to say I love it.  Every bit of it.  Except January.  That first January, my house was still getting its last remodeling with the Upstairs Doors and Floors project.  Frankie and I were stuck in the basement to stay out of the way, and consequently, spent a lot of time by the lovely warm fireplace binge-watching Netflix.  I felt a little guilty, but not too much.  By February, I didn't have workers around as much and I got myself in gear and got some neglected things done.

You know me -- I like to get things done.

But since then, I seem to have fallen into a pattern of wasting January.  And again, this year, I am guilty of that.  The cold bothers me so much more these days.  My body feels stiff all over and just wants to be warmer.  I am guilty of spending more time by the fireplace and, alas, napping on the couch under a warm blanket.  I try to take Frankie for walks, but neither of us likes it, and we hurry home to find some warmth again.  I swear, I could just hibernate through this month and be perfectly happy.

Except, I do still care for the grandkids mornings and afternoons.

Despite the need to wake up around 4:30 a.m., I find myself glad to have the routine of tending the kids and getting them off to school in the mornings.  This past Christmas season, they spent three weeks in Brazil, and were just back last week.  While they were gone, I often woke up as early, but drank coffee in my comfy bed while doing crossword and sudoku puzzles.  Some days I stayed in my robe until noon like some female version of The Dude.  I got very lazy.  On the plus side, I started getting sufficient sleep which has been an aim of mine for a long time.  But when the day came that the kids returned to school, I had no trouble getting back into the old routine.  And I found I felt better for getting up and moving.  Of course, time with the grandkids is a reward in itself, too, and I had really missed it.  This responsibility at least forces me to get showered, dressed, and coffeed  up early in the day and gives me a good start.  I need that kickstart.

But the momentum doesn't last once I return home.  I sit down for another cup of coffee and a look at the internet.  I have my To Do lists, oh yes.  I have something I want to accomplish every single day of the week. And I have my list of self-care items that I'm working on. Most of the year, I'm able to get on those things and follow my plan.  But January has become troublesome.

Last year I had room freshening projects I wanted to do for January, February and March.  I wasted January, but made up so much for lost time in February that I ended up completing my projects on time.  Not unlike the previous two years.  And, so far, this one.

This morning, as I drove home after dropping the youngest kid off at school, I thought about an old friend's admonition to "seize the day".  I thought then of rock star David Bowie who died just a couple of days ago at the age of 69, following an 18-month bout of cancer.  He had released a new album on the Friday before he died, on his birthday.  I wonder how he was able to get through the hard work and the creative challenge of producing that album while fighting that terrible disease.  Almost no-one even knew he was sick until the news of his death.  He epitomizes the meaning of "seize the day".

I want stories like this to inspire me.  To make me remember that today is the only day I have for sure, and not to waste it.  Despite my pattern, I don't want to continue wasting a whole month out of the year.  It means working through pain and discomfort, I know.  My body is getting old and feels achy in the cold, even indoors.  But I need to work through a little achiness and accomplish something.

Well, the month is not quite half gone.  I will try to do better with the remaining days.  Yes, those To Do lists are still there.  I have plenty of things I need to do. And want to do.  It's time to stop wasting time.

Dawn, the day after the first big storm.  It has been a real winter this year. 
Despite the cold, I'm glad for the promise of water for the summer.