January’s end finds me sitting in a quiet house breathing in the savory aroma of a roast cooking in the Crock Pot. A dog curls up beside me, shifting from dead sleep only when I make the slightest move. It is a constant trigger and practice for me to remember that a dog is not the same as a newborn.
My nerves are still in recovery from years of newborns and sleeping babies.
There hasn’t been much quiet this month, so the level I am experiencing in this moment feels delicious. I struggle to breathe in and focus on the now, rather than allowing my mind to back up or race ahead.
Now is all there is. It is such a gift.
January’s end brings three teenagers living under one roof, again. It finds me marveling at the passing of time, again. It reminds me that February is coming, and I have story work to do, again.
January’s end carries me to a place of provision and uncertainty, of endings and beginnings, of sunshine and cloudiness. It brings acute awareness of the tension that I live in daily and the freedom that I am learning to embrace.
I have described to many that this season feels strangely familiar, yet so very different.
Familiar is the fridge that is never full, the hot water tank that is always low, the towels and washcloths that can’t stay stocked, the hair conditioner that is empty. It is the after school routine of endless driving and dropping off and errands, even though we try to keep plans and activities simple.
Different is the small car I drive during that routine, unlike the large white van filled with car seats and preschoolers, along for the ride. Different is the quiet I can sit in while waiting or the music I can choose to play. It is not entertaining and chasing after little people while waiting for big ones.
It’s being ten years older and feeling it. Everywhere.
January’s end brings wisdom and further clarity and hope for what is to come while honoring what has been so very good.