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  • Writer's pictureTina

Embracing Winter




The winter season is often a season of complaint. When talking with others, one often hears disgruntled rumblings of it's too cold, it gets dark too soon, these long evenings and lack of sunshine give one a case of the blues or the winter doldrums. Don't get me wrong, by the time February rolls around, I, too, am complaining about the grey days, the cold, the snow, the ice, and the misery the cold temperatures create in my now middle-aged body. Each year, I vow we will move our lovely herd of goats to a tropical island and make soap in paradise. The Bibbed Wonder and I have even gone so far as to pinpoint a location that is remote and friendly to outsiders where crime is low, life is slow, and we could live out our days in a sunny tropical paradise.

 

However, I also look at winter in a positive light for a time. I have an appreciation for the slower pace winter creates. I enjoy significant snowfall, snow days when my bean is home from school, staying in, cozying up with a good book and a cup of tea to pass a long evening, or binge-watching a new show of interest on Netflix. During the winter season, we give ourselves permission to end our workday around five or six in the evening. We give ourselves the grace to go to bed at 7:30 if we feel the urge. Winter is a time to slow down, rest, rejuvenate, and charge our internal batteries.  

 

Winter is also a time of planning, dreaming, and re-evaluating our goals. I view the new year as a fresh start. It is a time when anything feels possible. My favorite time of year is fast approaching as I ready to blend new scents, try new soap-making techniques, and research natural additives to optimize your bathing experience. Now is the time when I spend hours on the computer researching product ideas and preparing to be told no by my bib overall-wearing curmudgeon. However, until he crushes my dreams like a cigarette butt under his heel, I will dream big. (Notice what I did here; I nailed not only his naysaying but his unhealthy smoking habit…I am so good sometimes…insert a wicked giggle).

 

In this time of rest and new beginnings, allow yourself to slow down a bit. Give yourself the grace to do whatever restores your mind, spirit, and body. It's okay to stay in, wear something cozy, relax, read a good book, snuggle under your favorite quilt, drink a restorative and relaxing cup of tea, cook meals that comfort you, and rest. Nature is an amazing thing. Rather than fight our instincts and push through to ignore our needs, embrace them. Embrace this time of long, dark evenings and quiet snowfalls. Cozy up your home, nurture your body, and enjoy the slower pace winter creates.

 

In a few short months, we will face baby season, market season, and spring preparations here on the farm. In a few short months, we will go from sunup to sundown, some days without a break. Take this time to plan, re-evaluate what is important, enjoy winter's respite, and recharge. Soon enough, we will all once again be going in a million different directions at breakneck speeds to get as much done as possible. If you are fortunate enough to have a break during this week between Christmas and New Year's, give your body and mind the break it needs. Sleep, read, relax with your feet up, drink a good cup of tea, take a hot bath or shower, and practice a little self-love. You've earned it.

 

In Southwestern Pennsylvania, we are experiencing unseasonably warm weather. Enjoy it while it lasts because winter temperatures will soon return. Stay safe, be smart, trust nature's process, give yourself permission to slow down, and keep washing your hands.

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