Written by contributor Eren Hays San Pedro of Vintage Chica
One day last week, I drug myself out of bed at my usual 5:30 a.m., made the coffee and sat down to do my morning quiet time. I was unable to focus on my task at hand and wrote down on the paper in big block letters...
What’s Wrong With ME!
I ditched my quiet time and began making a list of all of the things I felt I needed to get done – things like order two yards of topsoil and compost for the new garden beds. Clean the wooden blinds on our windows. Organize the garage. Renew my gym membership. Paint the living room.
No wonder I couldn’t focus on my study. I had too many things weighing down on me, things that I felt I should be doing but hadn’t gotten around to yet.
But lately all I want to do is make a cup of tea to hold in my hands, curl up with a good book, put in a movie or snuggle with my boys.
Where has my motivation been lately? Why can’t I get everything done? I began to beat myself up for feeling so unproductive.
She was a mother who had been feeling great pressure to make every minute of her day count. She was extremely focused on productivity. She said that at the end of the day, when her husband asked how her day was, she prided herself in the list of things she had accomplished. She went on to say that she had a problem. During the winter, she was less productive. She wondered if she had SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
Dr. Sharp said that he wasn’t sure if this woman was suffering from SAD, but that winter is intended as a time of rest. And really expecting herself to be as productive in the winter as she is any other time of the year was setting herself up for failure.
Dr. Sharp said that our bodies have a physical response to the amount of light and angles of the light and the howling winds in the winter. Even just the sight of the snow coming down makes our breathing and brain activity slow.
But in this world of cell phone apps and infinite multitasking, we as mothers are especially expected to cram it all in. Armed with time saving tools- phones, timers, and alarms. Special family schedule calendars claim to hold the key to organizing our way to better efficiency. Just look to the covers of your January magazine subscriptions and find a million different ways to do more within a 24-hour period.
But try as we might, we never seem to fit it all in. Especially in the winter.
Because we are not supposed to. Winter was never meant to be a productive time of year.
Yes, I know roads are a mess and it takes 20 minutes to bundle little people up like the kid from the malt-o-meal commercials. But it is more than that.
Winter is a time of rest. A time of rest for the Earth. And a time of rest for us.
So I offer you a bit of encouragement for the last few months of winter.
Don’t even try to be productive. Your body and your mind will only work against you if you try. Honor this rest time. Will you?
I hope so.
Soon enough the increasing light and warm spring rains will awaken our brains and will surge our bodies with energy needed for all of the tasks that didn’t get done over the winter. Our hands will ache to get back into the flower beds and with the windows open we will see all of the dirt that has accumulated on those window sills.
It will happen soon enough.
As for me, I am going to go make another cup of tea, wrap myself in an old quilt and read my boys The Cat In The Hat for the six thousandth time.
When Eren is not at the local thrift store, she can be found barefoot in her backyard garden or at the sewing machine. Eren shows how she puts a little vintage into modern day living at her blog, Vintage Chica.