I have been asked to contribute a weekly column to our local newspaper, The Nebraska City NewsPress, my goal is that people are reminded that they are loved, they are not alone, and that we can do positive things together as a community. Here is this week’s column, it’s called “Now we Wait”. We’ve reached the middle of January folks. This week the weather has been a little better but for all intents and purposes Nebraska City is in hibernation. The high created by the mass of holidays and festivities from Thanksgiving to New Year’s has died down and we’ve had time to get back to the grind. Most of the attractions are closed, people aren’t out much, it just feels like everyone retreats to their caves until April, when things start to open back up, get moving, and the weather cooperates (maybe).
This is my least favorite part of the year.
It’s my least favorite for a lot of reasons. College football is over, my kids are stuck in the house, it is really, REALLY cold. Not just cold, but bitter cold and it’s bitter cold for weeks at a time. I’m also extroverted, which means that one of the ways that I remain energized is by being with other people. It’s conversations, chance encounters, meetings on the street, etc. During the first quarter of the year people don’t do these things. They aren’t out, my kids and the neighborhood kids aren’t out, so their parents aren’t out. I feel shut up, I feel isolated, I don’t like it.
Here’s the deal though, it’s all part of the cycle. Our world is set up to go, go, go, to never stop. Our kids don’t get time off, of sports, of clubs, of responsibilities. Parents don’t stop, we can’t stop, we don’t take our vacation days (if we get them), we are constantly running, running, running. It’s not how we were created, it’s not what we were created for. I mean, God even took a day off.
That’s how it’s set up. That’s how it’s supposed to be.
We are designed to rest, our plants do it, our Earth does it, why don’t we do it? This is the time of year where things are dormant, things are resting so we can celebrate the beauty of spring, the excitement of airing out our homes, and playing in the yard again, getting in the garden, hearing the kids laugh and shriek as they run around the neighborhood.
That doesn’t mean nothing is happening, it does mean that the earth, the plants, and we should be preparing for spring. We should be reflecting on what happened last year and what we are going to do in the upcoming year.
I know that plans are being made for the city, high school students are making plans as they prepare for graduation, parents are making plans as they try to figure out what they are going to do with their kids this summer. If they aren’t making those plans they might get caught off guard when the time comes.
I’m planning on trying to figure out kindergarten for my daughter next fall and preschool for my son. I’m trying to figure out daycare options for the summer. My wife and I are trying to figure out our summer. Are we going on vacation? Can we afford it? What are the things we want to get accomplished in the yard? What are the things that our jobs want from us this summer?
We’re planning, we’re dreaming, but for now…we wait.
At dinner every night, my family goes around the table and shares their high points and low points of the day. We call it “Favorite” and “Not Favorite”. Here are my “Favorites” and “Not Favorites” of the week.
Favorite: The day after I submitted my last column about my son only wanting to be comforted by my wife he decided that he only wanted me.
Not Favorite: I have to get up early with my son, because he will only accept breakfast from me. No sleeping in.