January UNadventures

Friday, February 12, 2016

January was just what I might expect from the first month of the year, but also surprisingly not.  And although there was nothing extraordinary about the month, it was good to our family.

What I mean by saying it was just what I might expect is that sometimes January can be the worst.  It's cold and gray.  The fun of Christmas is done and gone, and the exhaustion of Christmas remains as we all try to get back into a normal routine.  Also, it's cold.  And gray.  I have a tendency toward the winter blues, but a couple weeks into the new year I thought that maybe, just maybe I would escape them this year.  I felt chipper and motivated and even though it was cold, I didn't hate it yet.  I was excited for the newness of 2016.  However, right after thinking this, I noticed that some anxiety had been creeping in and up.  It quickly rose to the worst it's been in quite awhile, so I tapped into many of my old resources, desperately trying to keep it in check.  I planned more exercise, talked to some understanding friends, tried to address the source of the anxiety, and got more sleep.  Luckily I was able to get it under control, and January went back to being ordinary, which was grand.

The daily UNadventures were a good way for me to stop and notice, despite my periods of anxiety.  They kept me focused on things I enjoy:  my kids and Jaron, taking pictures, getting together with friends, good food, finding odd places where light creeps (literally and figuratively).  They made me practice what I had preached about finding adventure in the everyday, and that made me keep moving and keep looking.  Sometimes adventure is dressed with excitement and sometimes it's dressed with contentment and the thought of "thank goodness, we got through it!"  

As this January was coming to a close and I was looking for an appropriate way to sum it up, I thought to myself that maybe the key to January is balance.  I know this is a completely obnoxious thing to say, and I even rolled my eyes at myself (Liz Lemon style) when the words popped into my head.  But really, maybe it's just knowing that January is going to be hard because it's right after the holidays (yikes) and there's so much pressure with the new year (double yikes), but it's also the chance for a new beginning and the reality that Spring is just around the corner.  The main part to this idea of balance though is being kind to ourselves, and allowing time to get the new year figured out.

I meant it that January was both ordinary and grand for us.  We were silly in our home, we talked and laughed and dined with the dearest of friends and family, we went on field trips and to birthday parties, made target runs and actual exercise runs, enjoyed the zoo and some beautiful weather, had the nicest date night, and we worked together to manage the more difficult parts of life.  And whew, one of the best parts is that we made it to February!  (Click below to see a billion pictures of January's daily UNadventures.)


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