The Long Dark. 6 months of dreary overcast cold days and night. October - March. The chickens will lose their feathers then stop laying. Freezing temps mean freezing water, so we'll have to remain vigilant to keep the water sources viable for our animals. The fish will go dormant and the turtle comes inside to her winter playground. Pete gets a jacket and Lucy will want her blanket. All the busy of spring and summer slow to a crawl as the world outside goes to sleep.
Every year at this time I find myself getting anxious. What will we do without sunshine? How will we cope? What is there to look forward to? And then I remember. It's time for the Big 3.
Repair, Recharge, Reset
Before it gets super cold and crappy out, check the coops, fences, equipment. Clean up the mower, organize the tools. Check out the end of season sales to stock up on gloves, etc. If it needs new parts, or a tune up, make it happen. Don't wait for Spring when you need things to be up and running.
Once the weather forces you inside, find the things that heal you. Sleep. Read. Cook. Check out that documentary. Give your mind and bones time to rest. Be still, be thoughtful, write down your plan for next year.
Now that you are feeling more yourself, turn it up a notch. Implement that exercise program. Keep yourself accountable. Make a goal and work towards it. Clean that closet. Organize that drawer. Declutter. Try new recipes, eat well. Break out a project-sewing, building, painting, whatever you have been putting off. Get the materials and go for it. Keep chipping away until you have completed your task. Then clean up and put it away. Get ready for new. You'll feel really good about what you have accomplished.
Don't let this time of year lock you up. Use it to your advantage. Don't be afraid of the dark. Make it your friend. You might just find that you look forward to this season, when you have more flexibility with your schedule and more hours in the day to Do You. It's here. It's now. Let's go!