04 Jan On Meeting Challenges, #1: Starting Again in the Dark

It turns out that I feel about January first the way I feel about three o’clock in the morning: can’t we all go back to bed?

Don’t go back to sleep.

Audra put a volume of Rumi in my stocking this Christmas. I read in fits and starts, in bed, in the middle of the night, on the cusp of the new year. I was sick with a fever. The baby kept calling for me: at one, two, four AM he wanted toast, clean socks, a lullaby about (and I am quoting) “ink.” I did not handle his requests with grace. (There may, in fact, have been some yelling.) For hours I cried and shivered and coughed and read Rumi and wanted nothing more than to hibernate forever.

The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.

My fever broke eventually, as fevers do. I’m on the mend and grateful. But I’m also feeling tired, unsteady, less prepared than ever to be the the New, Improved Me. Isn’t it still only three o’clock? 2016 may be here, but I’m not ready for 2016. I suspect I’m not the only one.

I thought wanted to write something inspiring this week. I wanted to be encourage us all to meet the challenges of the new year with zest and vigor. But zest and vigor are in short supply for me right now and it turns out that what I really want to say is this: if you’re not ready—if January feels too soon for resolutions, it’s all right.

It’s all right. The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you, it’s true, but the dark is a teacher. Let’s lie awake a little while. Let us realize that there’s something to be learned here, in the very first hours of the morning—there are whisperings so faint that we can barely hear them. Listen: they are hinting at changes we need to make, at some of the challenges that are to come. This is just the beginning. When the sun does begin to rise (in March? April?) let us greet it with everything we have.

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