I’ve heard it said that December 29th is the day where post-holiday blues typically set in. The family has come and gone. The gifts have all been unwrapped. The anticipation is over. And now all that remains is the monumental task of un-doing Christmas: packing up the ornaments, taking down the lights, washing the guest sheets and towels, and how about taking a moment to pause and take a deep breath? Are you making any time for that?
Today the snow is consistently falling in Boise…more than I have seen in my 5 winters here. And it feels right for my melancholy spirit this December 29th. I find myself unable to motivate to do anything besides sit and watch the snow come down while listening to my “Healing” playlist with Jasper curled up in my lap with a bone. This stillness allows me to see how far I’ve come in a year. Last year I remember being afraid of the darkness of December; I was afraid to be alone because I didn’t know what I’d find in the deep recesses of my mind. But 2021 taught me that being alone with my feelings isn’t so scary after all. It’s kind of peaceful in there, like being in a warm house while watching the snow gently falling outside. December revealed to me the woman that I’ve become one year post-divorce. She is no longer afraid of the unknown. She is fiercely courageous. She loves life deeply, even when it hurts her. She knows how to get up from a fall…and you know what else she can do? She can shovel her own snowy driveway, thank you very much.
My Healing Playlist
When it became clear that I was on the road to divorce in early 2020, I started compiling a list of songs that gave me courage to keep moving forward. A lot of the songs were gifts from friends, sending me encouragement from afar. Throughout the past nearly two years, this playlist has grown to over 3 hours of songs that reassure me and remind me that I’m not alone, nor am I the first person to feel the hard feelings that I feel. I was listening to this playlist this morning when Adele’s words came floating into my living room and inspired me to write this post. This is from her new album, 30, where she bravely sings about her divorce.
Hold on by Adele
Sometimes loneliness is the only rest we get
(Just hold on, just hold on)
And the emptiness actually lets us forget
(Just hold on, just hold on)
Sometimes forgiveness is easiest in secret
(Just hold on, just hold on, just hold on, just hold on)
So just hold on, ooh-ooh
Let time be patient
(You are still strong)
Let pain be gracious
Love will soon come, baby
If you just hold on
Lessons from the butterfly
Facing the darkness isn’t an easy task, but it’s a necessary part. It’s where the caterpillar gains strength for its wings to carry it courageously out of the cocoon, transformed into a beautiful butterfly. My soul is at peace with today’s December 29th post-Christmas blues because it’s shaping me into the person I want to become when I fly out of my winter cocoon. I don’t know where 2022 will lead me; I’m hopeful that it will be upward into greener pastures, but if there’s anything that I have learned while working through the pain of my divorce, it’s that there are obstacles around every corner on the path to transformation. I have also learned that each time I jump over a new hurdle, I’m a little stronger. And if I fall, I just pick myself back up, pop in my earbuds and tune into the songs from my Healing playlist and try again. There’s no other way to get to the other side but through. I don’t want to remain as a caterpillar, I want to transform into a beautiful butterfly. So I’m inviting in more courage in 2022. Courage to keep on my path despite the obstacles thrown in my way. Courage to speak my truth with love and to share my stories with others who are just beginning their rocky journey. Courage to love boldly, despite a broken heart. Courage to dream bigger and to launch my Let Love Rise retreats. Courage to be authentically and unabashedly ME.
So on this melancholy December 29th, hold on my friend. I invite you to throw on some extra comfy clothes, grab a blanket and a warm cup of tea (or glass of wine or eggnog and brandy or whatever your soul is craving) and consider what you’d like to welcome more of in 2022. Can you put that thought or feeling into one word? Like joy, or connection or ambition? Or is it more like an action such as inspire, laugh or teach? Whatever word you decide on will be the thought that you can come back to again and again in the next 365 to remind you of what you desire for yourself. On January 2nd (the first new moon of the new year) I’ll share a post about how to welcome in your new intention with a new moon ritual. But first, dream about what you want. And also, please know that before we can invite anything new into our lives, we may have to let go of the old first. Is there a thought or a habit or even a person that is no longer serving you well? How can you release that in order to make room for what you want to invite in? Let the darkness of this beautiful December wrap you up like a warm cocoon, and in the safety of that space, cast a vision for your future. And courageously hold on. The light is just around the corner. Namaste.