There is a new calendar on my desk and a new year to write on checks (yes I still write checks). Marketing folks and IG tell me that means NOW, right NOW, is the time to start something new. Now, is the time to run after my business goals. Right now is the window of opportunity I have to gain control over my weight. If I am going to be something.. someone ..I better get cracking … now.
Can I tell you what my soul feels? It feels tired. Can I tell you what my heart feels? It feels weary. Can I tell you what my to-do list looks like? It is really, really, really long.
Since midnight on Nov 1, those same marketing people have been pushing me to run. Like a treadmill, someone else was controlling the speed of, things got faster and faster and more and more difficult as the calendar moved through November.
Gather with friends and family!
“Be grateful,” the world shouted.
Before the turkey carcass was in the trash, the treadmill got faster, and the incline higher.
Buy the gifts!
Your tree isn’t up yet?
The card started arriving. You haven’t started writing cards yet?
Attend this, look festive, and add more things to the calendar mom (as if you don’t work a full-time job).
Ladies, we staggered into Christmas, maybe it was fun, maybe it was just fine, maybe it disappointed you. The house is a mess, it needs to be undecorated. The credit card bills are overwhelming, the new year rings in…. And NOW, now the world tells you is the moment to reinvent yourself, to dream, to crush decades-long addictions and hang-ups.
Well, maybe ladies, now is the time to take a nap. Maybe, like in the animal world, January could be a time to slow down deeply. Now could be the time to catch your breath and cuddle deep under a fuzzy blanket with a book. If you’re an introvert like me, January might be a great time to be alone.
The weariness and disappointment you might be feeling heading back to work and school this week, may not be a sign that you need a “new you.” It might just be a physical and emotional reaction to two months of ridiculous expectations put on women. Two months of bearing the burden of creating a Pinterest/Hallmark-worthy holiday season that now dominates ⅙ of the year. Our grandmothers did not decorate for Thanksgiving. They made a nice dinner for the family that lived close enough to drive over. Christmas was a two-day holiday. There was no Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Amazon, or Target selling an unlimited amount of decorations to be made and put up. The dog did not have pajamas that matched the kids. Our grandmothers, statistically speaking, also did not work outside the home. When the new year rang in, they changed the kitchen wall calendar to a new one that had arrived in the mail from AAA or their insurance agent.
That was it.
They were not pushed into an existential crisis by marketers convincing them they needed a new diet, capsule wardrobe, morning routine, and six-figure side gig.
So on the first Monday of January 2023, I want to remind you of a few things God has said to us, His beloved creation.
God says “Watch, I am doing a new thing.” God is a God of new things. In a few months, tulips will bloom and trees will bud. Six months from now tomato plants will unfurl new leaves in the garden. Ten months from now new shiny orange pumpkins will be ready for our front porch steps. Something new is always coming, always blooming, always growing in its own perfect time. So shut out the shouting today that leaves you tired and weary self-feeling like right NOW is some moment to desperately grasp out to build a “new you.” You are wonderfully made, and desperately loved by your Creator. Go take a nap if you need one today. God is unfurling all sorts of glorious, and new things in you and for you out of His abundant love. There is no single window of time or date on a calendar, that needs to be fixated on.
Maybe after a really good nap, and a few weeks of everyday life without the added pressures of the holidays, you might just look in the mirror and feel content with exactly who, and where you are in life. I pray you will see yourself a little clearer, a little more like your Heavenly Father sees you… as a very good thing… because it is exactly what you are.
Happy New Years friends, may you delight in the woman He has made you to be.
That was it.