In the Bleak Midwinter

Things can always change, but it appears that the kids' school break is really over now.  Two-plus weeks for the winter holidays, three days of a new semester (one of which was getting schedules figured out), a week of snow days, the MLK holiday.  Parents are no doubt cheering everywhere in our city.... and most of the kids seem ready to go back to school, too, if only to see their friends and show off their new clothes they got for Christmas.

It's pretty quiet, but not the snow quiet.  The city trucks are supposed to be inching through the neighborhood to pick up trash and recycling today, and I dearly hope that the mail service will be restored today as well.  We haven't gotten mail since Saturday the 8th (I think).  My neighbor is working on a project again which includes some kind of generator or something, but it's a drone sound rather than a banging sound.  My house is finally clean (sort of) and many items put away to make space for Christmas decorations are either back in their places or in new places.  One likes to shake up the decor a bit.

And so it seems time to get back on a schedule that gives some structure to the day.  Gym, reading, work, chores, errands, family time, friend time, lunches out.  I have made a list, which started out rather short, and I wondered what I was forgetting, but as yesterday went on more things came to mind.  Oh, yeah, I meant to do that..... replace burned out lightbulbs (with compact fluorescent ones), donate outgrown clothing to the thrift shop, do something about that pile in the closet, work on those church-related projects, schedule appointments now that everyone's back in the office.

As someone who needs regular change, if only change of scenery or decor, I also find that it's time to redirect my spiritual work.  I will continue to post prayers and reflections here, and I have a couple of new books I am reading that I will report on later, but I also have begun tuning in to The Virtual Abbey on Twitter for daily morning prayer and compline.  If for nothing else, to practice just putting everything aside while still looking at my computer, which I realize is an issue for me.  I am happy to gaze at my screen for large chunks of time (especially in winter) but am always bopping around from this thing to the next.  I can use a new way to help me with focus and with maintaining focus in that environment.

I don't do resolutions, but I do do frequent "new starts."  This feels like another one, at least for these next weeks of winter.