Meg Buerkel Hunn, Advisory Council Chair

Jan 15, 2024 | Experiences

I think January is hard…

I adore December.  December traditions don’t leave a lot of time to contemplate like or dislike, we just go-go-go.  There is one December thing always that delights and inspires hope in me:  the lights people put up in December.  Throughout the entire month, I drive different routes just to see the way people light up the darkness – those lights are like twinkling grace… gifts freely given to and for the rest of us.

But, then, in January, they come down, and the world is dark again.  It sort of matches my mood.  Or maybe my mood matches the dreariness.  I don’t really know.

In January, society expects us to make New Year’s resolutions… that are (usually) broken before the month ends, which often leads to discouragement and shame.

Add to that, most of nature has taken on a shade of dormancy, making me want to also hibernate for a time.  Wake me up when the sunny spring returns!

I sometimes struggle with finding an antidote to these feelings.

These are the times I know that it is really good for me to have SEMG to volunteer with and for.  Studies have shown that ‘by participating in volunteer activities, individuals can develop meaningful connections, strengthen their communities, and improve the quality of life for those around them.’

If you’re looking for ways to beat the winter doldrums, maybe it’s time to check out our website, sandovalmastergardeners.org, or other volunteer organizations, for ways to get involved, to get outside, to help others, and to improve our community.

Give yourself some grace around those resolutions… maybe practice intentions instead?  One of my favorite authors from Substack, MaryAnn McKibbons Dana, argues “that intentions are more gracious, more pliable, than resolutions.  Intentions are our North Star, pointing us in the direction we want to go.”

And, if the dreary skies beckon you to hibernate with a book, do so!  One book that I would suggest is Margaret Renkl’s The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year. 

All the best for your 2024!

Meg

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