Since I was raised in Michigan, I always have the irresistible desire to hibernate in January.
I only wish we could have some snow here in Texas, too, to make it seem like a legitimate
reason to have a sabbatical month to just stay home and enjoy my family and get away with a little reading and organizing. Some years I have actually managed it!
Other years, like this one, when I plan to rest and stay cozy, the Lord has other ideas. There are people to care for at home and away, and, Alas, I still need milk and eggs every few days, and my son still needs to be driven to work. Since I don’t hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on my door (though I have THOUGHT about it :-)), a neighbor came by and blessed me with gingerbread cake, and two days later another friend came by with three kinds of tea (to warm my heart as well as my hands no doubt!) God seems to know that misery loves company and has arranged that I not be given time to be too alone with my SADD syndrome. Getting out in the sunlight helps ALOT, so I have to journey out to greet the day and at least check the mailbox or just go to see something in the yard that the boys beg me to see.
Soon, also, there is a missions conference at our church in the middle of the month with several families with 4 children each that I will enjoy meeting.
Also, my daughter’s birthday is next week. It will be just a family celebration, before I say a tearful good-bye when she returns to college. Learning to live without her all last semester was an opportunity to accept being the only girl in a houseful of guys. It was great to have her home through the holidays. I was so surprised to have my son from Wisconsin home for the whole week. Andrew’s parents arrived for the whole week, too, as well as my daughter and son and his native friend from Papua New Guinea. Arranging beds for all was made easier when Grandpa and GranD chose the new Motel6. That left one son on a sleeping bag and the two couches for two willing sons. Feeding thirteen every meal all week, and eleven all the next week, left very little time for rest or reading. But I was rewarded by their compliments that it was so much better than that college food. (though I personally would have loved all their choices every day when I was in college)
And they gifted me by raking all the “millions” of leaves and cleaning the backyard! I was so grateful for their thoughtful help!
Now it is January and time to start schooling all the children again. My sabbatical will have to be sandwiched inbetween all the activities this month. My children surely couldn’t live without their annual January homeschool bowling day either, I am sure. Not even an allowance for them this year to help pay for it. Times are tough. My son’s paycheck came in time to let him buy the last two $2.50 pizzas at the store with the free bowling coupons on them so that will help.
It is great when you discover that your children are catching your frugal ways and benefiting from it even.
Still, since even the sun hides, I really have to struggle to cheer myself up in January. This week though I had a really good laugh. My 2nd son is working a second job as a pizza deliverer and saving all his tips (to finish flight school) in a special bucket and depositing in the bank at intervals.
Well, he thought he would be funny and decided to put a slit in the cover and leave it in the hall, so that we couldn’t miss it, with a message scrawled in marker. Flight Tips: Donations accepted.
When my husband saw it, he promptly wrote a tip about adjusting the flaps before landing and pushed it through the opening. AH… flight tips… We all caught the spirit and started writing our own. Be sure you have enough gas before take off. Have fun. Never push rudder when you need aileron, and others. Boy is he in for a surprise when he opens it to count his tips “money.”
We sure had a good laugh!
The other thing I got to do over the holiday was taking my 16 yr. old son to get his driving permit. In Texas there is a new law that stopped the use of the previous inexpensive state curriculum (which I had already used successfully with the first four children), and instead, requires parents to spend money on only approved, and costly, courses to qualify to teach their own child after registering with DPS. After registering, my son paid for his own online course out of his paycheck. It said to use their materials and set aside the DPS packet. When we completed level one, it was finally time to go take the test for the permit.
Knowing it would be a two hour wait (this is my fifth child to process) we took books to read. Well over an hour later, we were called. Wow, But … what is this? They seem to have lost my registration! After a futile wait of 10 or 15 minutes, they finally reached someone at their own driver’s ed dept. only to be told they couldn’t find us in their registry. I told them the check number and date, but they said that wasn’t good enough.
(and I had left their packet at home since I wasn’t supposed to need it…) To make it a three hour wait instead of 1 1/2 I had to go back to my city to my bank and get a copy of the front and back of that check ( and for good measure returned home for the packet) just to go back and wait only another 10 minutes this time (Whew!) to show them the proof so he could take his computer permit test, which he passed easily. (91%) Boy was I glad! By the time I got home, it was time to start dinner for 10 this time. The next morning, we went to the high school parking lot to practice. He even got the 15 pass. van in a left parking place perfectly that day. What a relief.
SO my “vacation” did have some reward in all my labors, and I AM thankful for the new year as it always is refreshing to have a new start, soo.. why the blues? I think I can explain…
One son went to Alaska a couple years back and took pictures of snow sooo cold it was BLUE. Maybe that explains why I get the New Year “Blues.” :-)) I freeze in Texas when it is 40 degrees! My favorite present two years ago was a thick soft green blanket from my brother. If I could stay in it with a book and a cup of tea until January is over, I would. Alas, my family still likes to have clean clothes and eat three meals a day. Now, layers of clothes have become stylish for me so I can function each day for my family.
Time to make a list of goals for the year. I met one last year with my husband’s help. Starting my website and blog was it, and I hope I have more time for writing this year. Check back to see if I find more to write.
If any of you out there also get the New Year Blues, consider this…
When you feel down in the mouth, remember Jonah, …. he came out all right. :-))
Digging Deeper to Find Joy in January,