We made it to 2023. I will say it again. We made it to 2023. As a family that has been on lockdown since March of 2020, that is almost unbelievable to think. 3 years. No dining out, no grocery stores, no shopping in person, no restaurants or cafes, no events or festivals. No family holidays, no vacations, no hotels, no business trips, no hotel pools, no dentists or hair salons, no road trips, no museums. No book stores, no clothing shops, no live music. No visitors in the house, no friends over, no driver's education classes, no botanical garden. As a family with several high risk people including one with a compromised immune system, we have done all touchless, curbside, online, shipped to the door for everything. While we regularly go into Doctor offices and hospitals for ongoing medical needs, even our Doctors have done telehealth and video visits to protect the high risk here. I cannot believe it is 2023.
One thing I always focused on when my kids were young was creating the life we didn't need a vacation from. To work so hard at things we don't love only to desperately get away from it all every single day off seems off balance. While I have traveled and enjoyed travel, I also spent most of my childhood wandering the woods by myself. I am so grateful that I can be with myself and family for a long time. I know that means something to be able to sit and read a book. To sit and write for hours. To make sourdough bread from scratch at home 3 times per week. To have time for art and making and tending the home. To spend every day with our kids. To have time to garden and grow things. To have time to cook meals. To have time to just be. So, while we would love to get out and about more, we also are OK being safe and keeping our most vulnerable safe, spending time as a family, and living our life from our home, as people have done for millenia.
Does anyone else remember the early days of blogs? Back when we all wrote and shared and visited each other and left comments that became conversations? When it was about feeling the roots we made with our family and our connections to them? When we all became penpals and wrote paper letters as well, with the people we met and connected with? When sharing was about sharing and not a hustle? When we cared enough to visit and comment on our lives and ask questions, and have meaningful exchanges? I can tell I'm getting old when I say it was not like the tik tok of today with people faking entire lives and filtering faces and hair and clothing and location and food and experiences to get attention and people only clicking the little heart or thumbs up button, it was interactive. I think constantly seeking new experiences and constantly running and looking for more attention and more clicks and more approval is a product of our modern society in many ways, as old as it might make me sound. ;) In the beginning of the pandemic I thought here is everyone growing vegetables, being home with their kids, having quality time just being, engaging on a deeper level...and then it was gone.
I hate New Year resolutions (esp In january - hellooooo regeneration and new life is in spring, not deep winter), but my wish for the world is to have more time. Time to be home with family. Time to spend reading or hanging out with the kids. Time with teenagers before they leave. Time with partners to talk and dream and think together. Time to read and write and draw and bake. Time to plant feet on the ground and smell the fresh clean air. Time to feel the sun on your neck as you weed the garden. Time to enjoy a bite of a freshly picked strawberry. Time to take a long walk and look at every plant along the way. Time to scribble in a notebook and explore your ideas and inspirations. Time to sit by the fire. I wish that for everyone in 2023. The year of home, the year of simple living and being where we are.
Winter for me Is a time for Introspection, stillness, recovery, connection. In winter we cocoon and prepare to emerge with the green grass and golden sunshine. With that, I plan to post more often this winter, like we did back in the olden days of blogs, with conversation, sharing, and inspiration.
Happy New Year.
If you have a moment, I'd love to hear from you. What are you dreaming this January? How do you rejuvenate yourself in winter? What are you doing at home that makes you feel grounded?
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, permaculture designer, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two young adults in south central Wisconsin.
©2007-23 Denise Cusack, all photos and text. Feel free to share my posts on FB or Twitter or online media or pin on Pinterest (thank you!), but please keep the links back to my website intact (meaning please do not take or copy my images off of this website and share them unattributed or without linking back here or use them without permission). Thank you! :)
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