A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
I grew up in Colorado; it's not known as 'The Sunshine State', but it should be. (My mom told me when I was little that the Denver Post was so confident the sun was going to be shining every Sunday that they'd give away their Sunday edition if it wasn't.)
Colorado is such a sunny place that, after years of living there I actually got sick of the blue skies and bright days. I wanted the mystery and romance of a wet, cloudy day full of fog, rain and gloom. Can you imagine? What was I thinking? I wanted those things so badly I actually chose jolly old England as a place to go on a mission's trip.
A few years later I ended up here, in Indiana. America's England. For almost 5 months out of the year we get those wet, dark gloomy days. I'm so confident the sun won't be shining on Sundays that if I owned the Indianapolis Star I'd give away the Sunday edition if it did.
For almost 5 months out of the year it is grey here. The trees are grey. The roads are grey. The grass is grey. The skies are grey. Our moods are grey.
When I had 3 little boys at home with me I didn't really notice the grey. I was just too busy teaching, cooking, cleaning, etc. to even think about the lack of color outside.
But then my sons started doing something I wasn't very excited about. They grew up and one by one needed less of me. I didn't change-I still had the same need for challenge; the same need for something to pour me into, but I didn't know what that was.
At first I tried novels. I'd read book after book and escape into the romantic world of a fictitious girl having wonderful adventures, and dream. (popping Doves into my mouth as the pages turned.) However, that only made me fatter than I already was, lethargic, and discontent.
Finally, about 6 years ago I had a thought-why not set a goal to get me through the winter? I needed to pick something hard and challenging that I could pour me into; something that would demand my attention and most of my energy. That first year I chose my blubber. I wanted it gone. (That did the trick, btw. Winter was barely long enough for me to accomplish that goal!)
The next year I chose scrapbooking. I made two scrapbooks of my parents' lives for my brothers and again, that worked. It gave me something to focus on and the grey winter to race against. And again, I won, but barely.
Each year now I do this-I pick a goal or two and race against the gloom. Last year it was Survival. Healing. Not driving my family nuts as an invalid.
Maybe that's the reason I'm in trouble this year. I missed out on a year of challenge and my goal list? It's long. I have spiritual goals, emotional goals, physical goals, a family goal and one huge crazy goal that will most certainly demand a lot of me.
So now as I sit and think about the winter I'm almost excited. Almost. It will take more than a few goals to get me truthfully excited about winter. (Maybe like spending it on a beach somewhere?) But I am excited about my goals and the challenge they give me. They really do help me get through the longest night.