Productive Hibernation

IMG_3310Productive Hibernation. It doesn’t seem like those two words would go together. But for me, they do. For about fifteen years, I’ve noticed that I suffer from January Blues. I can’t really blame that on extreme cold or extreme weather since I am in sometimes balmy Louisiana. Nevertheless, I do tend to hibernate. I find that is the best way to face my blues.

With my blues, I want to be at home with a blanket and hot tea when I am not working. Since I’m a teacher, my days are full, so I’m not talking about many hours to hibernate. I avoid outside commitments for one month–meetings, events, gatherings can wait. I surround myself with books and research, my cats, healthy snacks, and good movies.IMG_3312

Yet, this January is the first time I have practiced productive hibernation. I have a HUGE deadline on January 31. When writing, authors work solo. What better way to hibernate! When its cold outside, I write. When there’s a meeting, I write. When I’m fighting the blues, I write.

IMG_3154I think I’m going to make January of every year a productive one–without the overwhelming deadline though. I must say this year I’ve had fun hiding away in my house in comfy socks and my writing pad.

Do you suffer from January blues? What do you do to make it through?

IMG_3314Oh, I almost forgot. The early flowers blooming in my yard inspire me and promise me that spring in arriving soon. This year I might even miss my hibernation.

Off-season Strategy

January has become a month of semi-hibernation for me. About ten years ago, I found myself a bit depressed and unresponsive in January. One year I decided to counteract those feelings with a new strategy. What if I pulled out of a few obligations for that month only. I couldn’t quit my teaching job or ignore my children, but I decided a few organizations and commitments could survive without my presence.

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DeGray Lake Resort

I took a leave from choir, civic organization committee meetings, and Sunday school teacher. During those four weeks, I read, exercised, and caught up on some projects like writing and photo albums. When February arrived, I was ready to plunge back into my place in outside activities.

img_6510I travel as often as I can. Most of the time it is during tourist season since I am a teacher. Spring break and summer are the most opportune time for me to get away, along with everyone else. This year I tried something different. I used my strategy of doing something out of the ordinary.

Two days after Christmas, my husband and I spent three days at an Arkansas lake resort—yes, in winter. A resort known for lake activities, horseback riding, golf, hiking, nature watching, offered a warm place to sit in front of a fire, drink hot drinks, eat well, watch movies, and relax. The off season brought a few families to gather around beautiful Christmas trees and shiny winter decorations. There was no hustle and bustle in the towns or at the resort. I enjoyed the calm, semi-hibernation existence.

I give 5 stars for off-season resorts and for my January reclusive lifestyle (especially if normalcy is just around the bend). February will be here soon enough.

img_6530I’m enjoying reading and writing. And, I have 100 prints to put in my France photo album. Do you enjoy anything about an off-season vacation or time in your life?