It’s the winter solstice today – and (just in case you hadn’t already heard), the day on which that famous Mayan calendar predicted that the world would end.
I love the solstices – all the points of the year, in fact, but the winter solstice is a real pausing-point for me. We’re just a few days before Christmas: lots of people are seeing a slow-down at work as projects are wrapped up, either done or ready for a bit of hibernation, and some children are off school already. That, along with the festive atmosphere of the whole country, makes it feel like everyone really is taking a moment for a rest and a deep breath, before we set off into the new year.
Of course, most people think of the new year as starting on January 1 – so these few days, 11 of them, can be a sort of gap. I think it was a Mary Poppins story that said the old year ends on the first stroke of midnight; the new year begins on the last. In between, there was the Crack, I think: a very magical time.
Well, I’m going to use the time between the solstice and the calendar new year as my own magical time of ‘between’. If I want to start the year with a clean slate, it is up to me to get it good and clean. The last year has most definitely been one of upheaval: I have a new house (starting to feel like a home, even if I am renting), a new job, a new family situation. I’m not going to say anythign crazy like, “All WIPs will be done by the first of Jan!”, but I really would like a plan by then. A sense of foundations under me, ducks in a row, and a clear way forwards.
There will, of course, be lots of other stuff going on in this time: family, food, celebrations, gatherings, walks, and general joyfulness. Good! There’s nothing like a bit of sound and light to get the spiritual cobwebs blown away. But there are some preparations to be made, too, and some inward-looking time to be spent, in more than a few areas:
- Self-care. How am I going to make sure I get the exercise, nutrition and rest I need to continue healing from this monstrous disease of CFS/ME and be the best person I can be?
- Home life. How long do I continue renting? How do I make my place, wherever it is, feel as homely as possible, and as supportive as it can be? And what about gardeing, particularly with reference to sustainability and a general wish to be as self-sufficient as I sensibly can?
- Fibre stuff. What about the state of the stash? What do I want to achieve, and to learn in the coming months?
- What about Yarnscape? I’ve already cancelled (or just not booked) the shows that are early next year; what about the others? Could I do them? Do I want to??
Anyway, have a wonderful solstice, however you mark it, a fantastic festive season, and a joyous beginning to the new year!