Snow covers the hard, frozen ground. The dark hours of the day outnumber the light. The trees and plants slumber until the sun’s warming rays gather enough strength to break through the cold. What could this cold, dark time of year possibly have to teach us in our daily lives? January is the height of the winter, and while it may seem quiet and unassuming there is much we can learn from this time of year to make our lives better.
From Darkness Comes Light
While the dark hours still outnumber the light hours of the day, slowly but surely the light is returning. Every day we see the darkness of night pushed back a few short moments more. Where once the darkness encroached on the later afternoon hours the daylight now lingers longer. Life too is has dark times. Dark times that often last longer than you may wish. Yet, you can overcome them. Slowly but surely you make progress, leaving behind the darkness and embracing the new light that you find. Even in times of sorrow, loss, uncertainty and despair there is light, there is hope, there is the knowledge that not even this dark time will last for ever. As January leads us ever onward to the return of the light and then onward to spring, so too does life move from darkness to light.
Rest is Necessary
Rest is needed for life. In the darkness of winter much of the natural world sleeps. The trees are barren and bare. Even the animals rest, some hibernating, some traveling to warmer locations. Others take advantage of the stocks of resources they gathered for this time. Life too requires rest. In this time w here busy is glorified, even expected you must rest or else find yourself overworked and burnt out. Embrace the quiet times, use them to recharge yourself so that you may face new challenges with fresh energy and perspective.
Hardship Can Be Overcome
Surviving the winter is hard. Our modern conveniences make it easier, but there are still dangers to be had. Treacherous winter roads call for precautions and safe driving, power outages call for alternate means of keeping warm. In the natural world, food becomes hard to find. Animals seek out what little there is to be had, food sources they normally wouldn’t prefer. They do what they must to survive, and so too, do we. You have and will face again many challenges and hardships. Do not let them make you stop, instead keep moving forward. Do what you must to make it through your own winter and on to the promise of spring.
Planning Brings Success
For every unsuccessful resolution there is the story of the life changing one. For everyone who has given up before January is over, is the one who has persevered and reached their goals. January brings the perfect opportunity to start anew and plan for future success. Yet it never promises those goals will be met. That is left up to us. The New Year gives a changes for new changes, new goals, and new outcomes, but the success comes to those who plan and keep themselves accountable. Embrace the change, embrace the New Year and plan, then follow through and turn those plans into success.
The seasons have much to teach if you take the time to listen. January brings the promises of new beginnings, a time of rest and a guide to help overcome obstacles. By embracing these principles in your own life you can learn from the wisdom of January and live a more seasonal and fulfilling life.
What has January taught you? Let me know in the comments.