Anxiety, Childhood, Life, Soul Homework

Goodbye January

I’m sitting in my cozy chair, soaking in the January sun, with my cup of coffee in my hand and my dog curled in my lap. I stare out the window at the sun, snow, and barren branches, while listening to the healing music on my playlist in the background. I have achieved Zen. But, as I sit here in my zen state, I wonder why I’ve always hated winter.

I’ve loathed winter for as long as I can remember. It’s not just the snow, the severe weather, the illnesses, or early darkness. I just despise winter. Without ever being diagnosed, I would blame it on seasonal affective disorder.

Photo by Simon Berger on

Then in 2020, I changed as a result of my soul homework and the pandemic. Last winter was the first time I was able to appreciate the small treasures that these dark, cold months bring.

Soaking the sun in spots on my floors, putting blankets in the dryer, snuggling with my dogs, watching them enjoy the fireplace.

I used to write about my difficulty with winter in amusing ways to avoid making my readers uncomfortable, but now I understand I should’ve been more straightforward. Winter was less about the cold and more about a deeper homesickness that I couldn’t get rid of.

Photo by Pixabay on

Watching the birds huddle on our barren trees in between feedings from our window feeder. Sleeping in and eating more oranges.

As I sat in my sun-filled chair, staring out my window at the winter scene, I am instantly struck with the realization as to why I hate winter. It comes to me as if I’d been hypnotized and snapped awake. My dog sat up and licks the tears from my face as I begin to cry. 

Appreciating the light that lingers each evening as we get one day closer to spring, reading more books in the evening when the sun does go down.

The nurse forced me to go into my classroom. That awful classroom. Where no one makes eye contact and I look out the window and see snow on the ground. I wished to die that year. It was the first time in my life that I recognized the concept of agony. 

Winter is bad.

Winter is associated with suffering. 

Winter is synonymous with abandonment. 

For a long time, I believed winter had a personal vendetta against me. Since learning what my hatred of winter was rooted in, it has changed me.

Winter, maybe you’re not that bad after all.

Goodbye, January.

28 thoughts on “Goodbye January”

  1. Kari you are Wise and Strong and Insightful. Seeing things clearly is power.

    For me Winter is warmth and love and exhilaration and freedom. I will share my winter with you any time friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Maddie.

      Now that I know my why, I’m going to appreciate February differently.

      Thank you for allowing me to share your winter with you, friend. I love the idea of warmth, love, exhilaration, and freedom. 🙂


  2. I’m sorry to read that you experienced trauma in winter and now associate it with the season. The winter is officially half over soon, and every day brings back the sun and the warmth and inches us closer to spring. Hang in there, my friend!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. How eye opening to find the root of your hate of winter…mine doesn’t have a root cause; I simply don’t like the cold, not being able to be outside too long, and the lack of sunlight. I love hanging outside on beautiful days and gardening and it staying light until almost 9 PM. Light makes me happier and energetic. The weather greatly affects my moods. For whatever reason though, this winter I’ve done better than usual. I take vitamin D, but I always have. Who knows…I’ll take it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I, too, miss being outside. I’m not as enthusiastic about my forest preserve walks as I once was. I always feel better afterwards, but I still can’t make myself do it. I heard someone suggest that it will only be 40-odd days till it is dark after 7 p.m. AND WE’VE FINALLY MADE IT THROUGH JANUARY.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t despise winter but I really hate feeling wet and cold all the time. I have been working on changing my attitude about winter for the past few years and actually even enjoy it every now and then… when it’s not in the negatives and the snow isn’t multiple feet high. Hey, it’s a start!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an incredible realization! It’s so powerful to come to the root of what is hurting us. You should be so proud of yourself, for figuring that out and making peace with something that isn’t going to change – winter is always going to come around, but it sounds like you are going to be able to face it with strength. xo

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  6. Wow. All your soul homework is paying off. Coming to the realization of why you feel the deep, dark, sadness is paramount. I hope you’ll be able to appreciate winter in a different light.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I find winter tough too, as I prefer to be outside . . . when it is warm, but you have identified a deeper, long running issue. Hoping that realizing your trouble with winter will help you to embrace it a bit more eventually. Being cozy with dogs and books can be a good thing. Says the woman who lives with a dog for the first time ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t have much else to add. Others have already said it. I’m glad you had an epiphany. They are a gift, even when they hurt, aren’t they? I’ve always been more of a winter gal. Now, summer…she’s a different story for me. And that probably stems from early trauma, too. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Blessings my friend. Recognizing and releasing old fears and traumas is hard, but , as you have found, there is such peace on the other side. This is part of why I have not been writing for the last two months. This is the regeneration process of winter allowing each of us to compost old stuff to feed new growth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, friend. I recently finished a book about trauma that has helped me in confronting past fears. It hasn’t been easy, but you are right. Time to get rid of the old and make room for the new.


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