Imbolc is a difficult time of the year for me. I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, and it’s so hard to get out and get the right amount of light! It’s cold, and it’s a damp cold, which seeps into my bones. Then I ache and my back goes out and there’s other issues. And that’s even without the polar vortex deep freeze that most of the continent is experiencing.
Normally I spend the time concentrating on writing, going within. I do all the stuff the Wheel tells us we should be doing between Samhain and Yule, and never have time to do in all the holiday busyness. But it’s still hard. Even now, spring begins to chip away at winter. The light stays longer and comes earlier. Bare patches appear around roots where the trees breathe as they begin to come to life. The spring birds start coming back, this year too early, probably fleeing that polar vortex. I feel that restlessness in my bones, and I want to go out, to do things, to travel and explore, but it’s still so miserably damp-cold! And the sky is grey, grey, grey.
Normally, I channel all that energy into creativity. But this year I am stymied. Instead of putting words in a fresh new draft, I am editing, both for myself and for an anthology I’m spearheading. I’m marketing: putting out my new releases and my Kickstarter for the anthology. I’m submitting old stories to new markets, and that’s a process! It’s tedious, dull work that I hate. I always feel like such an impostor, trying to convince everyone of how wonderful my work is when I don’t really know how it stands up. I don’t think any writer really can.
Normally, I have my companion of 13 years, my dog Blue, who encourages me to take him outside more, to take him to the park more, to go and play. But he died this past fall, and the house feels empty, even though it’s full of people. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to bond more with my cat Scooter. He’s a rescue, an amputee, and he bonded more with Blue than anyone else, so now he’s much more snuggly and affectionate. But he doesn’t wait for me to come outside with him; he just takes off and goes where he wants.
I guess I can take solace in the thought that winter must end soon (unlike in Game of Thrones). As a matter of fact, I think it may be earlier than is healthy this year, and maybe that’s one reason why my nerves are all so jangled and I’m out of sorts. I’m not sleeping right, either. And it’s hard to know if it’s just me.
And even though I don’t feel like I’m getting anything accomplished, I also feel like I have no time. There’s only so many hours in the day, and editing and marketing and emailing and the daily grind all take up so much time! I feel like I’m in a hamster wheel; running, running, getting nowhere.
What to do with this? As I light a new candle for Brighid, starting again my yearly devotionals as a Daughter of the Flame. I guess, like the trees, I have to just quietly breathe and wait for the snow to melt. I have to accept that, even though I can’t see it now, there’s really a lot of growth happening just under the surface. Huge amounts of it, in fact. And when it breaks through the snow; well, we’ll just see then, won’t we?
Hang in there, friends. I’m hanging with you.