“So what do you do now?”
I got out of the maze mobile in front of our farm market and office, and it was utterly silent. At 9:06 am, I was over an hour late for my usual Saturday arrival and, though a weak pang of guilt was niggling in the back of my mind, the silence reconfirmed it was OK; I was OK.
We are closed in January. Farm market, maze complex, and wine tasting room are all shuttered through the dreary Pennsylvania winter months. Our farm is not, as anyone who has visited can attest, near a busy town, busy highway or ‘busy’ anything, so the whole operation hibernates. It sleeps the short days away.
So, what do you do now? Tempting it is for someone like me, like you, like us to dig deep for internal motivation; to keep our mental wits about us sharpened. I feel the inexorable pull to power up; to strive, to run.
It is the duality of our affliction, our addiction to the frenetic pace of the seasonal rush; the need for the speed of the season that keeps us focused and fills us with the flush of being fully alive on Saturday afternoons in October.
Its mirror is the haunting need to be productive when the action outside is gone, and we’re left with that hollow feeling on a grey January morning. Unfulfilled, we struggle to both relax and take action, neither feeling entirely right.
So what do you do now? Our on-again-off-again relationship with our seasonal energy output requires, by definition some form of “off-again.” The feelings of guilt when we’re not ON during our OFF season we generate personally; no one can make you feel anything. Only you control your emotions.
While it may come as a surprise, you are in control of your feelings. Think about how you suppress your reactions during the season when you are frustrated by staff, but you don’t lash out. When a customer verbally assaults you, but you turn the situation favorable with kindness and understanding.
How do you generate all those feelings and emotional intelligence for everyone else, but leave yourself with only guilt and longing in those few quiet moments when you are off-stage?
When I was younger, I hated the long, dead winter. It was something to be endured until spring and summer, and fun and action returned. I was unkind to myself. I wasn’t listening to the silence; to myself.
I love the quiet now. So fleeting few are the Saturdays with obligations gone, coffee and hot breakfast late, with a quiet farm to greet me, not chastise me, upon my tardy arrival.
The Spring will come and with it springs anew so many blooms and things to do.
So many directions to go and do,
And whys to answer and things to know.
But for here and now be still,
In this quiet moment.
Have a great weekend,
PS Be good to yourself this weekend.