It has been a cold and dreary February in Kentucky. I’m beginning to think Mother Nature Herself is going through a bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder (how fitting that its acronym is SAD) given winter’s refusal to release its grip. The sun’s brief cameos are quickly drowned out by a relentless onslaught of “wintry mixes”. Like anything else negative that lingers too long (i.e. bad habits, toxic relationships, negative self-talk), over time resilience wears thin and it becomes more difficult to see a way out of…well, the clouds. On the heels of last month’s blog where I wrote about wanting to feel more inspired in the new year, I’ve been feeling particularly uninspired lately – so much so that I wasn’t confident I’d having anything to bring to the table before March’s arrival. Thankfully, the tides have shifted just in the knick of time.
Five days ago I flew to Arizona to attend a continuing education/training opportunity that I’d signed up for last fall and been looking forward to doing for years. I noticed that my excitement for being here slowly morphed into ambivalence as my departure date grew closer. I couldn’t pinpoint what was causing my uncertainty, but now that I’m here I know for certain I was feeling burned out from the weight of winter’s gloom and spinning too many plates between work and home. Think about a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments and lights, but isn’t plugged in – that’s how I felt. And then I arrived here and pretty quickly, thanks to sunshine that won’t quit, learning that I love, meeting interesting people, hearing perspectives that expand my own, a good book, being surrounded by the desert’s beauty, and having the luxury of a break from my everyday, I feel plugged in and lit up again. It sounds simple and what I find most inspiring is that it really is that simple.
My experience in Arizona feels meaningful for all the reasons I described above, but the most important part of this trip was taking the initiative to make it happen. Yes, continuing education is a part of my professional responsibility, but investing in it at a level that stimulates my mind and spirt is my personal choice. I can’t bring the desert back to Kentucky, but I will bring my joy and that feels as good as the Arizona sun.
What do you have planned to take care of you?