2021 & Hibernation

Winter marks a period of rest, calmness, retreating, hibernation, and stillness. And it's been heavy on my heart that instead of combating the Winter rhythm, I'm going to re-learn how to flow with it.

I am not discussing slowing down. I am there.

I am not talking about staying indoors. COVID-19 made that a reality for everyone.


I am referring to internally RESTING. Re-discovering how to shift gears into complete stillness. To allow the seasonal rhythm of cold, dark, and silent to permeate into my innermost being. Because what we learn from winter is that the stars are their brightest and most of our ecosystem sleeps. Animals and plants alike go into hibernation where they live off of the bare necessities, shed all that's unneeded, and prepare for renewal.


I am ready to hibernate.


But it's not that simple.


Hibernation for me in this season is harder than it's EVER been.


I remember after a long day of working (pre & post motherhood), folx would celebrate Netflix binges, downtime, and "just chillin." I mean, who doesn't deserve a rest more than someone that has "worked hard." I appreciated the positive affirmation and living out the American way: "work hard, play hard." The cycle was my absolute favorite - no guilt involved as long as I followed the formula: work (to make money) + hit and exceed goals set out for me (work hard) = being able to rest (when you are "not" working).


And so when I became a stay at home mom the formula - goals, success, working hard, breaks, a lack of instant gratification, no concrete achievement - started getting jumbled.


Add to that trying to navigate the stereotype extremes of stay at home moms:

  1. Lazy

  2. Over-indulgent

  3. Sacrificial

  4. Martyr

  5. Cry-baby

  6. Privileged

  7. Unsuccessful (or at least not as successful as your partner or anyone that opts to continue to work)

  8. Underappreciated

  9. Catty and bored

  10. An expert at all the things

And then you layer in being the "only BIPOC mamas" in most SAHM spaces - the scrutinization of us and our children, along with the generalizations and stereotypes surrounding black motherhood:

  1. The lazy welfare queen

  2. The strict and volatile

  3. The nonexistent and absent (overworked, overcommitted, nonchalant)

  4. The troubled and toxic

  5. The cold, materialistic & perfectionistic

Whew. It's a lot.


And so whether it's the pandemic, social unrest, moving to a house, being a SAHM, untreated trauma, or spiritual warfare, I'm feeling some extreme emotions and finding myself unable to rest. I can break. I can slow down. I can distract myself. I can smile. I can feel joy. But I cannot rest within myself. I am finding myself needing television, a book, or a conversation to sleep. I am consistently guilty, anxious, and ready to shame myself. I often find myself in the extremes of either "expert" or of "unknowing amateur" - rarely, do I simply rest in the in-between of "knowing and learning." I am starting to see and feel the physical manifestation of this consistent buzzing.

But in the winter of 2021, I'm praying to rediscover rest. To restore the spirit of the Sabbath. I have to focus on and be grateful for all the goodness, beauty, and moments. Meditation on Philippians 4:8 is a must. My goal is to make memories, not perfection. I want to let go of the expectations and enjoy reality. I miss the side of myself that knew how to be still & know...


And so I'm flowing with the ecosystem and the rhythm of winter. It will be a moment by moment resistance and movement. It will be a capturing of extreme/controlling thoughts and a replacement of goodness and unfolding.


In 2021, I am on my quest to find my inner-hibernation, my true Shalom & Polepole.


Happy New Year, Friends, Shalom & polepole.

Shelby

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