Seasonal Scholarship: Disregarding New Year and Embracing Winter Work
New Year is a terrible time for making resolutions. Winter isn’t a time for fresh thinking and doing. Winter requires recovery, retreat, and renewal. As snow falls outside my window and as I sit at my desk, I have started to think once again about Seasonal Scholarship, something I pondered on a few months ago as Autumn fell. So, I’m asking the question again of what can the season that surrounds us tell us (or at least how it experienced here in the north, northern hemisphere) about work and our lives.
Leaves fall, frost covers the ground, and there is a chill in the air. Winter is static, nothing moves, or wants to move. Inside, as we sit with hot chocolate warmed by central heating, we curl up, we grow small, we move inward.
But here is New Year with it’s aims, ambitions, and activities. “Let’s go” it shouts. Winter says “no, not today”. As work returns, and the wheel starts to turn once again, we can feel swept away, deadlines, tasks and planning pushing us towards the Spring. But Winter has only just arrived, and it is asking us to quiet and to still ourselves.
What if we started this year and returned to work in alignment with Winter? Let’s wait and be patient. While we can’t stop pressing demands of work and family, perhaps we can slow time and carve out space to rest, renew, and reflect, to consider where we have been and where we might go. Winter isn’t a time for driving forward a new project, but a time for reading, learning, self development. It’s a time for immersion and warmth. It’s a time to recuperate, so that we are ready for Spring, a time of new ideas and new starts. So, why not, before rushing into what now and what next, take a moment to go inward, to indulge, rest, and recuperate, so that come Spring we are ready to move forward and with a clear mind.