I can’t get started.
It’s that winter feeling. That feeling of the second and third and fourth weeks of January when the glow of new starts and freshly written resolutions has started to fade beneath inches (or feet) of snow and layers of sweaters and socks that fail to warm against the cold. It’s strange that all year I ache for the quiet and the calm and the clear calendar that January brings so that I can focus and reflect and write. And then when January gets here, the quiet and the calm and the clear calendar make me want to leap out of my skin.
It’s also strange to me that I find myself here, in this place, every year. The bigness of the plans I make and dreams I commit to overwhelms me until I can’t even get a word on the page. The weather never helps. Just one week with a consistent schedule, the predictability that helps my fingers do their thing, could set me straight, I swear it. It’s hard to focus when you’re perched on the edge of a fleeting hour in which to write before the TV show entertaining the kids will end and they will, once again, beg to make cookies or play in the snow. It’s also hard to focus when you’d much rather be cozied up in slipper feet dropping chocolate chips into sugar and butter than staring at a blank screen.
I’ve started this post a half dozen times in the past several days but just can’t seem to get it going. So now I’ve resorted to the thing that all writers do as a last-ditch effort to remove the block. I’m just writing. Without editing or thought or inserting ideas about where I hope this will go or what it will do. Because it won’t go far but what it will do is remind my fingers that January will end in a matter of days and we have to keep moving forward. That this strange feeling of wanting and trying to reach but not being able to lift my arms above my head will pass when the month changes and we can feel a little bit of momentum into the year, closer to spring. I’m just writing and I will just publish not because this is the best thing I’ve ever written (you feel that pressure too, sometimes, right?) but because it needs to get out and make way for the next which, also, will not be the best thing I’ve ever written but we’re going somewhere as soon as we remove this block.
It’s this strange January feeling I’ve got right now. And with decades of Januarys behind me, I believe I’m finally giving into it. Finally not berating myself for the difficulty I have dealing with the strangeness. Finally just saying yes, it’s January and it’s strange right now. But next week we’ll be hanging hearts from the ceiling and powering through the shortest month of the year on our way to days when the sun shines for longer and the grass grows brighter and we can wiggle out of the strange place ready to take on the world.