the january blahs

Some people go through the holiday blues while the others thoroughly enjoy the break from school or work and celebration of the holidays with beloved friends and family. I am of the latter group. However there is a down side to being a cheery celebrator of the holidays. It’s what I have dubbed the January blahs. 

You know those feelings after the holidays are over as we head back into routines, schedules, and no celebrations of friends, family, and our Savior’s birth. Nothing seems too spectacular about January except that it is the marker of a new year and probably the only month that the majority of the world follows through with their resolutions. For me these blah days of the first month consist of resting from the “go-go-go” lifestyle I live as a college student with a job and regular volunteering. It is such a treat to have a blank schedule for a full four weeks and a break from school for five. I love having the time to catch up on things I feel like I miss out on during the semester, such as finishing the framed vases project I started a few months ago (pictures coming very soon!), decorating for Christmas (lots of diy’s here), and refinishing my Ikea dresser (a work in progress for over a year now). I have been catching up on some much needed reading as well, hacking away at that never-ending list of must reads.  So far I have finished two books and I am well into the next two. But after all of this “relaxing and recharging” I am left feeling sort of empty and my agenda seems too short. I feel like I have way too much time on my hands and that I really should be contributing to society in more meaningful ways. How do I remedy this feeling? It is quite ironic because during each semester of school and work I long for this free time and all my efforts are fueled by the idea that a break will come soon. On the flip side, during my breaks I just feel ready to get back into a routine. There is one difference however with this break in particular and that is my absolute longing to just skip over the coming semester and land right at the edge of summer. And you know what summer means? Freedom from school and the commencement of my adventures in Portland. Oh please, I wish I could just call it quits now, grab up that diploma, and hop on a plane for the West Coast. Unfortunately, I have been told it doesn’t really work this way. Apparently you do have to finish the five remaining courses in college to receive your degrees. So I guess I will stay here in Austin and stick it out in order to receive that piece of paper that is costing me well over $50,000. 

As I reflect on my journaled thoughts relating to this topic, I recall that I knew God’s plan for me in this last year was to prepare me for the next step. At that time I did not know where I was going. I had no plans and now that He has graciously allowed me to follow my heart to the northwest, my focus has slowly crept away from complete dependence on the Lord’s plan AND timing. I should know that I will get there eventually, so patience I must practice. In the meantime I will not look only to the future while neglecting the present. It’s so great here and He can use me wherever I am. So why not actually live for the kingdom where it is: inside of me, wherever I am? If you have any encouraging thoughts on this topic, please don’t hesitate to share them. I will be forever thankful! In a few days I will get a little taste of what Portland is all about, but I pray that does not hinder my journey here. 

It’s not over!