Although the official first day of winter here in the northernest part of the northernest hemisphere is December 21st, we here in Michigan consider it winter when that frosty white stuff falls and decides to stick around for the year. We're all remembering what it's like to dust off the snow shovels, fire up the snowblowers, and call our life-saving plow guys to help make the frigidness of the next 5ish months more bearable. Don't forget your toques and mittens folks. It's always a good idea to keep a few backups in your car.
Icy windshields and snow drifts aside, one thing that's going around full force is the holiday spirit. From your favorite Starby's location or grocery shopping after taking out your second mortgage, the Christmas music is finally flowing through the speakers almost everywhere you go. I know it might annoy some of the scrooges and grinches roaming around among us, but it's always been something I've enjoyed about this time of year. I have one of the classics stuck in my head today and with it came a reminder of what a life in recovery and having gratitude in my life has done for me over the last year.
"Oh, the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful, And since we've no place to go, Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!" -Vaughn Monroe
After having nothing but this rolling around my head for the last 5 hours it dawned on me. There's a parallel for recovery hiding just below the surface of these yuletide lyrics. They remind me that no matter what is happening around me, other people's actions, things I can't control, etc, I have the power to light a delightful little fire and live in a joyful warmth inside of my own cozy little mind space. So not only is this a parallel for recovery, but a healthy mindfulness practice in general. This is what you get when an overthinker starts repurposing that anxiety-inducing habit into a more helpful act of self-reflection...it really is possible.
I like to use that self-reflection mentioned earlier, gratitude, and a meditation/prayer mash-up to accomplish this in my life. I'm not great at it yet, but I'm slowly figuring it out. Enjoy the next month of holiday cheer everyone, and next time a song gets stuck in your head give it just a little bit deeper of a thought. There could be reminders hiding just below the surface for you too. Just remember while moving forward from here, let it snow, let it snow, let it snoooww! It's going to with or without your permission ;) make the best of it.