I guess I have to admit ....
the season's officially over.
Only days after arriving home from our last hurrah to Sand Hollow Reservoir, the snow came, catching me with my kayaks still on top of the car waiting like happy puppies for one more outing. But I guess I must (with a sigh) admit that my sprint to kayak as much as possible before fall turned to winter has finally come to an end. At least for this year. Time to put my boats away.
I'm a new "real kayaker" so I'm not prepared with the right equipment to kayak in the cold season safely. Some day I'll have a wet suit or a dry suit or whatever one is best. That will take research and cash. For now I will wait out the winter until I'm able to get back out on the water safely again with warmer temperatures.
But it doesn't mean I'll be stuck in the winter doldrums. No way! I've got plans spinning in my head. I'm creating a Kayaking Bucket List! (I'll share that here on my blog.) Just like Dr. Seuss said, "Oh the places you'll go!"
I know Summer will come :) And I'm going to be ready!
I have an analogy to life that I want to make here, but first I need to back up and tell you about some of my dear friends that have shared with me their reaction to reading this blog.
One of my favorite friends has an autistic son whose care takes so much time and energy she worries she will never have opportunity to chase her dreams. She worries she will never be able to do some of the things that are calling to her like I have been able to do lately. She feels stuck in a winter without sight of spring.
Another one of my lovely friends shared with me the gnawing fear she has that once her kids are grown, and her time and energy are freed up, that she won't have any dreams left. Raising her kids has been her everything. What then will she do? Did she have any other passions to propel her through the rest of her life? She was afraid of that emptiness that seemed to loom ahead of her like an endless winter.
I guess I've struck a chord. I think this yearning for living passionately towards our dreams is pretty universal.
Somehow, right now is my glorious season in life to chase this dream. I'm in my summer with the full heat, excitement, and freedom to follow this dream. (And I feel so grateful!) But for some of you out there, maybe right now is not your season. Maybe the dream that you cherish in your heart still has to wait to be realized. Maybe that dream is still germinating and it doesn't have a form or name yet.
If that is you, I am sending a huge hug of encouragement and love.
And a message of hope.
Inevitabley winter must turn to spring. And Spring always gives way to summer!
- There are always options, possibilities, and ways to climb over obstacles. When it feels like you only have a closed door in front of you, a window will open. Prayer is a great way to open that window :)
- You are meant to fulfill your greatest potential. The dreams and hopes and righteous desires of your heart can be fulfilled. Things will work out. This may take hopeful patience, trusting that summer will come, and creative work to get there. But it is possible!
- Gratitude in the moment makes winter delicious. Savor what is currently in your life.
Here are some suggestions for all of us for whatever winter we are in:
- Force a bulb. I've been given pots of forced bulb flowers in the middle of winter and the blooms made my heart happy when the world outside was grey and frozen. It was like having a little bit of summer in the depths of winter. When we are in a winter-waiting season we can force our own bulbs too by doing what we can to bring us closer to our dreams. Do something, anything, little or small that keeps your heart on the pulse of the dream and lets you experience it a little. Research, make lists, make someday-plans, collect pictures, read inspirational stories based on your dream. Do small projects based on your dream that keep you excited and fill you. Sometimes you have to help winter along. Force a bulb or two :) Start small. Rejoice in each small victory. Savor each tiny accomplishment towards your goal.
- Prepare physically and emotionally for the time you can go for your dreams. Build your courage. Prepare materials. Save money. Get strong.
- Determine to make it happen someday. Be resolved. Below is one of my favorite quotes. I found it as a young woman and it has taught me to dream and believe I could do whatever I set my mind to and was willing to work hard at accomplishing.
"Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire,
sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon
must inevitably come to pass."
Paul J. Meyer
- Be hopeful, have joyful anticipation. When you notice signs of the thaw, and new life breaking through the frozen crust, when you have a hint that your "someday" isn't that far away, bask in that hope. Keep watch for the signs of spring and be ready to go for it when opportunities come!
- Make friends and allies who can encourage you and suport you when you are ready to go. A blog about your passion is a fun way to do this! :)
Live with gratitude for the winter. Savor the days of preparation and germination. Recognize the warmth, brilliance, coziness, and growing moments of the season you are in.
So, this winter, while my kayaks are stored away, I will take my own advice:
- I will be researching the best kayaking destinations in the world and making plans to go there someday (and sharing them with you here, of course!).
- I will be learning all I can about kayaking in winter and what clothing is best so that I can be prepared to kayak in the winter too next year. I'd love to see the lakes and rivers in the winter from my kayak!
- I'm going to join a mountain recreation club I found located in my state and hook up with other outdoor enthusiasts. I plan to join some of their group kayak trips next year.
- I'll be exercising to keep my body fit and strong so I can muscle my kayak anywhere I need to go.
- I'll be writing about my pre-blog kayak adventures (which happened during my winter-waiting season) and posting pictures of the marvelous places I've already been.
If the timing of your season is such that you can't engage full time in some of your deepest desires and dreams, engage in small doses that fill you and give you strength until a new season comes when you can really go for it like you'd like.
When my kids were small, and before I found my courage and started this blog, I kayaked in small bursts whenever I could. For that season in my life it worked out just fine and prepared me for when I could really get to it.
It can work out for you too!
Do you have any dreams that are sitting on the back burner? What are they? What's holding you back? What are you doing during your winter-waiting time? Please leave a comment! I'd love to connect and share with you here. I eagerly read every comment as it comes in and will send a reply.
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In hope and joy of new seasons,