Some people refer to this time of the year as the "dark time."
After Jan. 1, spring seems months away as we head into the dead of winter. Perhaps it is only natural as we finish out the old year with the flurry of activity and excitement that begins with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's and is followed by shorter days and colder weather with Valentine's Day still six weeks away.
Most people in the mental health field suggest that it is a good time to look forward and plan for activities that occur in the future. Maybe that is why we gardeners use this time to look at the seed catalogs that come in the mail and dream about what kind of tomatoes and vegetables we will plant this year.
The other thing that keeps me going is the fact that, in my case, the New Year brings the promise of a fishing trip that has been two years in coming. Last year, both of the boys had agreed they were going to give me a fishing trip to Beaver Lake in late winter to fish for stripers. The other part of this gift was that they were going to accompany me.
Given their schedules, one thing led to another and late winter, early spring, late spring, and summer came and went with no trip for the stripers. So, as we sat in the living room again this Christmas, they reiterated the fact that we were going to go on a striper fishing trip in 2008.
I said, "Do I get two of these now, since it has taken two years to do this, or is there just one and this is what they call 're-gifting?'"
Regardless about how it comes about, it is something we are all looking forward to. I used New Year's Day to string some new line on the fishing poles with the realization that the trip was still 90 days away, but that doesn't keep me from looking forward to it.
The beginning of 2008 is also a great time for us to look back and appreciate the family and friends in our lives. It is a time for us to really enjoy the opportunities that we have before us. It is good to make plans and keep moving forward.