We all have been feeling a little...off. It's that time of year when the ick just travels through our ever growing family. You've been there before...late nights, achy bodies, extra couch cuddles. There is really no way around it. You can eat healthy, exercise (well...) and take supplements that support your immune system, but one morning you just wake up and think, "today is not the day I will be doing...well... anything." The dishes can wait, the laundry will sit, the shower will be put off...I won't be brushing my hair today, maybe the teeth might wait too. The clothes that have been sitting on the floor for the last two days suddenly seem like a viable option for today's outfit. The couch becomes your permanent resting place. The coffee table gets covered in half empty water glasses, elderberry syrup stains and used tissues. Life just momentarily slows down and to be honest...it is most likely exactly what we need.
Coffee gets replaced with bone broth and essiac tea, the fire cider gets woken up and taken out of that dark corner in the cabinet, nettle becomes my new best friend and the house smells like rosemary and thyme from the soup that is simmering on the stove. There is something about homemade chicken noodle soup that helps slow the quickness of our busy lives. Maybe it is the hours of roasting and simmering organic bones to make the broth. Or maybe it is the fresh infusions of turmeric and ginger. It signifies love and health in this family, in no other way than a single food can. It teaches us about patience and reminds us that the slow down can sometimes be nurturing and fulfilling. It offers us the time to start that book you received for Christmas. It invites us to write in our neglected journals. There is time to watch that movie. There is time to nap. There is time to watch that movie AND nap. There is time to do absolutely nothing. There is so much time.
So. Much. Time.
And just when you are starting to feel like you can peel off the clothes you have been wearing for three days straight and clean up the tissues scattered over the floor, you find the 14 year old wrapped up in your blanket on the couch with a fever and a cup of tea.
And so it starts.
This time of year slows down for us anyway. The Christmas rush is over. The markets are finished. There is no where we have to be. And on some level, this all feels really good. We have more time to connect as a family. We have time to menu plan. We have time to clean. We have time to pack for our upcoming move (more on that later). The ice skates get unpacked from last year, the sleds are taken out of the shed, the board games are played. We have time for all of this and also time to do absolutely nothing...and that feels, well...blissful.
And these are the moments that make me pause. Or maybe they make me appreciate. The feelings of wanting to stop time and simultaneously speed it up. The thoughts of looking at my 14 year old and knowing that not too long ago she was playing in her mud bakery and building forts out of sticks and rocks. The couple weeks I get with my 20 year old while she is back from college for winter break. The fleeting moments with my 22 year old now that he has moved to Madison. The new experiences we are crafting with my bonus children that are just waiting to be had. And my partner...who shows me everyday what love and support feels like and...damn...I have been missing this in my life for a long time.
And so the year comes to a close on a slow note for us, as it usually does. We have had a lot of changes this past year and a lot of new ones coming up. But for now, you will find me doing a bit more cuddling, a bit more soup simmering, a bit more writing and remembering to lean in to appreciating the good of what is all around us.