Every year I put out my notice of Hibernation. I am not leaving the house for frivolous reasons during the winter. I was born and raised in the Midwest but I have yet to get a handle on winters. I don’t like to be cold. The ritual of adding extra layers of clothing and taking them off seems ridiculous to me. Shoveling snow and sliding on icy roads are not worth the effort. If I didn’t have to work I would take the whole season off.
I’ve been sending out this notice for several years now. It’s funny how my friends and family anticipate it. They look for this notice and question when it’s late. One year I tried to brave the weather and be a social snow bunny but the inches of moisture quickly brought me back to my senses and I retreated. I couldn’t do it.
Hibernation season is a great time to take care of little projects around the house, catch up on my reading or just to rest. The people who don’t mind the terrible winter conditions are gladly welcomed to my home. It is understood that I would not be returning the invitations. My friends have come to accept this part of me. They no longer try to tempt me with invitations to dinner, movies or events. I am not interested. I give the perfunctory greetings for the coming holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. Much more is not to be anticipated.
What is not understood about Hibernation season is its time for renewal. All year long I am actively taking care of life. The meetings, event planning, developing, coordinating, practices, school activities, church activities, etc. The energy spent during the year is exhausting. You have more hours of light and you have to make good use of it. The point of hibernation is not to escape the winter conditions but to allow the body to breathe, slow down , conserve energy and rejuvenate itself—until the newness of Spring. So for me everything slows—breathe.
My hibernation notice was seen as a funny antidote to the Midwest winters. I know there is a spiritual aspect to stopping and escaping the fast paces of life’s demands on the mind and body. Breathe. I don’t struggle with my pathway to calmness and awareness. You have to connect to your source and sense of being. When we pack our lives with “things to do”, we tend to disconnect with who we are and what we really came to do on this earth.
I am always amused by the responses to my hibernation notices each year. Most find it humorous and typical of me. What is not realized is hibernation is what makes me be the person I am because I recognize the need to slow down and torpor. Breathe.
by: Michelle J. Agnew
About The Author: Michelle J. Agnew resides in Chicago, where she is a single parent of two nieces. She is employed in the healthcare industry as well as a part-time venture in the financial services industry. One of Michelle’s favorite hibernation activities is reading a good novel.