The skies are getting darker earlier. The clock has been turned back and I must deal with the fact the season has changed to late fall, approaching winter again. This time of year is tough for me. The list of reasons is pretty long, and I feel sometimes like just saying it is what it is, plastering on a big happy face and indulging in some excess or another to push down the feelings of anxiety, sadness, grief and guilt.

The anxiety comes from wondering what else will happen this season that is hard to deal with or that is completely bananas or out of my control. The sadness and grief comes from remembering the losses I have felt from years past, loved ones who died around this time of year and their absence keenly felt. And guilt, for not being happy and cheer-filled as it seems the season would call for.

It all makes me want to run and hide until mid-January sometime. But as this is not practical, especially since this year we decided to also sell our house and purchase another at the same time, I will be working on my coping strategies.

One, I have been making a concerted effort to read the Bible every day. This may seem like a real no-brainer, but to someone who gets distracted and busy like myself, it must be intentional.

Two, prayer. Lots of it. I have turned my ceaseless mental chatter (interior dialogue) into prayer. I have prayed for people in houses I see along the freeway. I have prayed for people that come to mind that frustrate me, asking God to move in their lives with whatever their struggling with. It’s amazing how this will change how I look at my environment. I complain a lot less and my gratitude for people and things is off the charts.

Three, checking in. Being transparent with those I love and trust. Just because I know what to do, doesn’t mean I don’t need or couldn’t use some help. Admitting I need people to help me stay accountable and encouraged is sometimes difficult, because it means exposing vulnerabilities.

But I have seen God move mountains bigger than the ones in front of me now, and like a beautiful friend in recovery once reminded me, “the only thing that’s the end of the world, is the end of the world”.

Much Love.