I’m tired, guys.
I look out my window at a desert of old snow. Once soft and shining, it has become an icy crust over withered grass and frozen mud. The sun shines now and then, melting snow, only for the water to freeze overnight into slick, dangerous patches of ice. I haven’t had even a glimpse of green leaves in months. The landscape is a gloomy muddle of white and brown and gray. Overhead, the sky is a weary, faded blue… when it isn’t covered by clouds. It’s cold.
I’m so tired.
Work has been ghastly. We’ve been short-staffed, putting everyone under pressure. My workplace has become toxic with complaints, accusations, gossip, and abusive remarks. No matter how hard I work, I seem to take an unfair share of blame. I often feel unappreciated at work, but I’m beginning to feel unwanted. It hurts.
At the end of the day, exhausted, I go to bed, trying not to think about work, blogging, or any of the things on my to-do list. That list never seems to get any shorter: like the hydra, which grows two heads for each one cut off, my to-do list defies my attempts to conquer it.
I’m so, so tired.
C.S. Lewis once described a curse that made it “always winter but never Christmas.” I’m amused by the childlike clarification about the holiday. After all, when confronted by eternal winter, only children would be concerned by its effect on Christmas; the grownups would be too busy worrying about food, warmth, shelter, and the collapse of Society As We Know It.
All the same, I admit that “always winter but never Christmas” paints a bleak picture. It suggests gloom, bitterness, and suffering with no consolation. There are no holidays to brighten the darkness: no parties, presents, or carols to keep hope alive. “Always winter but never Christmas” is an awful thing. It wears away a person.
In the end, though, that curse was broken. No winter lasts forever. Sooner or later, spring melts the snow and breathes life into the grass and trees. Spring is a resurrection. Spring is a promise, echoing the very words of God: “I am making everything new!”
I should also point out, for the record, that I had a very nice Christmas.
As it happens, beyond the holidays, my winter hasn’t lacked for blessings. I haven’t run out of coffee. I grumble about winter from the warmth of a cozy apartment. My job has hit a rough patch, yet I’m thankful to be employed. My life isn’t really “always winter but never Christmas.” It’s occasionally winter and sometimes Christmas, and there’s one more consolation.
Spring is coming.
I’m waiting to see some blossoms on the skeletal trees outside my apartment. I’m trusting, hoping, and persevering—at least, I’m trying. (I’m certainly drinking a lot of coffee, so that helps.) Spring will arrive with warmth and sunshine and explosions of pink petals. I know it will.
As I blunder onward, one day at a time, I’m trying not to forget it.