When in a Seasonal Slump, Declare a Rallying Cry

October, November, and December were full months for me. Not so much because of the holidays, but for all the other things that were going on in my life. 

Here's what made up that season:

  • this website was launched (big learning curve)
  • preorders began for Unforced Rhythms
  • spoke at a women's retreat
  • podcast interviews (another big learning curve)
  • book released November 1
  • preorders shipped out, followed by more orders (and another big learning curve)
  • spoke at a conference
  • book signing at a local coffee shop
  • Nov trip to Egypt, Azerbaijan, and Hungary
  • celebrated a very important birthday
  • family Christmas (for kids/grands nearby) during 5-day turnaround
  • packages to CA kids/grands before we left on next trip
  • Dec trip to South Africa, Singapore, and New Zealand
  • NZ Christmas with more kids and grands
  • plus "just life" in between - the usual stuff like laundry, finances, household chores, and catching up with local kids/grands, and the not-so-usual stuff, like dealing with an insurance company for a totaled car (I was rear-ended in Oct and just now bringing closure to that)

I returned from NZ ready to go into hibernation, especially with the bitter-cold temperatures we were/are having in the mid-west. BUT, life doesn't allow for a dormant state. For one thing, I have a half-marathon to get ready for come May.

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Three years ago...

In May I'll be running with three out of four of my grown children. They're all hoping for a PR. I just told them to cheer me on as I cross the finish line. 

Let's do this!!

After a highly productive season, a seasonal slump can often follow. So, I'm declaring a rallying cry for February, March, and April, to change things up, to motivate. 

A rallying cry is just the sort of thing seasonal/yearly people would love. It has a start and a finish. I always think of the phrase "rally the troops" when it comes to a rallying cry, but instead of rounding up troops or forces to fight a battle, it's about focusing on a theme that inspires, revives, and motivates one to action. It could be a house project you've been wanting to get to, or a personal goal towards better health, or a focused study. 

If you've read Patrick Lencioni's book, The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family, you'll know what I mean by a rallying cry. I posted about this book back in 2009 on a blog I had at the time. Lencioni suggests a 2–6 month rallying cry. I usually make mine three or four.  You'll find posts on each of the three big questions here, here, and here. Dennis and I are empty-nesters, so I can't say we have a frantic family, but we do manage a considerable amount of travel. That calls for a way of life that is made up of packing, unpacking, time differences, weather differences, night flights, crowded jets, long flights, lots of people connections, jet lag, regrouping once home, catching up on life, and recovering from the toll of travel. 

So, today I joined the YMCA. I needed motivation, plus the cold temps and snow make running hazardous. My theme is staying healthy, which means only rewarding myself once a week with a pastry (maybe twice), and cross-training for the half. This all begins in February, so still enjoying a more than once-a-week apple fritter or sticky bun or persian pecan from a local bakery. I know, it's my downfall! I can walk through a candy store, no problem, but a donut shop. . . 

This morning it felt so good to put on my running clothes. I ran consistently in 2017, but took a 3-month break because of the above list (and my seasonal mode). I went as my daughter's guest (who joined the Y two days ago), but left as a member. I can't tell you how good it felt to run on the indoor track. And then, the weight machines to work on my upper body strength. The Y was just the motivation I needed.

 My cheering team 

My cheering team 

I'm also planning a 5-day getaway where the sun always shines for writing inspiration and spiritual renewal. A long retreat of sorts that will energize and refresh this seasonal person. 

It will be a different season than the past three months, but that's the way us seasonal people roll. We need to change things up to keep motivated and inspired. Forget a new year's resolution. Here's to a new season!

If you're rhythm is seasonal/yearly, what's your current season look like?