Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Babies, Brain Freeze, and January Thaws


It’s been a long time since I’ve written. One of the reasons for that is that we’ve had a houseful of babies. Actually, only one real baby. We had the great delight of having Gabriella (and her parents) here for almost two glorious weeks. We loved every minute. What a gift this Nana has had—first, nearly three weeks in Dublin with Erika, Richie, and Gabriella and then nearly two weeks with them here.


And we had other “babies” as well. Of course Bengt at age three and Soren at age two are definitely not—as they would be sure to tell you—babies. Bengt is even sleeping in a “big boy bed,” and Soren is clearly a “big boy” compared to his baby cousin “Gabby-umbrella.” But still, they are (don’t tell them) our grandbabies.

And they brought their parents along—you know, the ones who used to be our babies but somehow, when we weren’t looking, grew up and learned to fly airplanes and lead groups and direct ministries. And move far away—too far, as a matter of fact.

But we had them all here for a few short days over New Year’s. It was a house-full—wonderful, glorious chaos. But then they left. And now the house is quiet and neat and organized (well, sort of) again. And I’m not liking it much at all.

It’s also led to a fairly serious problem—brain freeze. For the past week or so, my brain has been frozen. I have things to do, blogs to write, teaching and speaking to plan. But my brain seems to be frozen. No motivation. No new ideas. No creative bursts of energy. All I want to do is go back and relive the chaos days, when everyone was home and the house was messy and noisy and full of life.

Any of you experiencing brain freeze? In talking to a few other people, I’m learning that it does seem to afflict others, especially in January. Now here in Wisconsin you could say it is weather-related. We’ve had many below-zero days and wind chills as low as 30-40 below. But it is actually quite warm and toasty in my house. I really don’t think I can blame it on the weather.
I think it’s kind of a January thing. It comes for different reasons for all of us. For some of you, there actually may be some relief in January in having the kids go back to school. You’re still scratching your head about how I could wish to go back to a chaotic, noisy house. But then there’s the stuff you left to do until after the holidays. The return to the routine. The weather. I know—those of you in the south think it’s cold even down there in January. Just don’t tell us Northerners too much about it!

Which leads me to the last part of my blog title: January thaw. OK, this part is wishful thinking. Though we are experiencing some temperatures in the 20’s, there’s no January thaw in the Milwaukee area. But I’m thinking it would be nice. And it may come someday—by, say, April.
But I do think my brain may be beginning to thaw out just a bit. After all, I’m writing to you . . . Now if only I could get some great creative bursts of energy in my writing and planning of talks.
Which is where you come in. I’m curious: Do any of you have January brain freeze? Any ideas on how to thaw out?

Also, I could use your help. Mom to Mom is planning a fun new event in Austin, Texas, this February 20-21. (Read about it here.) The event theme is “Motherhood: Simplified,” and we’re very excited about it. In fact, even despite my brain freeze, I’m at work right now on three keynote talks.


Of course, all you moms know we don’t mean “Motherhood Made Easy.” There’s certainly no such thing! But we can make it less complicated than our culture seems to say. So I’d love to hear from any of you who have some insights or hot tips on ways you’ve found to simplify your life.

Who knows? Maybe the warmth of hearing from you will even help my brain thaw…

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