Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

S.A.D.: We Can All Make It through Winter

I always get a little sad this time of year. I know I’m not alone. We’ll just say that I have self-diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder—or S.A.D., for short. We’ll just say that when given the choice between bundling up for an outdoor jog and bundling up for a nice sit on the couch with my knitting and comforter… I’m-a-gonna-choose-the-couch. I mean, I know that getting out there and running would make me feel better, but I’m still not going to do it. It’s winter. We also all know that the couch pairs well with a nice bowl of carbs. So….

How are we going to make it through this winter?

I know that this has been written about by others plenty of times before, but I just can’t stop geeking out over this book called One Thousand Gifts.


A good friend sent it to me and I just ate it up. Have you read it? I’ll admit, it’s a bit of a strange read. Sometimes I don’t know exactly what she’s talking about. Sometimes it reads like a poem. Sometimes it tells a fantastic story. But I do know this: this book can be life-changing. It speaks to me still when I don’t see it coming. It is a story about one woman’s journey to find peace and understanding in her life even when life can be filled with trauma and pain. She explores this conundrum by experimenting with thankfulness as a means to finding true joy, exquisite peace, closeness to the Creator. And the journey is beautiful.

So now, as this book has indeed changed me, I sometimes see things around me in a different light. Small things bring joy when I choose to be thankful for them instead of being my normal snarky self.

Normal self: UGH, DIRTY WINDOWS! Thankful self: I have three healthy, adorable kids who make smudges and fingerprints on my windows. Look how excited they were to look outside!

Normal self: A SINK FULL OF DIRTY DISHES. REALLY? Thankful self: I love the feel of my cold hands sinking into warm, soapy dishwater.

Normal self: IT’S SO COLD AND DREARY OUTSIDE. EW. Thankful self: What a comforting sound—the furnace as it clicks on, the gentle swishing sound of the heat as it rises through the vents, the reflection of the fireplace flames dancing on the floor.

Normal self: SNOW SUCKS. Thankful self: Look how new snow sparkles! The air is crisp as I walk to my garage in the early morning before work. The stars are so bright.

Do you see? I began to see, too. Just like the woman in the book. Just like many before us as they discovered the secret to finding true joy. It is in the little things. It is not a season. It lies in the thankfulness of the moment. And it can and will get me through until spring. For that, I’m also thankful.

Now hand me some carbs.

Where do you find the most joy?

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2 Responses to S.A.D.: We Can All Make It through Winter

  1. Angela Squires
    Angela Squires February 2, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    I’ve heard several moms recommend this book. I may have to put it on my “to read” list. With all the snow we got over the weekend, I was thinking about how, in general, people tend to grumble about winter storms. But as I watched the joy on my kids’ faces as they tromped through the thick blanket of sparkly wonder, I, too, caught a glimpse of the true beauty of the season. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it. And I don’t think it’s really too hard to find the good even in the “bad” when we’re open to seeing it. Thanks for sharing, Mel.

  2. Lianna February 3, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    I love your comparison of your normal self and your thankful self! Funny and totally relatable.

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