It starts when the leaves fall off the trees and the daylight gets shorter.  The loneliness, emptiness and despair fall over me like a shroud.  I worry that I won’t be able to cope with the bleakness and cold of winter.  The rooms of my house seem smaller and I want to retreat inward even though my need to be with people is far greater.

I am looking out through my sliding glass doors to the birds who are scavenging whatever is left on the ground and in the bird feeders.  These days the food is eaten with greater ferocity as the cold of winter is even felt by the wildlife outside.  I wonder if they are feeling the same way I do; ready for an escape to the sun — to light and warmth.

We turned our clocks back last month for daylight savings; another ominous warning of what’s already here and what’s to come. I have been stocking my pantry with lentils, beans, different shaped pastas…anything with which to make soups.  I will get into my preheated bed (an electric blanket is a necessity!) earlier now with a good book or a reality TV show, anything that gives me an escape to a different place.

Since the kids moved out we are only occupying one-third of our house; two empty floors devoid of music, laughter, activity.  The rest of the year when I’m out and about in the land of the living the silence is not as noticeable.  In the winter, though, the stillness cries out to me and makes me remember what I am missing.

I no longer want the privacy that living in the woods afforded me for so many years. It is now my goal to move to a smaller, cozier place where there are people close by as I need the comfort and companionship of others.  At this point in my life I want to get rid of the excessive THINGS in my life that are no longer needed and live a simpler lifestyle.  

Getting older really changes a person. You know what’s important; you cut through the bullshit to get to what really matters … love, friendship, compassion for others, peace, and good health.  I plan to turn my sad into happy in 2013.