Every season has a moniker.
There is "spring fever" when the promise of warmer weather, blue skies and budding foliage make us all ripe with anticipation. Then there are the "dog days" of summer when sweltering heat bathes us in a sweet lethargy that makes us want to linger at the ocean's edge, read a book in a swinging hammock beneath the shade of large tree and drink lemonade.
And finally there is "the holiday season" featuring family gatherings, festive celebrations and shiny decorations and packages which are matched in intensity only by our shiny, happy attitudes.
But what happens in January? In January, the earth is cold, the sky is gray, and if we don't watch out our attitudes they have the great potential to match the palette of the sky above us. It could be called the "the season of the doldrums."
With the excitement of the holiday season behind us, and summer's soft breezes too far away to taste, it is easy to get into a slump at this time of year. And when we slump, our children often follow suit. They look to us to come up with ways to pass the cold gray days -- movies, games, books, long overdue get-togethers with friends. Yes, the gray days often require more creativity than we think we can muster, but if we dig deep, we parents will find a wealth of stored energy meant to chase the doldrums away.
So, this year I am going to call this season "the season of great expectations." With true hopefulness, I am going to try to embrace the gray days with their early sunsets and frigid temperatures enjoying inside activities with my children. I will resist the temptation to always long for bluer skies and warmer weather. I will try to be an example of a positive attitude in the face of the potential doldrums. This is not a New Year's resolution, but a commitment to myself and my family.
To sum it up with one of my favorite quotes from Oscar Wilde: "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."
Here's to "living" in 2014 ...
Amanda Lamb is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.