December Mood

December might just be my favorite month of the year. I love the early evenings, the new snow, the holiday lights, the anticipation of one year ending and a new one beginning. I love the traditions my own family observes with time together, special foods, gift-giving, re-watching A Christmas Story for the umpteenth time. 

I especially love having some time away from my computer. This week has been particularly busy as I’ve caught up with all the submissions coming in over at Gyroscope Review, where I am co-editor with my friend and colleague Constance Brewer, with some help from our assistant editor Josh Colwell. Our reading period closes on Saturday, December 15, but our winter issue won’t be available until January 15, 2019. We are allowing ourselves a break, time to recharge, celebrate the holidays, and think about how we balance our work and our lives. 

That recharging has become more and more important to me as I’ve gotten older. The rapidly changing lives of people around me have reminded me in no uncertain terms that none of us can put off things like spending time with people we love or taking good care of ourselves. One thing that I’m really clear about for the coming year is that I will not be available 24/7 via email or Facebook Messenger or text. Sometimes my phone will be silenced. Email probably won’t get read on Saturday and Sundays. 

Working hard is something I do well. Recharging before I get cranky is something I need to do better. So, welcome December with all the holidays and dinners with friends and shared bottles of wine and moments on the couch in a fuzzy blanket. You’re just in time.

How do you recharge?

Happy December.


  1. You are wise to recognize the importance of choosing family and friends over constant connection to technology. It really bugs me to see people at a restaurant or elsewhere looking at their smartphones while someone is sitting right across the table. I want to yank the phone from their hands.

    I read, real book in hand. I keep the computer (mostly) off on weekends. And I try not to use the computer after 5 p.m. It helps that mine is a desktop, which requires going to my office. That reminds me office hours are over.


    1. I’m mostly talking about work-life balance here; connection to technology is a slightly different topic. I don’t like people being on their phones over talking to the person sitting next to them, either, but as a parent who needed to stay available for kids when I was out, I understand looking at phones in restaurants sometimes. As a daughter whose father needed a lot of extra help at the end of his life, the phone was really important. I don’t think these are the things you’re talking about here, but they are something to consider when we see someone in a restaurant on their phone. It. might just be check-in time. 🙂


  2. I will tell you that not being on 24/7 social media or email is like heaven! Really! I started about a year ago with no FB and turning my phone off at night and I have enjoyed not being so connected. I found my energy for things was better when I wasn’t seeing all the drama constantly. Enjoy your downtime with your family and friends this holiday.


    1. Yes, social media can be extremely draining even though it offers fun photos and connections. Because I monitor social media for business reasons, that fatigue does bleed into what I do with social media on a personal level. I’m really looking forward to the holiday break!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. wordpress doesn’t seem to like me anymore but this is the rply I tried to post

    Well, I recharge by walking. I thought that was odd at first but then the best way to recharge a car battery is to drive it! Lovely post Happy Christmas from Edinburgh xxx

    On Wed, Dec 12, 2018 at 11:02 AM ONE MINNESOTA WRITER wrote:

    > Kathleen Cassen Mickelson posted: ” December might just be my favorite > month of the year. I love the early evenings, the new snow, the holiday > lights, the anticipation of one year ending and a new one beginning. I love > the traditions my own family observes with time together, special foods” >


  4. I concur that walking, and being outside generally, is rejuvenating from all office-based tasks–and I love the analogy of driving to recharge the car battery!

    A good book that I don’t “need” to read works, too, albeit in a different way, and especially when I sneak off to read during work hour…which I do too rarely.


    1. I love to recharge with books that have nothing to do with whatever I’m working on! Or books that take me outside – by which I mean books like A Year in the Wilderness by Amy and Doug Freeman. Put me right into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in a really nice way. Happy Holidays Andrea!


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