Every year at Samhain my CUUPs group puts on the same ritual. The words and individual details might shift year to year, but overall it’s quite a bit less variable compared to the rest of the year. One of the things we do is have three people, acting as the fates, measure out a length of yarn for each person and tie it around their wrist. Some people keep their yarn just for the night, some cut it off the next day. I leave mine on until Yule, as a symbol of the Dark Time and a reminder to myself to stay in reflection.
Over the past month or so I’ve been trying to reset a bunch of things in my life. I reactivated my Habitica account to keep tabs on myself and build better habits. I’m trying to eat healthier food and get a decent amount of exercise. I’m trying to keep my house tidier (seriously, this is a big deal), and I’m trying to improve my study habits. That’s been the hardest part. If all goes well I’ll be taking my qualifying exams at the end of the spring semester, and I need to get my butt in gear. No more wasting hours clicking back and forth between Facebook and the other two or three websites that I frequent the most.
I didn’t realize until literally a few minutes ago how all of this work is connected to the Dark Time. But the time between Samhain and Yule is perfect for reassessing your habits and laying the groundwork for new ones, so that by the time Imbolc comes around you can enter into spring with a new perspective. The work won’t end there, of course, but with the basics in place you can keep improving.
One thing I’ve decided is that, as a way to keep myself accountable and maybe better process the huge amount of work and information I’m going to be dealing with for the next few months, I’m going to be blogging my quals study. My goal is to sit down at least three times a week and spend 30 minutes or an hour writing about what I’ve read in that period and how I can integrate it into my exams and the rest of my studies. I don’t know if it’ll be interesting for anyone but me (What? Who doesn’t want to hear all about how much I hate Bultmann?), but my hope is that it’ll keep me on track and moving forward. Watch this space.