It's tough right now. But guess what? That's okay.

I’ve been having a difficult time lately — I’m in a bit of a slump, you could say. After some conversations with coworkers and colleagues throughout the agriculture industry, I’m realizing that it’s not just me.

The holiday season is a tough time for many. The days are so short. We remember those that we’ve lost. Many struggle with finances.

I’ve found myself looking forward to the winter solstice almost more than Christmas, as it’ll mean every day provides just a little more light.

I am a writer at heart. While I love conducting interviews and having those important conversations, my first love (and form of therapy) will always be writing. So, here she goes (I’ll try not to sound too “dear diary” over here).

I’ve been tough on myself. I have a job that I really, truly love. I have coworkers that make my job even more worth it. I have a safe, comfortable home. I live in the country, and can freely walk outside. However, I still feel grumpy lately, and unable to find that love again — that spark that makes me want to wake up in the morning has been so tough to find, and I’ve been kicking myself a lot for that.

“You don’t have it so bad, be better,” that voice in the back of my head likes to say.

As many of you are aware, I tackle my depression daily. However, as a good friend of mine that I respect and admire likes to say, “the black dog seems to really rear its head in the winter.” That’s my case, but that doesn’t mean it’s yours too.

I want to remind you all, whoever is reading this, that we don’t have to be happy all the time. We don’t always have to be in the Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) spirit.

This year is SO different. We can’t see our families. We can’t toss Monopoly money around the room because our extended family caused us to go broke in the game. We can’t countdown to 2021 with our friends, and feeling not-so-great about that is OK. It’s OK to take a load off your shoulders and admit: this really sucks.

And while we’re at it, let’s understand that everyone has different risk tolerances and comfort levels. We all have our own battles, and we need to take a second to ensure we are respecting those around us. It’s time to really embrace kindness.

In summary, it’s okay not to be okay.

I had a mentor once tell me to take a second to just “sit in the crap.” But while you are sitting there, feeling all the feelings, remember: we are all in this together. It’s been such a huge reminder to me to know that others are feeling this too. We are all sick and tired of COVID-19. We are all sick of lockdowns, restrictions, and well, more lockdowns. But we WILL get through this.

If you need to, whether it’s through Twitter, or email, my messages are open. Reach out. I’m here. And so many others are as well.

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