Another Christmas has come and gone.  The hype and promise have expired, and I’m left with a familiar emotional cocktail of joy, contentment, gratitude and disappointment. Though never as ebullient or picturesque as ads in a glossy magazine might suggest (our tree never looks quite as glamorous; our gifts are never as big or surprising; that beauty-editor-recommended hairstyle never looks quite right atop my head), this holiday season did provide me with many opportunities to fill up on the goodness of loved ones.

As January impatiently awaits, I find myself wanting to hold on to the stillness of the season–not the festive, incessant opportunities to drink and indulge, but those moments of quiescence, the short days and long spells of darkness, which provide the opportunity for reflection.

This time of year, I feel compelled to take stock, to note an end and hypothesize a beginning; maybe it will be like this; maybe the new year could hold this possibility, this growth.

Which can then become, Yes, I want it to be so.

It is really New Year’s, I suppose, that holds a place in my heart, its possibilities and uncertainties so captivating:  the clear, sparkly magic of what if.

Over the course of this past year, I’ve had some incredible opportunities, many of which relate to writing and rekindling an internal creativity I’d long forgotten.  Yet, as is often the case with me, I don’t operate in the middle; blogging has become an exercise in extremes: getting up at 4am, fervently writing, editing, and posting, followed by obsessive checking, approving, commenting, and back-commenting.  I now find myself in the margins, feeling exhausted and depleted, wondering how I meandered from a centrally-located place of moderation to the hinter-lands; how I came to test the limits of my endurance.

Because this was not supposed to be a test.  Blogging was not supposed to answer the question, “How much can I take?”  (Which really means, “How much can I give?”)

If you’ve ever tried to leave a comment on my other blog, The Body and The Brood, you’ve likely noticed that your input is followed by the words, “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

It has become plain that my life, indeed, is awaiting moderation, as well.  Not moderation in the third-party sense of the word—something that must be performed by another person—but moderation in the sense of balance.  Moderation in the sense of being appropriately scaled, proportional, and harmonious; being moderate.

The benefit of taking stock is that, sometimes, we are able to glean an answer.  The downside is that we have to decide what to do with the information that materializes, once it invades our consciousness.

For me, the answer is clear, in that trolley-car on the tracks, metal-on-metal cacophonous way:  Stop! Stop! Stop!

Case in point–my baby has just gotten up for the day, and it’s 4:45 am.  The limits on my time are obvious.  Things. Must. Slow. Down.

So I am taking a much needed break, to salve the cracks and find some softness; to take my own advice and to take care of myself.

This is all to say that I will be saying goodnight to The Dish and the Spoon: Food and the Family; I will be giving it—and myself—some rest.  Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you around the web in the future.

Also, I hope my decision motivates you to take stock, as well.  Are you fulfilled and happy?  Could the what if become the what is for you?