Dear Curiosity Journal,

I emerge from a self-prescribed sabbatical like a mammal from hibernation. The to-do list has been lying dormant within the pages of my closed planner since the Winter Solstice. While it’s possible to muffle the physical list, the mental agenda arises again and again like the hunger which awakens a slumbering bear. I’ve sung it back to sleep for the last time now, for the parasite of productivity gnaws within. I observe our obsession with being “productive”, how we associate production with worth, and how a widespread culture supports the notion that doing exceeds being in every capacity. Economy and even Time itself begs us to work toward a goal. Being thoroughly conditioned for “progress” infuses restlessness into rest, pours impatience into pauses, and glazes getaways with guilt. Being a Capricorn exacerbates the matter. Disciplining oneself to take a break seems like an oxymoron – asserting control over my impulse to assert control, spoon feeding myself the medicinal idea that this is good for me. I pass the time walking the land and letting my mind wander, binge reading novels (6 in a week), doing yoga, meditating, making hearty meals, listening to music, hanging out with the sheep, going to bed early, and sleeping in late. Yes, I recognize there is still a fair amount of “doing” here but I wouldn’t classify it as “work” and this is the first time I’ve intentionally set Driftless Curiosity work aside since we began developing the organization in 2020. I’m captivated by a dusting of snow and the clinging of rime ice, how even water finds a form of stillness on the land, and I console myself with the beauty of this truth, even while my inner boss screams, “Back to work!” I’m grateful to have kept it at bay for a bit because I’m emerging with more vigor and clarity, hungry for 2024.