Stepping Back

Taking a break for a bit (for the most part)

Amy Jasek
2 min readDec 1, 2020


Medium format film pinhole image (photo by author)

Time to make ready
Watching and waiting, quiet
Light shines in darkness
Open up all the windows
Fling them wide, let love come in

Every year about this time, I see all my artist friends having sales and special offers on social media, on all kinds of holiday / non holiday products, and it makes me feel like I ought to be doing the same thing. I should be knocking out a ton of new cyanotype cards! I should have a print sale! I should try to push that book my daughter and I made!

I finished my gratitude poetry project, and was planning to format it into a little book, thinking oh December is the perfect time to make that happen, when everybody is shopping for unique gifts!

Well the reality of that situation would be me working hard on it, and then spending a great deal of time trying to convince people to buy it — this is not something I feel comfortable with even on my most confident days.

So instead, I’m going to do what I usually do: quietly place all those ambitions (ambitions that never fail to disappoint me, by the way) on the shelf until January. I’m going to turn the switch off on that kind of doing, and focus on the kind that benefits my heart the most: being fully present in the moment for this month of all months. The sad truth is that I can’t do that effectively while I’m spending a lot of time online.

I’m going to savor pots of tea and cold nights around the fire with my family and any friends who are brave enough to breathe the same air as me, I’m going to bake and have lots of pre-Christmas adventures with the kiddos, I’m going to embrace the stillness in my soul that reminds me who I am, I’m going to read and write and play the piano. I’m probably going to drink too much wine and eat a scandalous amount of red meat.

But the whole time, I will be watching and waiting. “The darkest hour is always just before the dawn!”

If you’re celebrating it, I wish you a blessed Advent! If you’re not, have a great month anyway, and a happy whatever you are or are not celebrating. I wish you days upon days of wonderful, meaningful moments. I am so grateful for the community I’ve found here on Medium!! See y’all next year . . . xo