Embracing the season

I'm sitting at my laptop wondering how Pam does it. How does she compose a column, every single week, and one that's a lot longer than the 450 words I need to write. I don't mean to dissuade any of you from becoming a guest columnist. It's fun, pushes your creative muscles.

I'm waiting for inspiration, a heartwarming story, anything to start the new year off right. Instead, I've got nothing but the doldrums. My holiday spirit put away with the decorations. I'm not a winter person.

I grab another cup of coffee. Should I write about New Year's resolutions? Does anyone make those anymore? It's the middle of January. I'm sure some have been ditched by now.

In my writing group we set intentions for the year. I can get behind intentions. They're a kinder, gentler resolution. Like "I intend to write 500 words a day. But if I drink wine and watch Netflix instead, well, I intended to write." Don't beat me up over it.

My husband tells me to write my opinions. He has to live with me and hears them often. So seriously, nope. There are too many people shouting their opinions on social media and everywhere. Everyone's got an opinion, and no one cares. Besides, doesn't fit my rule for kindness.

When we were visiting our kid in LA over the holidays, son suggested we try a chichi sushi house by his apartment. Chichi sushi doesn't take reservations, so we waited outside for about an hour. No problem, lovely evening, lots of people watching. Then I started to notice a pattern. (Patterns are everywhere, pay attention.) People walking by saying, "I love chichi sushi, best sushi ever." Every person said it, I swear, every single person. I began wondering, is saying you love sushi from chichi a flex? Or are we somehow, secretly on an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm?"

Because honestly, I'm never going to say, "I'm craving sushi tonight." (Opinion is my own, I know I said I'd leave those out, my apologies.) I was raised in St. Charles, surrounded by cornfields, a child of the corn. Anyway, once inside the restaurant I ordered the Trust Me Lite. (Seriously, you've got to love a place with that on the menu!) I have to say the atmosphere was amazing and the wine superb. Yes, the tuna sashimi was excellent. I'll be back.

My rambling has me thinking I'll embrace hygge. (And realizing my column is complete.) The Danes know how to winter.

Cozy in, read, cook up some comfort. I'm definitely making Amy McCauley's Shepard's Pie. Oh, and those 500 words a day. See you in the spring!

- Lisa Seplak of Hinsdale is a contributing columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].