out of the gray

March 20, 2013

while i’d like to think that the intricacies of my emotional patterns aren’t so shallow as to completely match our hemisphere’s proximity to the sun, the fact of the matter is that winter is busting my ass a bit.

i guess march naturally does this to you, right? the hope of spring muted by more gray and cold and gray and cold.

i have a genetic proclivity for melancholy, as i’ve likely mentioned before. and it has become clear this year that my mode of operation in dealing with said melancholy is a complete onslaught of activity – i have basically been keeping myself ridiculously busy for the last 15 years just to avoid being sad.

of course, that was easy when i was single and untethered. and it was easier still when i was working crazy hours as a doula. but busyness is not so easy to attain with a little one in tow. a little one who takes long naps throughout the day and is not so amenable to the cold as one would like. we’ve been couped up much of this winter and, while i do so enjoy my sweet girl, i can only watch her cruise around our coffee table so many times before i start to feel a little loopy.

since the weather seems to be forever uncooperative (seriously, i’ve silently given up the fact that spring is ever coming back to see us) i’m trying to take matters into my own hands in an attempt to reign in my unruly mood. my current plan of attack:

1. be honest about feeling sad. i’m sure people don’t like to hear about it, but i also feel dishonest about carrying on like a happy mom all the time. i’ve been reminded a lot lately about the importance of transparency with those you love and have been encouraged tremendously by the transparency of those around me. it can be hard to be direct about your needs and i am the absolute worst at asking for help but i want to work at it.

2. be more spontaneous. yesterday edith and i made an impromptu visit to the aquarium with some friends and it was the best thing we’ve done in awhile. i usually recoil from spontaneity but it seems to be the answer to the drudgery of monotony these days.

3. be more patient. i know spring will come someday, right? ok. until then, i want to enjoy what i can about winter – the opportunity to indulge in the indoors by cooking, sewing, reading, cuddling. this also applies to my relationship with edith. she has…not been sleeping very well, that is, she has not been sleeping at all most of the time. i realize that this is probably contributing to my depressive mood and also realize that this is not her fault. my mom told me to treat her like she is baby Jesus, but in the middle of the night i like to think of her more as St. Augustine, who took responsibility for his infantile behavior later in life (“the feebleness of infant limbs is innocent, not the infant’s mind”). he became a saint eventually. i treasure edith already as a holy little soul. thusly, i need to be more patient with her evolving self and her evolving needs.

4. be more grateful. i’m not loving working nights right now and i realize that this is also adding to my stress. but if nothing else my work as a doula has really taught me to appreciate the simple blessings in life. there is no way to know the DEEP beauty of your bed until you’ve been away at a birth for 40 hours. same goes for the goodness of sleep, the warmth of your partner’s hug, the sweetness of your baby’s smile. rest, like all things, is only really appreciated fully in the shadow of it’s opposite – exhaustion. and so instead of focusing on the burden of work, i’ll try to revel more in the beauty of leisure.

5. be with people. make plans, get out, share, give. all those good things that i love all year round but get repressed a bit when it requires wearing snow gear.

cheers to the struggle against gloom! we can do it, yes?

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One Response to “out of the gray”

  1. ninjaaron said

    I have helpful advice for this situation:

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