Let’s start this off with a nice big deep breath.
Maybe we’ll make that two.
Have I mentioned that things have been tough lately? On many days, I find myself in usual Winter Depression Mode: shut down, empty, stuck in a mental loop of criticizing myself for being such a loser. This is when I do nothing except play the latest adventure/mystery game I’ve downloaded, lost in a fantasy world. (Hey, at least I’m numbing out with harmless games, right? People numb out to a lot worse than that).
I knew in the back of my mind that this was coming, as Christmas came and I felt festive and normal, albeit suspiciously. I knew it when we drove down to North Carolina for New Years and everything went well, and I had fun. I knew it when, towards the end of January, I realized that I felt pretty awful. At least now, I could relax. No more waiting to see when the good streak would run out, no more wondering where my depressed self was, why she was so late this year.
I take it each day as it comes. The title of this post comes from musician Ani DiFranco, from her song. “Tamburitza Lingua”, and it’s a lyric I’ve come back to again and again. One breath at a time is an acceptable plan. Thank you, Ani, for giving us such beautiful poetry in your songs, for providing the words when I’ve found myself all too quiet.
And these photos? Space. I’m craving space lately. Winter has a tendency to invoke that claustrophobic, cabin-fever-type feeling. The fact that Andy and I share one car is a factor. The fact that I’m ‘due’ for another trip is another factor. And now, with gigantic piles of snow everywhere closing in on us, I find myself looking up to the sky quite often. The sky is open and expansive and limitless. This is also why I’m drawn to water & shorelines, something I’m planning on writing more on in a future post.
That’s said, here’s my gratitude list for this week:
1. I’m grateful that things are never as bad as my mind anticipates them to be. This must be a universal human flaw, no? We jump and assume and judge and worry, all practices that do us no good, and have no basis in reality.
2. I’m grateful for flannel sheets, an inviting bed nest, and a quiet humidifier. It’s all about coziness…and not shriveling up like a raisin in our dry house.
3. I’m grateful for the fact that we didn’t lose power from any of the recent storms, and when we did lose water, it was only for a few hours. Enough said.
4. I’m grateful for WiFi. If I didn’t have a laptop and access to YouTube videos, blogs, Wikipedia articles, TV and movie torrents, and all of you, I can’t begin to imagine how much worse my depression would be.
5. I’m grateful for a snowy day at the beach with the four-year-old. The beach! I’m crazy and I love going there when it’s bleak and monotone and empty. I knew Axel (a nickname he randomly landed on one day) would love playing with the ice chunks on the shore and then hitting the playground, and I would love enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. A win for everyone! It was just such a nice afternoon together. No tantrums, no whining, lots of laughing and contentment.
What are you grateful for right now?
Virtue is relative at best; there’s nothing worse than a sunset when you’re driving due west…I know that in an hour or three, the sun is gonna be in my eyes. And I know that sometimes all I can see is how I feel, like the whole world is on the other side of a dirty windshield. –Ani DiFranco