It is 2:30 on a Saturday and the only thing I have managed to complete today is taking a shower. And with any luck, I’ll finish this post.
Staring out the window in my laundry room at the back yard all littered with yellow leaves, the wind swaying the raspberry canes to and fro, and the rain making everything wet, gray and glossy, I realize that this winter is going to be very hard. Harder than it has been in quite a few years. Tears began to well in my eyes.
I’m sure I am not alone with the struggle that happens in the Pacific Northwest this time of year, when the sunlight hours wane and the days turn dark and dreary. When every day becomes a challenge just to find a reason to get up and be a part of the world instead of staying all cozy and safe in the covers piled high. During the week, my job makes this possible. But on the weekends, well, the challenge is real. Now that my son is an adult (albeit still living with his mother), I only have myself to take care of and some days, well, without a child for motivation (Little League, hungry whining) sleeping the day away comes pretty easy
I didn’t used to always recognize this struggle but changing how I eat and move has made me more aware of what it feels like to truly feel GOOD, have energy and a positive attitude. It helped me realize how there are things I can do to fight this emotional battle. And the biggest one of those was to get outdoors no matter what the conditions.
But now recovering from an injury, both physically and mentally, I can see that what I used to keep myself sane is not going to be there to rescue me. When the alarm went off at 5am on Saturday morning because I was heading out on an adventure in the wild, either by myself or with friends, it was just what I needed to feel accomplished and refreshed. How it helped me to be able to focus on what I have been able to do instead of all the things I haven’t.
And I won’t have that for awhile.
Some days are good, some days not so much. Some days, I hope to just complete one task so that I can say the day was worth it and not yet another complete waste. Every time I go to the store in the rush of an emotional impulse, I have to go through a mental exercise of telling myself to by something healthy or non-food to make myself feel better instead of gluten free ginger cookies or 95% dark chocolate. And then not feel bad about myself because I didn’t win that battle. As I sit and stare at the screen now, trying to finish a post (of which I have many unfinished), several projects half started in places around the house, a to-do list that just keeps growing, I realize it for what it is.
I didn’t always. In fact it wasn’t until my sister shared with me the year before last that of my immediate family (8 of us), only maybe two of us do not take medication to battle depression and anxiety. My first thought was, how did I get so lucky not to have that burden? But I slowly realized after thinking about it that I am not that lucky. That it actually made sense when I look at my life and how events have played out. The difference, I guess, is how I have chosen to handle it.
Being in nature has been my strong hold.
So, I guess to end this post I will say ask that you remember that I am like so many of the people around you that you know who try and make it through winter with their sanity and that behind that smiling face you see in public, there is a battle going on inside. If you manage to see us out and about, well, know that it took a lot just to get there. No, we probably won’t want to talk about it or be “cheered up” because I realize now that is something a person has to do for themself. But you can bet, that time with you was what got us out the door in the first place and sometimes that is all we need.