Am I Blue …

A friend at work told me I looked tired yesterday. I’d noticed it before she mentioned it having seen the dark shadows under my eyes earlier that morning. I’ve been working more over the last few weeks filling in for someone who’s been out due to illness, but even with the added hours, my time at work requires a fraction of the energy required by some jobs I’ve had in the past.

I took a part-time job (one really I enjoy) to pay off an ugly amount of credit card debt I incurred when I was stuck in Atlanta last year and this week, I sent the last payment off to the two cards I owed.

You’d think I’d be celebrating, but I’ve been unable to rouse much enthusiasm. I also received an unexpected gift this week from a friend I met through work and it pleases me more than I can say to see it sitting on my desk now and to know the kind thought and motivation that prompted it.

John and I are both healthy and my family and friends in Atlanta are fine, but even with all the good, I still feel exhausted and blue.

My creativity seems to have disappeared and responding to emails from friends feels as if it’s more than I can do now. I think about calling family in Atlanta to connect, but even that feels like a struggle. Plus folks back home have their own worries and don’t need to hear me grumbling about some vague feeling of sadness that I can’t explain.

It’s not so easy to hide it from John and as I discovered yesterday morning, there’s no reason to keep it from him. After an exchange over breakfast that didn’t go well, I went back to his study and said that I may look happy and okay, but I’m not. I said I was feeling fragile, weepy, and sad and that I was going to need a little more gentleness than normal. He listened with understanding and is secure enough not to feel like he has to fix everything for me. Sometimes being heard is enough.

After running through a mental checklist searching for reasons and countering each negative with the bountiful list of positives in my life, I remembered what I seem to forget each year until I find myself deep in it again.

March and April are always tough months for me and with no good reason that I can find. You’d think after years of feeling what I’ve sometimes called ‘ The Easter Effect ‘ because of the time of year when it occurs, I’d be better prepared. But I forget until it’s here again sneaking up on me like it’s the first time making days that should be happy feel flat and difficult to get through.

I wrote about this feeling in a post titled ‘ Off Kilter ‘ in 2010 and after rereading the post and the comments it received, I am reminded that like Cindy La Ferle, I should be back to normal after Easter arrives.

April 8th … not too long to wait.

I wanted to share a couple of photos of a lone Grape Hyacinth that stayed with me this week during my gloominess. I found it intriguing that it appeared to be growing out of the rock.

I snapped the first photo a few days before going back for the next two because I wanted to show how it had found a tiny indentation in the long stone that acts barrier along the grassy edge of the village green. The most interesting thing about this for me was discovering how it was growing in the barest minimum of dirt.

Looking down into what was hardly more than a chipped place in the stone, I was impressed by the tenaciousness of this tiny plant and its ability to take root and bloom in a space where there was so little to sustain it.


I’m sure I’ll be alright in a few weeks, but there’s no way I’m giving up sugar next year for Lent.

Off Kilter

There is about a six week period each year that is usually a hurdle for me. It always falls during the time period between Lent and Easter. It is when I am generally the hardest on myself and whatever I perceive to be areas needing improvement in my life and behavior. Instead of thinking about the goals I am accomplishing, I tend to get stuck in my head with a litany of my imperfections on repeat mode like a song you can’t silence when you wish it would end.

My way to pull out of that vortex of self criticism is founded in physical movement which is generally a combination of exercise and cleaning. For me, a good deep scrubbing of the places that get tend to be overlooked in everyday cleanups is the secret to reestablishing a bit of balance in my energy. I am intrigued by the timing and wonder why the need to do a deep cleaning strikes when does each year. I would call it spring cleaning although it falls in the same time frame every year no matter what my geographic location or if spring is actually at the door. Spring still feels a long way off here with today being the same as it has been for the last week, a wet and windy grey day with the only hint of the changing season seen in the daffodils that are just beginning to bloom.

I googled the words,Spring Cleaning to find a few things I did not know about the correlation between different religious faiths and the seasonal ritual. Also interesting was how spring cleaning led me to spring fever, a term made popular in a poem by Samuel Clemens better known as Mark Twain and how it appears many people feel as I do at this time of year.

I am not one to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. In fact, I actually love winter and grey days so I never really considered the weather connection as a reason for my desire to clean my way back into a more settled and balanced feeling. After reading some of the links above, it appears I may not be alone in this.

How about you … if you have experienced a similar feeling of being off kilter, could you share your tips on working through it. I’ll  be back to check in with you in a little while, but right now I have a backsplash and a bunch of kitchen shelves that need my attention.