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.

10 thoughts on “Off Kilter

  1. My therapy at this time of year is gardening. I attacked the borders at 9 am on Saturday and didn’t let up until late in the afternoon. It helps I was listening to my i-pod. I caught the weeds before they get a chance to get established, and it gives me a physical outlet for my angst. Those are the upsides, the downside is that the backs of my thighs are so sore it was painful to lift my leg over a style this morning whilst out walking…

  2. I too have been off kilter, but I am very plased to report that my kilter seems to have balanced out in the SW of UK. I was delighted to learn you have benefitted from the work of Natalie Goldberg, and lucky you having been on that workshop.

  3. Hi Elizabeth.. You have a NEW blog .. I love it!

    Funny that you should be writing this today. I went round to a friends for coffee and this is what we were talking about, and it seems that all lifes troubles are thrown at us at once at this time of year or so it seems!!

    I talk it over with my friends, as at this time of year hubby not at home, but also funnily enough I set to and blitzed the bathroom and started painting my kitchen. I cannot afford to change the whole kitchen at the mo, but I can paint!!

    Also in the last few weeks, my friend lost her husband, my ex mother-in-law passed, one of my sons as major issues .. Yep a hard time.

    Take care and lets hope that we all can get through the difficult times.

  4. I’m right there with you… I’ve got seeds sprouting in the window and new window boxes to put them in… I;m raring to go but its still to early to put them out. argh!

  5. I think its to do with th elight. We see more, physically and can do more outside..and all of a suddenteh contrast with inside and outside is more stark because we get outside long enough to see the contrast, between inside and outside of our houses. And our house is part of us; it affects us and we affect it.

    Maybe it is the need to change that rises up ithin us as we see the leaves and flower appearing, even although this year it is later than usual in the UK.

    I am dreading the house clearing I face in a few weeks, but I know I’ll feel good once I’m doing it. Not to mention, when it’s done!

  6. Wow, this post is so timely. I was sitting in my acupuncturist’s office tonight trying to explain to her my mood, my energy level and my motivation. All of them are in the toilet unfortunately. It is raining again here, and so my first inclination is to say that I’m just missing the sun. But, I think it’s more than that. So much anticipation of things to be done in the good weather, the fun and the not so fun. Yesterday, I took a Photo Walk to try and get myself out of my funk. Being out in the fresh air looking for bits of beauty in the everyday really did help. I think the key for me is doing a bit of that everyday. I hope you find your key too. Best, Jeanne

  7. Sorry, one more thing… Carmen Torbus had this on her blog today, made by a friend of hers, and I think this captures what I need these perfectly. Hope it brings some joy to you.

  8. A post after my own heart. I get SAD right before Easter too… sort of like I’ve been in a tomb all winter and feel a struggle to break free. I can see why pagans and Christians alike focused so heavily on the theme of rebirth in spring, and awaited it so eagerly. Once Easter is over, I feel like a new self and I hit the ground running again. Happy Easter!

  9. I wish cleaning were my thing. My house would be better if it were. I just went through a mild depression and I allowed myself to wallow in it for a day and feel the full force of the sadness. Then, I journaled and then I went outside and thought about what was really important and now its done. Sometimes you just have to be gentle with yourself.

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