Getting my depressed butt off the couch, I walked ten laps. On the first lap the sun came out. Beauty unfolds if you work at it.
Euphoria meets depression, the crash causing several weeks of endured sleeplessness. This happened in fall too when the equilibrium sustained throughout summer tumbled into winter’s lower mood. Now spring’s bursting forth, or the beginnings of it, causing my body’s chemicals to do the same.
It does dampen the joy of it, yet isn’t that life? Taking all of life’s ambiguity in stride? All her ups, downs, and in-betweens? What else can one do but do it, keep trucking, keep trying. And remember, while you’re tossing one way then the other, stop chastising yourself for insomnia because it’s not your fault.
Gentleness, remember? Oh so hard- to experience joyful abandonment and soul ripping sadness all in the space of one breath. Because sadness also threatens with life’s regrets visiting at night, every sound magnified, every wrong turn, or even little mistakes looming like a dark cloud over my bed ready to devour me.
Oh the self-talk kicking in, looking for my center unable to find it, feel it, or go there. Stay. No getting up to watch to TV in the middle of the night. Stay. Suddenly it’s 8AM. Samuel’s gets up, me too popping open the shades. It is his usual wake-up time, but mine was hours before. So some REM’s have been made up from the nighttime musings.
And it’s sunny. Cold, windy and sunny, kind of like my insides.
Spring fever hit like Tigger on a pogo stick. Chemicals in my body usually bringing calm are mixed up like a tornado shooting to the moon. Walking before the sun rose over the hill was exhilarating, hearing the bird songs that had been absent all winter.
The creek burgeoning carrying tiny icebergs downstream, the snow beginning to glitter like diamonds after lap three when the golden orb appeared. Round and round, looking down at various prints in the snow.
Some like a coyote, then delicate like a bird. Squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, possibly a fox! Though a lover of the outdoors, my skills at identifying each one are lacking. But they still tell a fascinating story.
A treat once again was to light another fire, but the March sun warms even more than the fire. The excitement of spring is hard to contain as more daylight wakes up something in me dormant all winter.
Bitter cold bites down hard as the wind howls. Not going out in it, the day yawned ahead boringly increasing cabin fever tenfold. The next morning sunshine splashed across the horizon, the day opening with excitement, inviting me out into it even as wind blew.
“I’m going out before breakfast,” I excitedly tell Samuel.
Donning the long winter coat over my bathrobe and new warm boots I dashed out into the air warmed by March sun hugging my chest as bitter wind slapped my back. But the low temps crept up my legs between coats. The snowy path had frozen making it rugged and slippery.
Back inside to change into clothes and to ask Samuel if he’d put on my ice trekkers. He had figured out how to use them the other day when confronting the same icy conditions, having to Google how. Using his manly muscles to stretch them onto my boots, with the addition of thick warm snow pants, the rest of the laps were safe, sturdy, and purely enjoyable.
At the walk’s end, the repose by the creek was short as the wind blew drying the sweat under my coat quickly turning it cold. Back on the patio, out of the wind, a fire was lit easily using a wax cake atop the kindling, warming me thoroughly through and through along with the sunshine. The hanging star under the wisteria captured my attention sparkling in the sun, a perfect photography subject while resting. A morning of entertainment and exhilaration was relished by inventing my own pleasures…
Stopping at Seth’s after buying a supply of pot oil, he invites us in. Donning masks we sit chatting in his living room for over an hour. But afterwards, even though it seemed like a lovely visit, confusion sets in.
It takes a few days before feeling centered, and this seems to happen after any interaction with one of the three brothers that have formed some semblance of family.
There is love for them, but not an ability to be with any of them. A lack of trust prevails. The pleaser comes forth, the one my mother honed to fake perfection that says one thing but means another.
The chatter box comes out of my mouth happily flitting from one subject to another, when what I really want to say is, “Why did you make a life of being a close buddy to a person who abused me so horribly? Then spent the rest of his life making me pay for it? Why did you buddy up against me?”
Let them have their little group, and I can partake when or if I want, but decline when I want to without excuse, regret, or guilt. It took a few days for my internal world to become a kinder place to be.
Inside felt like a wasteland, no kindness fostered, just the critic. Being around any one of them brings out the plastic doll my mother created that fakes everything, smiling as you wrong me.
Quietly my soul came back. Quietly my life returns. Quietly the joy of living fills me bringing warmth where coldness had frozen all kindness.
When Covid boxed me in, the outdoors revived, refreshed, and enlivened me. When the temps dipped uninvitingly low, the boxed in feeling quadrupled. Brrr… staying in with hot coffee and laziness won out. The elliptical trainer in the dark basement was used, but didn’t replace the curative effects of fresh air.
Trekking out finally to beat noxious cabin fever, plodding through knee deep snow, fluffy, brilliantly white, and oh so much like moving through water, my heart pounded needing several breaks to calm it down.
My boots sunk to the bottom of the heavy white stuff making each step difficult. Perhaps it is time for snow shoes. After the first sweaty lap, they were donned. The next lap went smoother, my feet going only half-way down, my heart still loudly pumping with the effort.
Though the sun shone down happily, two laps did me in. The unexpected pleasure of sunshine soaked in thoroughly, the Vitamin D nourishing every pore and tired brain cell.
The sluggish feeling dissipated— hope, vitality, and freshness taking its place. Exercise beats depression, but one has to do it for the release to occur. Oh, how I love it, just someone please, push me out the door?
With Christmas festivities over, the tree taken down not until Inauguration Day, a need for light and hope are sought. Surrounded by darkness upon waking it is heartening to see the desktop’s slideshow of my photos through the years living here, mostly of green, green, and more green.
The thirst for green is on, awaiting the first robin which comes much earlier than once thought, even as early as February. The crush of winter upon my body and spirit hits despite the energy put forth to combat it.
A deep achy tiredness descends sucking the life out of me. Resting awhile helps relieve some of it. Which is odd because after a full night’s sleep it wouldn’t seem necessary.
Yet there it is, winter and its effects on brains chemicals. Exercise, sunshine if it’s there, and around here in winter that’s not much, and a half-hour each morning in front of full spectrum lighting.
The most relief is fresh air, but pushing myself out the door often takes great effort. Yet out I go, and by lap three an energizing within my body and spirit occurs. Fresh crisp air fills my lungs as my boots press the snow down in a nice path, round and round.
Crystals appeared overnight in the frigid temps glittering in the sunshine. Coming indoors after a respite by the creek, the relief of Mother Nature’s curative effects make the rest of day enjoyable. And it comforts to know that activities were employed healthy for mind, body, and spirit.
Nights roll on one after the other sleeping like a hibernating bear. And that brings a day of gratitude, relief, and a whole lot of energy that had been lacking for years during so many bouts with sleepless nights. The pot oil has to be the cure, because no amount of meditation worked to help sleep occur.
Still, during the day in the midst of winter, my feet drag as if lifting 2,000 pounds, wondering what in the world is wrong. Nothing, nothing except no matter how hard positivity is reinforced, winters do affect my brain chemicals dramatically turning me to stone even when fighting hard for that not to happen.
Though this winter is the best ever, it is not without challenges. Accepting the why helped my shoulders come down from the crunch of wondering, accepting my fate which makes it easier to bear. So the puzzle, always calming, is worked on to completion, along with other pleasant past times not amounting to much, but do pass the time.
It is not about changing the world, but myself. It is about finding the joy in each day because it could be my last, one never knows. It is about feeding my soul with uplift and belief in my own power, goodness, and abilities. To work on faith within myself which can then extend to others…
It is about happiness and peace in the face of an unimaginable storm as the virus takes hold with more virulent and deadly strains. Please keep my loved ones safe, please…