I feel as limp as my snow-laden Hollies.
It’s hard to explain why some days it’s hard to get motivated, why I wish to do nothing but sit in a chair, with a good book in my lap and dogs by my side.
Yet, it’s a luxury I won’t give into, since one day leads to another, so that before long, I’ve a month of “do-nothing” days to my credit. With me, it’s always a feast or famine existence with no middle way.
Ironically, it’s days like today that make me ready to abandon every activity that normally brings me joy. Master gardening? Check. Spiritual direction classes? Check. Writing for this blog? Check. Check. Check.
What causes this malaise — this general sense of being out-of-sync with the world? Is it desolation? Some sort of mild depression? Acedia? Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s not ‘cabin fever’ — since there’s no place I’d rather be than home.
But if I had to label my current state, I’d call it desolation. According to my class notes, desolation drains us of energy and makes us want to give up on things we once viewed as important.
Not so long ago, when I felt this way, I would spend the entire day in bed, usually tucked in with a good book. But I’ve learned that it’s better not to give in to the darkness. To care for myself properly, it’s important for me to keep company with those I love and to continue to engage in the activities that normally bring me joy.
So today, I’ve made myself go through the motions of my everyday life. I began with morning devotion and then moved to the kitchen to cook. And later, since I had the blues anyway, I devoted the afternoon to completing our income tax returns. And in some mysterious way, I feel better for all the activity.
The lightening of my spirit does not derive out of any sense of accomplishment. It’s more than that — since on any measurable level, what I did or did not do today was unimportant, in and of itself. Had I not cooked, my husband would have been glad to go out to eat. Had the tax returns been put off, no problems would have resulted from their delay.
In a way that’s hard to explain, I simply feel more alive by my ‘doing’ life. Because I did these things, I feel more like myself than whatever state I was feeling before. And that the drudgery of this year’s Form 1040 is behind me is just an added bonus.
Desolation is also no time for making life decisions. So, without guilt, I’ll just be Scarlett O’Hara and think about life decisions — if not tomorrow — than sometime soon — when the tides have turned into waves of consolation.
And in the meantime, with my evening class called off and all my chores behind me, it’s time for me to keep company with that good chair and book — or even better, that good husband of mine?
As the saying goes, “Been there, done that…” I used to worry a whole lot about the whys-and-wherefores. Don’t worry about that any more. As another saying has it, “It is what it is….”
What I have learned is that there’s a key that unlocks the padlock for me, and that’s music. May be different for you – probably is – but here’s my dinner-making music for this gray, damp, verging-on-desolate afternoon. From my perspective, the Blues is always the best answer to the blues 😉
I love this song that I’ve never heard before. Thanks for the gift.
Music does help — but for whatever reason, I never got to the music medicine cabinet yesterday. And this, in spite of the idea of music therapy surfacing in my mind yesterday.
Why did I resist, I wonder. Perhaps the reasons is the same as when I sometimes resist taking an Advil, when the headache is so bad that the mere thought of going to the medicine cabinet is worse than just enduring the pain.
I am almost the same.
Winter is a hard time for me; little work to distract me. And I “forget” to do what helps me.
*sigh*…..what are we like???
My mother hated gloomy days — the weather infected her spirits — and I suppose this is true with many of us.
Mom would keep to her bed when she could without a second thought. Meanwhile, I resist the sweet temptation… most days. But here I sit with another gloomy day before me. And the bed does look inviting.
Sigh, indeed. It looks like we’ll be going out to eat this evening. Though maybe the cookies I’m baking will turn the tide toward home.
Terry M. Clark said:
Terry M. Clark said:
Poetry of the souls…not desolation, but imagination
Your comment makes me wonder if imagination expands out of darkness, reaching toward the sun. Perhaps. Something for me to ponder.
I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in bed the whole day except when genuinely ill with something that either has serious pain, a fever or all. I may go and sleep a few extra hours; it sometimes reboots my brain after a crying jag or a fit of misery. But stay in bed? No. I feel too guilty to do that even when I probably should, like the last couple of days. But the restlessness builds and builds and I start to pace, even when I should be resting, and I can’t settle even at night.
I am hoping to have a good night tonight after a truly pants one last night. I went down on foot to our big supermarket(2 miles) and did a medium walk with the dog (another 2 or so) so am now worn out. i also walked along muttering in German(had my mp3 player on with my German lessons on) like some Continental baglady!
I have an array of things that help but something seems to stop me trying them…
Walks are always good. They clear the mind and I do sleep better with a daily walk. Hope your two are doubly effective.