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?