Posted by: Hannah | 02/22/2016

and here we go again

February’s almost over, kids! I’m nearly there!

January / February is always my worst time of year, depression-wise. The grey skies – or worse, those weird flat white ones that come from very high cloud – day after day. The cold. The wind. The shoveling and snowblowing and windshield scraping and digging through snowbanks trying to find the dog’s business because I am a Responsible Dog Owner. The endless round of locating pairs of mittens, hats that fit, snowpants that don’t fall apart. The chapped lips and cracked hands. The head colds and stomach viruses and weather-induced migraines. The late sunrises and early sunsets.

This year was different (and I will freely admit that the mild winter we’re having was a big part of that, especially compared to last winter’s Snowmaggedon) but aside from last week, it never really got truly terrible. I have two very good close friends nearby now, which helped a LOT – I got out of the house to do Grown Up Lady Things at least once a week. I’m part of an active Facebook group of local dayhome providers and we all chat throughout the day, sharing stories, advice, and craft ideas. Both Michael and I are volunteering with a new group raising money to sponsor a refugee family from Syria (https://www.gofundme.com/Rt333RefugeeAssoc if you’d like to help!) I’ve also been coordinating the volunteers’ schedules for our school breakfast program, and pitching in once a week to help bake.

I’ve been to concerts, and gone tobogganing. I’ve gone to the dog park and the library and the movies. I had high hopes for snowshoeing and skating; no luck yet, but we’ve still got all of March and I’m sure despite today’s mild sunshiny weather that winter isn’t over.

I’ve actually struggled to strike a balance between a reasonable amount of “stuff” and my own still-considerable needs for quiet restorative rest. I’ve had a few times where every part of me cried out to stay home in my pjs and read or colour… and I have questioned myself every time. Years of staying home out of fear or anxiety have conditioned me to always assume that wanting time alone is the wrong response. A couple of times I’ve said yes to every invitation, every request for help, every social engagement, only to end up a depleted, exhausted bundle requiring a couple of days’ rest to get back to level. I suspect that will keep happening for a while, at least until I get used to this new Hannah that gets out of the house and does things.

I’m not sure why I haven’t been blogging much. I do still contribute to Throwing It Back every other week, but otherwise I never seem inspired to write. It’s not that nothing’s been happening – it has, ask me about my rabies scare! – but I would sometimes feel like I needed to write when I was sad, or angry, or frustrated, but I’d sit down at the computer and hey! here’s an email from a friend! and a Twitter conversation I’m into! and an article I’d like to read!, and by the time I got around to opening WordPress I didn’t feel bad enough anymore to spew negativity all over the internet.

I’m not ready to let go of this space yet, but once again I’m a little unsure where I’m heading with it. I hope you’ll all bear with me as I try to figure it out.

 

 

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Responses

  1. It’s hard to find stuff to write about sometimes when life feels really blag. That’s ok.

  2. “Years of staying home out of fear or anxiety have conditioned me to always assume that wanting time alone is the wrong response.”

    That statement is so interesting and self-aware. You are a classic introvert who is looking for a healthy balance now that you are no longer trapped by your anxiety. It sounds like you are going to figure it out and be just fine.

    As for me, I’m trying to learn my own limits and set boundaries appropriately. I’m learning that people can take “No, thanks” surprisingly well. No one has berated me for not agreeing to go back to teaching Sunday School, for example. At the same time, when I was having a bad episode of anxiety recently, I had to force myself to remember that I DO enjoy–or at least get some relief–from interacting with nice people outside the house. There IS a happy medium, and I’m going to find it.

  3. I’m so happy you’re having a good winter. xo

  4. We had a green Christmas and everyone was all “we’re skipping winter this here, yahoo!” and then mwahahahahahahaha all the snow ever. I’m so happy you have friends nearby finally, and I hear you on the ongoing search for introvert balance. Here’s to the end of February and the second half of Mindy season 4 not sucking.

  5. I kind of feel the same way. I am slowly phasing out my students and not replacing them, and I feel like it’s a waste of all the tricks I have learned.

    Fortunately, my own kid and his friends will eventually enter high school and I can use it then, because teenagers definitely ask their mom for help with math, right?


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