You gotta love hopping on board someone else's applecart - thanks Romy for blogging about 365grateful this morning. I'm in.
Here's why. As winter rolls in it becomes easier to stick my head under the pillow, give in and sit in my aches. Some awful muscle memory kicked in this past Saturday and my muscles and connective tissue and mind all recalled that cold feeling. Heavy limbs drag down my heart and the black dog curls up inside my head, and it feels like there's nothing I can do. Last year was a doozy - days on end (or was it months?) spent crying and spinning around the endless litany of "you're a dickhead/fool/loser/idiot" with the cruelest parts of my internal monologue hissing at me, quietly, but louder than anything else I could muster. Crying into the sink as I washed dishes. Urgh! Fuhgeddaboutit.
I'd like very much to not disappear into that again, this year. I think my partner would wish the same for me and for us. All of us are different, but I identified with some of the feelings in this article and this one. It's a shitty, shitty illness. Mine came about after about six years of chronic pain wearing me down. That pain is quite a lot worse in winter (think Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz pre-oil can), and my body remembers that, and despair sets in. Melancholia. Whatever word you want to give it, it bites the big one.
What we are, we attract. What we think, we attract. Saturday meshed into Sunday, and Sunday into Monday. I made french toast with cinnamon and maple syrup - Tracey prefers hers savory, and I forgot (there are no spaces for memories), and it was like a punch in the guts. I went back to bed. So much time in bed. Heavy and sad and lost, head pounding. I got up for work, went through the motions talking to the invisible people at the other side of what I was doing and got stuck in a traffic jam on the way home. Feeling intense anxiety and sadness for whoever was in the accident that slowed down our lives a little, picturing them in the ambulance, seeing their family in my mind hearing the news that someone had happened to the person they loved. It all seems like too much.
That night I got a fantastic nights sleep, and woke up completely different on Tuesday morning. Interested and productive and mobile. Today I'm grateful for that shift. Yesterday it was like I'd dodged a bullet, I was absolutely delighted in my own different perspective and lighter outlook. Hold on to it, please.
It's energising, feeling grateful. The majority of the time I can articulate what it is that I'm lucky to have, be, think and feel in my life. Sometimes a fog rolls in and it's tricky to see what's what. Maybe this will help.
"In early 2008, in an effort to fight depression, Hailey started a year long photographic project which involved taking one Polaroid photo a day of something she felt grateful for. Initially this was a chore but eventually it became a delight."
This is part of the view from my desk, and it's something I'm so grateful for. That enourmous gumtree in our front yard is 80% of the reason we moved to this house. So lovely in every season, smells amazing in the rain and flowers in the spring. I love being surrounded by so much green, and the smell of eucalyptus lets me know I'm home.
So that's day 1. Will you join me?