I haven’t wanted to write lately because I haven’t wanted to be honest with myself about how things are really going. I’ve been repeating “I love my life,” unconsciously to myself, willing it to be true. But it’s been a tough winter, and at times I’ve felt pretty down in the dumps.
Things chugged along nicely until the holidays were over, and I tried to get all pumped up about a new year in January, I really did. But the prolonged cold, extra snow and endless gray days started to get to me. The reality of our country’s political situation began to sink in and frankly, hit me like a ton of bricks. February consisted of a couple weeks of feeling pretty blue, for what felt like no reason at all, just your typical seasonal depression I figured. But I just couldn’t kick it. And then, just when I started to feel a bit better, the insomnia hit. Night after maddening night of laying awake in my bed, keeping hours I haven’t kept since college, or at least since I had a nursing newborn. Dragging myself through the afternoons, utterly exhausted by 3 p.m., only to find myself wide eyed and bushy-tailed come nine o’clock.
I seem to have finally figured out how to sleep again this last week, only to be handed some variety of flu/head cold. Add in the fact that Emmett has started the transition from baby to toddler, climbing toddler to be exact, one who requires constant rescuing from perilous situations, and all I can think about is how tired I am. Tired. So very, very tired. So deeply tired that even when I lay down flat in bed at night, my body still feels all crunched up, like your hand when you’ve spent too many hours with it curled around a computer mouse.
I look around my home, where I spend most of my time, and all I see is unfinished projects, things in need of repair and the shabbiness of some of my hand-me-down furnishings. I open up my closet, look at the meagre selection of clothing options and bemoan how I don’t have anything nice to wear, and nowhere to wear it. I look at myself in the mirror and all can I think is, “bleh.” I like myself, I really do. I don’t have a whole lot of issues with the way that I look, but this season of life, deep in the trenches of motherhood, isn’t exactly conducive to an extensive beauty regimen. It’s rare that I use the mirror for anything besides brushing my teeth and throwing my hair into a braid or two.
Part of me wants to tell myself that a little Vitamin D will solve all my problems. That once the weather turns I’ll be footloose and fancy free. And maybe I will be. The few scattered days of glorious golden light have certainly done wonders for my spirit, after all. But the more determined part of me wants to learn, somehow, to sit in all of this. To sit right in the middle of this glum, mucky yuckiness in my heart and learn how to navigate it with grace and beauty. To be okay with not always being okay. To have some perspective and see that some seasons are for feeling sad, so that the happier ones feel that much happier. Perhaps it’s just my lot in life to feel a bit blue in the late wintertime, and what’s really so terrible about that if I can learn to still be a decent human being through it all?
It’s the decent human part where I need the most work. When I feel badly, I’m ashamed to admit that even at 30-years-old, I act badly. I’m short-tempered, irritable and impatient. I feel things strongly and deeply, and I have a hard time not letting myself get carried away on those waves of emotions. I’m also an action-oriented type person when it comes to my feelings so when I’m feeling badly, I want to do something about it. I want to make a change, try something new, take on a project, or at the very least distract myself. While this impulse can be constructive at times, it often leads to unnecessary spending, getting all hot-and-bothered about something only to quickly fizzle out soon after, and often creates a good deal of conflict with my less action-oriented spouse. Sometimes I like to blame it all on the artistic side of me. A good artist always has a bit of torture that accompanies the creative genius, but I’m not sure I qualify for tortured artist status at this point in my life. Especially since I’ve yet to really produce any “art” to speak of.
Somehow, some way, I want to learn to just be. To not be quite so driven by my emotions. To not lash out at the people around me because I feel badly. To not rush around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to figure out some way to make myself feel better. I want to learn to say, “I’m feeling blue these days,” and then carry on with life. Take each day, one at a time, acknowledging the hard parts and creating a margin for myself to feel them and think through them, but also leaning in to all the many good parts.
And there are so very many good parts, easy to see even on the bluest of blue days. I am loved and supported. I have great friends and wonderful family. I have a beautiful son who I get to spend my days with. A home that I prefer to most other places in the world. A beautiful, blessed life.
Speaking of my beautiful life, I’m starting a weekly series on Instagram called #farmwifewednesdays because I’m really good at capturing my son, the farm and our house, but I’m not so good at appearing in my own photos. Sometimes going months without appearing in my feed. I don’t want to look back in a couple decades and not be able to see what I looked like as a young mama, farmer’s wife and 30-year-old woman, so I’m planning to post a weekly image of me doing my thing around here. Follow along if you’d like!