It doesn’t seem to matter that there aren’t feet of snow on the ground and weeks of bitter-cold temperatures. Winter still seems to make me feel a little on the melancholy side. I lose motivation and could just sleep all the time. I make a mental list of all the things I could be doing this time of year – putting a fresh coat of paint on some of the rooms, shopping for new beds, redecorating – and it all just seems like too much effort. It feels like the shades are always pulled inside of me until spring arrives. It’s not necessarily a bad feeling. It just kind of feels like I’m sitting on the sidelines watching the world go by for a few months each year.
At work, I just had what was probably the busiest week ever since the reorganization of the company. And I was happier than I can remember being since this new phase began. I love being able to really dig in. I need to be busy. I don’t coast well.
The unfortunate effect of such a busy week is that I don’t remember noticing anything else. I don’t remember thinking about much other than work. There was a nice distraction mid-week when we had dinner with friends, but beyond that it seemed as if I went to work, I thought about work, I worried about work and I slept. And the next day I’d do it all over again. I don’t want to lose the energy that existed at work this past week, but I need to be able to find some balance between my work day and my life outside of work.
I woke up this morning when Mark came home from the overnight shift. It was tempting to just close my eyes and go back to sleep, but I knew if I did, it would be 10:00 before I guilted myself into facing the day. As nice as it is to just sleep, I hate the feeling that I’ve sacrificed hours of productiveness due to my apparent need to hibernate.
Instead of sleeping, I took Lucy outside for a walk/run. (We’re trying! She’s better at running than I am.)
It’s been warm this week, and for the past few days, there’s been a blanket of fog in the mornings. The overnight cold changed the look of the landscape this morning. I’m sure it won’t last, but the day arrived looking as if all of the trees and shrubs, fences and telephone wires had been painted white with frost.
A man in an SUV stopped to ask if I knew where the high school is. He was about three miles off-track and I steered him in the right direction. We passed an elderly Hmong woman bundled up in her jacket with her furry hood gathered round her face. There was a solid pink blush in her age-worn cheeks. I only smiled at her. I could hear what I assumed was traditional Hmong music coming from her headphones. It was playing so loud, I wasn’t sure she’d hear me if I greeted her good morning.
Lucy wanted to go meet a dog who was out in his front yard barking furiously at us, but I kept her moving. As we neared the end of our loop, we crossed paths again with the Hmong woman. Our eyes met again, but there was still the music between us, so I just nodded. As we headed back into our neighborhood, I could see Shanahan, the neighbor’s Springer Spaniel looking over their back yard at us from the patio door. Lucy didn’t notice her. But by the time we’d turned the corner to walk past Shanahan’s front yard, she must have convinced her people that she needed to be outside and she came racing across the driveway, barking hello at us as we headed for our own house just two doors away. Across the street, Rex the Maltese barked over and over, ad nauseam, as he tends to do. This alerted Jack, the German Shorthair who lives next to Rex and opposite our house to join the party.
It had been a fairly quiet morning until then. And all in all, a good way to shake off the ho-hums.