life as a plant

It seems like the hardest part of anything I do these days is starting it.  I have always had a tough time finding motivation during the winter months. I’ve been told I have seasonal depression, among other problems.  I blame it on my mom.

The day I was born was a full moon, 30 some odd degrees, and when my mom went into labor the maternity wing of the hospital was full.  The hospital was forced to open up an older cancer wing that, while fully functional, had been closed for a few months.  My mom thought after she gave birth that she was freezing and in shock; they informed her it was just that the heat hadn’t fully turned on. And then when they realized how jaundiced I was, they told my mom that I would have to be put under one of the therapy lights to try to lower my bilirubin count. But the lights were broken.  So my pediatrician, an older Italian doctor who believed in using home remedies, told my mother to just make sure that I got enough sunlight.  So for the first weeks of my life, I was essentially a geranium, happily sitting in a bassinet in my parent’s apartment window. It worked.  And thus began my love, my desire, my need for sunlight.

The only problem with my sunlight addiction is that I am very fair with red hair and practically get a sunburn if I think about sunlight.  But every year, as the day light hours grow shorter, I become more panicked, more depressed. And when the days finally begin to darken at 5:00 pm, I am invariably miserable, feeling like I have missed out on something while I was at work, and when I get home I panic thinking the day is over and I have accomplished nothing. This year, it has been particularly bad.  After Thanksgiving, all of my work on the house halted.  I couldn’t find the motivation after dinner to do anything other than curl up on the couch with a book or watch TV when I got home from work.  Whereas the summer and fall were filled with me racing home, changing into my work jeans, and tackling sanding, painting, spackling, puttying, caulking, or any other multitude of things to get a room done, I felt like without the sunlight, there was no point.

The past week or two have been better.  I’m finding my groove again. I just schedule a painter to come in and take care of the ceiling in our living room. The past owners’ exuberance with the fireplace which left horrible black stains on the ceiling (they burnt photos, circulars, bills, boxes, etc. not long before they moved out) combined with 20 years of smoking has left the plaster ceiling a mess that 5’4″ me is not willing to deal with.  After tackling the ceilings in 3 other rooms, I have decided it is a job best left to the professionals. I spent today packing up the knick knacks in the room, and tomorrow hope to throw open the windows and remove the remainder of the wall paper.

The plants in my kitchen are perking up again. I guess it is time I do too.

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9 thoughts on “life as a plant

  1. lk says:

    great post!

    i have seasonal issues as well, my bpd and ocd are a hundred times worse in the winter. i have tried a sad lamp, but i have no motivation, thus i don’t turn it on. seroquel has practically cured me. and biweekly therapy. let me know if you ever want to catch up over coffee. that helps too. 🙂

  2. Thanks! I was on medication at one time but have been off of it for just over a year now. I couldn’t take the side effects any more and it was a hard decision. However, I think even now, not on medication, having the house and a husband who understands and supports me (despite the sometimes crazy), I am much happier and more accepting of life and what it brings.

    And medicating with coffee and a friend always sounds like a good plan 🙂

  3. Hello WriterCat,
    I just found your blog via the LinkedIn writer’s group. I love it. I’ve read several posts and have added you to my blogroll. I feel I’ve found a sister in you!

    I very recently started my new blog (I’ve had a few over the years). It’s called, My Embellished Life, and I created it as a way to showcase both my own and other first-person story-tellers’ work. I would be honoured if you would be willing to share one of your posts with my blog. I would post 2/3 of the story at My Embellished Life and then link back to your blog for readers to read the end.

    I hope this will help lots of first-person writers increase our audiences. I post updates to my Twitter feed which updates my Facebook page. I launched 3 days ago and visits are almost at 100 today. Still very small, but not bad for a newborn blog! And every visitor should be compelled to leave my site to visit the original posters’.

    The blog is at http://donnabarker.blogspot.com/. I’d be honoured to have your voice on My Embellished Life.

    • Donna,

      Thank you so much for adding me to the many other writers you have highlighted on Embellished Life. The concept is amazing – something that more creative nonfiction writers and story tellers could benefit from. I love the opportunity to share my own writing, and have so enjoyed seeing the posts you have highlighted on your site. Thank you for the opportunity – it truly is a huge compliment and honor.

  4. I’m fortunate to live in Idaho, where we have many sunny days, even in the winter. However, when the gloom comes (because it does come here, too) I use my S.A.D. light. It’s far from being perfect but it definitely helps getting through the day and then some….

    • I’ve heard so many mixed reviews of the effects of the lights that I’ve never tried them. I do have a habit of turning on every light in the house though… a SAD light would probably save me some money 🙂

  5. Mom says:

    Why do children always blame their mother? I gave you a love of reading and books, old houses, beautiful stained glass and luxurious fabrics. I also taught you how to shop at Tiffany’s – every girl should know how. A house should reflect the soul of the owner and yours does just that. You have a cheerful soul – thus the yellow walls in your writing room. Mary Engelbreit has a poster that says “Bloom Where You Are Planted” – you live in a interior garden, and it is oh, so beautiful!

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