warming trend

Sometimes it’s hard for me to admit when I’m stressed or depressed. I think it’s hard for everyone. But recently, I had to. Not because I need an intervention, but because I needed the people around me to understand that I’m not myself. That I’m getting emotional over small things. That I need a shoulder.

And somehow it always starts to ease in the spring. Suddenly, I’m not so worried about all the things to do that have piled up over the lazy, winter months. Now I’m looking forward to all the long hours that I need to put into the yard to get it in shape for the veggie growing season. And the door that still needs to be painted? Now that it’s light out longer and it’s warmer, it will get done.

Finally, I admitted to the Man that I’m overwhelmed and need some more help with stuff around the house. That I’ve been indecisive and sad and need him to be patient. And he has been. Sometimes you just need to ask for help, wait for the warmth, and breathe. It will be okay.

lacking cheer

The holidays this year were full of simple things.  From the decorations to the presents that the Man and I gave, we tried to keep all the pandemonium that usually comes with the holidays to a minimum.  The presents we gave this year were “cheer” baskets that included something crocheted by me, homemade jams from my friend Michele at Pickled Sweet, and some sweet goodies like hot chocolate and candies. And I honestly enjoyed doing that a lot more than things I’ve done in years past.

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holiday cheer in baskets

I can honestly say that as I finished taking the ornaments off my Christmas tree this year I teared up.  I didn’t full out cry, but I was emotional.  During the long, cold months it’s hard to cheer up the house after all the lights and garlands and decorations come down.  While my tree has been down since a week after Christmas, I left my nativity up on the mantel until just after the 6th – “Little Christmas”.  And I have yet to redecorate my mantel.

You’ve probably noticed a distinct void of house projects on my blog recently, and that’s because there aren’t many going on other than the usual cleaning, laundry, and attempt at organizing. Just as much as my house is lacking cheer right now, so am I.  But I’m ever hopeful that things are going to get better as 2014 progresses.

Don’t worry – no tragedies or awful things have happened, just a distinct, ever present stress that comes with trying to balance work, the Man’s horrible schedule, and the day to day goings on of life. Like bills. Those ever present bills. Wouldn’t it be nice if they went on vacation along with the rest of us during the holidays??

So for now, instead of focusing on the hole in our main hall ceiling (more about that some other time) and all the things I can’t change in my life, I’m trying to focus on the things I can change, like making the dollars streeeeeeeetch to their limit without sacrificing happiness, starting to make hearty and creative meals again (as cooking anything fun has taken a back burner recently), and starting to make new & fun things to stock my Etsy shop for the spring.

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spring bunny

And maybe as the months warm up, I’ll get my restoration groove back on and this post holiday/winter depression will melt away. But for now, I’m just going to focus on restoring me and the Man.

 

is it bedtime yet?

I absolutely LOVE the fall. The changing leaves, the cooler days, the crisp scents, the apples and pumpkins (and the lattes both bring),and wearing turtlenecks makes me VERY happy. What I don’t like? IT’S DARK. Which is DEPRESSING.

Whenever it starts getting dark at 5 pm, it feels like the days draaaaaaaaaaaaag oooooooooooon and ooooooooooooooooooooooooooon. No sooner do I get home from work and eat dinner than I feel like it’s time to find a book and get into bed. Now, granted, this isn’t a bad thing because typically I don’t sleep enough between being a night owl and the Man working nights. But it’s getting harder and harder to be productive at night when I’m constantly checking my clock, thinking I get to go to sleep, and it’s only 8:30 p.m.

But I do find it depressing.  With my stress levels at work steadily rising, as they will for the next month or so, I find it really hard to rewind at night with idle hands and a racing mind. So what better excuse to let the season of hardcore crocheting begin! There’s nothing like curling up on the sofa with a cat and some yarn and making goodies for the holidays. It may be a bit early to start making gingerbread and snowman ornaments, but I don’t care! If it passes the night and keeps me from feeling mopey, I’ll take it.

What do you do to pass the long fall and winter nights?

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.