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.