Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mental Health Day

    The weather in Florida in winter is usually perfect.   It is usually warm and sunny and beautiful but this year it has been rainy and gray and dismal.  My moods have been similar.  I am frustrated and uninspired and dismal myself these days.  I keep trying to motivate myself to greatness, but then, I inevitably settle for mediocrity.  I start projects to improve my life, my house, my organization but I quit halfway through giving up on improvement and wallowing instead.  I find myself easily annoyed by the noise and the demands the kids make.  I am irritated by the house being in disrepair.  I promised myself my next blog post would be cheerful and uplifting after my last three that were, let’s admit it, a little depressing but I think it is this time of year.  Life is just not very cheerful and uplifting.  The “seasonal affective disorder” I’ve heard of always seemed a little contrived to me- depression brought on by bad weather?  A label for grumpiness?  It seems silly and unnecessary but maybe there is a little something to it all.  It is harder to feel hopeful under gray cloudy skies.  It is harder to feel motivated after days and days of misty drizzle and cool winds.  Our yucky weather has certainly affected me the last week or so.  In fact, these days the only thing that really sounds appealing to me is popping a movie in the DVD player, curling up on the couch under warm, snuggly blankets and eating mountains of unhealthy snacks.  Maybe not the best way to improve life but a fabulous escape from it all- at least for a while. 
    So, today after really trying to get through our schoolwork without much success, I declared a day off.  It was just one of those days when everyone was dragging and our efforts were not getting us anywhere.  It seemed like we’d all be better off taking a day to wallow in our laziness and then start back fresh tomorrow.  When I was a teenager my mom started allowing us something she called “mental health days”.  We were allowed, once per semester, a day off of school even when we were physically healthy because she recognized that sometimes you just need a day to recover from mental despair and exhaustion.  A day for mental health was just what we needed today.  The girls are using the time for crafts.  The boys are wrestling on the floor and I am free to play on the computer free from guilt.  Tomorrow, all our schoolwork will still be there, all our responsibilities will be waiting but… we’ll worry about that tomorrow.  For now, the couch is looking really inviting and there is a bag of cheese balls calling my name…

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