Sunday, November 27, 2016

Monday, Bit of Blue. . .

I always hesitate to mention, here, that I'm feeling a bit low. Primarily, I hate to give any impression that I'm asking for sympathy. As well, I'm aware that most of us are drawn to those whose positive energy enhances our lives, that being negative risks alienating readers.  And I dread the occasional response by someone ready to chide me for daring to feel anything negative in the midst of my privilege and general good fortune -- these land in the comments section only very seldom, but as much as I disagree with the thinking behind such comments, they always find their target.
Gorgeous fall colour against an impressive architectural background in Bayonne, just to show you I can still find joy in the world around me. . . 

Nonetheless, in the midst of all my cheery posts about what has been a wonderful ten weeks traveling in France, Germany, and Italy, I'm going to add the smallest corrective note of reality. Pater and I are still enjoying our days here, and overall life is good. We're going to make the very most of this last week, cleaning the flat, packing our cases, going to yoga and French lessons here in Bordeaux, and then we have a couple of days in Paris where I'm very keen to see Christmas in all the windows.  After a gorgeously sunny day here yesterday with temperature as 16 degrees Celsius, my wardrobe will be challenged as the thermometer flirts with freezing at night-time this week, but I think I'll be warm enough. And then we'll be back home with the family and the full-on rush into the holiday season.

So all good, and I'm very fortunate, and somehow, when I wake in the morning and realise that the odd heavy-flatness is there again, that goodness and fortune both gives me hope and makes me feel ashamed. And in the confusion of that hope and shame, I guess, I keep pushing myself to move forward, to do something, to post here, for example. Mostly, I do that, and it mostly works, but sometimes it feels too pushed, too laboured, too mechanical. Which gives my Inner Critic the chance to say the nastiest possible things about my efforts. All manner of nasty things, which can then quickly extend to commentary on the worth of my life overall, my value, what I'll leave behind. And on and existentially on. . . Doesn't bear repeating, really, except that the Inner Critic repeats. Oh, she repeats.
Pater walking with our friend in the cloister of  Cathédrale Sainte Marie in Bayonne

I generally manage to shut her down, drown her out. Often, travelling, the distraction of the new is enough to keep her at bay. But I suspect there's something about Transition that's triggering considerable self-doubt at the moment, and rather than back away from my writing in the disgust of the low self-esteem moment, I thought perhaps you wouldn't mind just a few paragraphs of me trying to write my way through it. Won't happen often, I promise, but it's part of the package and ignoring it feels obliterating, somehow. As if I'm only of value when I can sparkle, or something. . .

Almost done. I just want to include this Tilda Swinton quotation I spotted on Instagram the other day on Nitch, a great account I follow that pairs wonderful portraits of Notable People with quotations by them. Swinton says of "loneliness" that it's "the last great taboo" and that "if we don't accept loneliness, then capitalism wins. . . . because capitalism is all about trying to convince people that you can distract yourself, that you can make it better. And it ain't true." I'm not sure I'd make capitalism the opponent here (capitalism being an economic expression of a broader socio-cultural reality, perhaps?) but I am in complete agreement with her assessment of our relationship with loneliness -- which I'd extend to "unhappiness."
Cathédrale Saint Marie, Bayonne, viewed from cloister...


All of which is just to say that behind the scenes here, I've got some unhappiness going on, but it's just part of the whole deal. I'm mostly managing it (thanks to a very supportive partner), and there's considerable joy in my life as well. Perhaps some of you find this to be true for you as well, from time to time.  If so, and you care to leave a comment about how you move through or live with the Down days, those comments would be very welcome.  Or just a wave to let me know I have company in my occasional unhappiness (Well, duH!, right? Humanity and all. . . and yet, solidarity does help, and unhappiness can be surprisingly isolating) If you're keen to tell me to buck up or that I don't know how lucky I am, I'd happily have you bite your tongue for the moment, thank you very much.

I'm hoping to share photos of Bayonne next post. Spoiler: it's a beautiful small city with lovely examples of Basque culture -- Mmmmm Gateau Basque!

71 comments:

  1. This is a familiar and completely natural state of affairs, I believe. I note that your periods of sadness happen after a time of great activity and upheaval - so it could be a normal response. Denying unhappiness, occasional days of unforeseen misery, those days when you are simply irritated beyond belief is very Pollyanna-ish. To be human is to be complex (those big brains) and the only way to cope is to embrace, acknowledge and move through. They always pass. Denying them only makes it much worse. You have been through a lot of changes in the last year, some of them the recognised Big Life Upheavals and they take their toll. And I deprecate the mealy-mouthed who say: well, at least you aren't Syrian/you have so much/you are so lucky and the like. Everybody can be unhappy; it's how you deal with it that matters. Right, now I shall step off the soapbox and agree with you. Gateau Basque. Oh, yes, indeed. I'd have a nice strong cup of coffee with it. In fact, I'd have two. Onwards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was such a reassuring, comforting response to my post, Annie, thank you so much. And I like your prescription, although I tend to take my cake with tea. . . ;-)

      Delete
  2. I have to agree with nohatnogloves , we all feel down at times & when it passes perhaps we appreciate the good things more ? Your recent cold won't have helped , along with the tiredness of traveling & constant emotional stimulation of new surroundings - wonderful but can be wearing . I've learnt to garden , walk , read cheery books , cuddle dogs & mainly , stay away from gin .
    Wendy in York

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Wendy. I do think the cold may have exacerbated. Now I need to find a dog or two, right? And it's easy enough to avoid the gin (none in the house) but what about the wine!

      Delete
  3. Those darn Inner Critics - mine lays in wait for times when I am especially tired (20 Thanksgiving guests last week....), disheartened by something Way beyond my control (elections....), coming down with something, etc. So you could be especially vulnerable to her poisoned messages. Lately I've been trying to look beneath the immediate message to see where it comes from, and to identify some small improvement in my surroundings, an extra yoga class perhaps, dog walks, and Gateau Basque, while unfamiliar, sounds like a good addition to the prescription!

    Happy Trails,

    ceci

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 20 Thanksgiving guests?! That's quite a crew and no wonder you're tired. You're right about the added vulnerability at these times and sometimes I think I/we get so caught up in the tired-making activity that we don't notice how tired it's making us. Thanks for the reassurance.

      Delete
  4. I haven't been reading as many blogs, and hadn't checked in on yours for quite some time. Funny I should stop by today. Please don't be so hard on yourself. Sometimes depressions stops one cold. Sometimes you have to take each day minute by minute. Changes and loss are difficult transitions to navigate. It's like you are becoming a different person, and that can feel unsettling. This too shall pass. Anyone who would shame or fault you should be ignored, as they are not happy with themselves. Your readers care about your feelings. Please be good and patient with yourself. Find a little time for something that comforts you each day. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Leigh. And yes, sometimes it springs out of what seems like nowhere and it's so systemic (I seem to feel it in all my cells, as if chemical). So reassuring to know that others experience this, know what I'm talking about, and remind me that it does pass with patience, self-care, those hugs from kind readers, etc.

      Delete
  5. All,I repeat ALL ,people have their ups and downs,their sparkling joy moments, average good feelings and times when they see their glass not only half empty,but empty,no matter how much water/wine/gin/tea/coffee there is.
    Every one should know how to take some rest,change the perspective,find time for pampering oneself- body,mind and heart,find activities tailored towards making one happy and relaxed. Or try to find some help,from loving partner,friends, self help books,experts....( I am not talking here about really big problems,diseases,catastrophes and other bad major events (although,from my own experience-it could help a little even than))
    It is funny how sometimes little things,a word,a thought... could make me more sad than some real problem.
    Also,a lot of entertaining,good things,socializing could be overwhelming and exhausting and leaves us tired.
    I agree with nohatnogloves and Wendy: you've been through a lot of exhausting,good and bad, things during the last year......
    So,slowly,take your time,even for being sad!
    For better or worse-we are here
    Dottoressa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dottoressa. I think it's easy to forget, sometimes, that ALL people have ups and downs. We tend to see much more of the happy sides, I think, many of us "going to ground" when we feel down so that depression or sadness is less visible in its smaller, daily forms, although certainly evident in big traumas in the world ( a constant stream in the news, of course)
      I'm listening to what everyone is saying here and I'm beginning to recognise how much fatigue from the year's events might be a factor. Thanks for the insight and the support. xo

      Delete
  6. It seems that unhappiness is a part of our life's experience. I know that transitions are especially difficult for me (however small they may be). It does no good to self-criticize or to deny because the feeling is there. Tilda Swinton is right that shopping distracts and this is the season of distraction. In the last few years, I have attended church. I'm not sure what I believe but the current minister is a great speaker. Yesterday, she spoke of the season of darkness ( personal, political
    whatever you wish...) Her message was that sometimes, in times of despair, hope seems impossible and that we don't even know what to hope for but that it is possible for faith and despair to co-exist. I try to have faith that all situations will eventually change (I live with someone else's mood disorder) and that a more peaceful time will come. Changes, even positive ones, are exhausting and you have the journey and the inevitable adjustment to the Wet Coast time and climate
    ahead of you. So, be a kind and loving mother to yourself for the next little while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "It does no good to self-criticize or to deny because the feeling is there." This is so very true, although it's not an easy trap to avoid. I remember a speaker (a psychologist/counsellor, I think) at some community group meeting or other, years ago, saying "Feelings are facts." A similar claim to yours, both suggesting that we can't just push feelings down or wish them away. I'm so glad you've found a church community that is working for you at the moment and that you're drawing inspiration from the minister. I'm thinking about ways I can feed the spiritual in my life. I know that's important.
      Finally, I love this suggestion you close with, that I be a "kind and loving mother to [my]self. Thank you!

      Delete
  7. I like Swinton's quote but would replace "capitalism" with "consumption" (though consumption is the gas of capitalism, so I see her point.) We are told there is a bag, a lipstick, a cruise, a serum, that if only we bought, would fix existential distress.

    I have observed over the years that when you travel, you consistently have these patches of feeling low and flat. You acknowledge them, you feel guilty and embarrassed about feeling blue in the midst of comfort- and then they lift. Maybe there is something behind this pattern, maybe not.

    When a similar mood fogs me in, I find it helpful to do something for someone else, to get out of my own hamster-wheel thoughts. Guess that's a distraction too, but I feel so much better that inevitably the mood lifts. It's as if service leaves little room for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think there's much about travel that triggers this pattern. I also experience something similar at home, but there are perhaps more ways to find comfort more easily.
      I like your suggestion of helping someone else, and at home, I often pitch in with the Littles, but I had to chuckle a bit because we had, in fact, the afternoon before I wrote this post, accompanied an elderly neighbour to the cinema -- she's rather shaky on her feet and reluctant to go uptown on her own but loves film and was itching for some bigscreen action. She speaks rapidfire French, swallowing many important syllables and using many idioms, and I found the whole expedition (which included apéros at her place afterward -- a small bottle of champagne, cheese crackers, very sweet) exhausting. In fact, the fatigue might have helped fuel my low mood the next day. But we did feel very good that she'd enjoyed the outing so much.

      Delete
  8. Part of your 10 week break was to have space from your big upheaval. I guess you are now thinking 'ok time to get back to reality and sort out the next stage of my life'..or something similar. Your life has changed in a major way. Backwater cosy to big city condo. Such a change . No wonder you have the black dog on your shoulder. Once you are back you will embrace that change I'm sure, especially with family close by. You have to cosy up that condo and then hopefully depression will wane. Wishing you well. B x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spot on, I suspect, B. I do think part of my inner life, even tucked behind my consciousness, is churning around the reality I'll step into when we're back home -- which isn't quite home yet for me. . . But I agree with you also that gradually it will become a cosy nest and I will be quite content. Thanks!

      Delete
  9. Thank you for this post. I relate to what you're experiencing and appreciate your honesty, which makes me feel less alone and I hope it makes you feel less alone too. Maybe I'm projecting here but my sense is that the path through this phase is smoothed by writing what you feel and connecting with others. At any rate, you've helped me tremendously and I encourage you to keep writing about this topic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So pleased to read your words, djo, thank you. It's good to know that it's worth the effort of writing the heaviness out . . . that it can help others a bit as well.

      Delete
  10. I think sometimes our emotional reserves become depleted. Just too much stimulation...positive/negative, personal/global.

    There are so many good comments here. We're with you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I think my bucket is just very low, at the moment, and needs topping up. And sometimes that just takes patience, waiting for the slow drips to accumulate...
      Thank you.

      Delete
  11. No advice here, Frances. Just a sigh of fellow feeling. That morning "flatness" of which you speak being harder to overcome without the need to leap put of bed, and rush into work, to cajole, entertain,and hopefully educate a few dozen teenagers. Distractions are of a different sort now. And now in retirement... we have to reply to those who would constantly remind us of how lucky we are. So, yes retirement is wonderful... yes, I know many would love the luxury, the privilege, to be able to retire... I get all that. Still doesn't change the the need to haul out the distractions, coping mechanisms etc, to deal with down days when a busy work life seemed to always present them effortlessly. Of course I probably thought differently when I was in the midst of the endless stress and "distraction" of work.
    I for one like it when you write about you ... complete with your less sparkly days. Doesn't mean I think you're asking for me to solve the issue. So...I'm here in Ottawa, waving at you in Bordeaux. And we're both waving...not drowning.
    P.S. Can't believe I used that quote twice in the last couple of months. Being able to do that cheers me up enormously:)
    P.P.S. I agree with Wendy about staying away from the gin. Now red wine I do recommend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Sue.
      There is definitely something here about retirement. I do love the freedom I have now, but there is so much I miss about my work...
      So happy to have waving-not-drowning company -- having a blogging friend who cites Stevie Smith regularly cheers me up as well.
      Ah, and I see you've answered my question about the wine ;-)

      Delete
  12. ... also seasonal? i'm just emerging (i hope) from a period of low energy/inspiration/hope/happiness resulting from all the summer/back-to-school/domestic duties ... in other words, exhaustion and decreasing daylight. it didn't start to lift until i started to recognise the signs and be kind to myself. seems that recognition is key so dear F, you are more than halfway there :) hope this helps you enjoy the rest of your travels, including the homing instinct that will bring you back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could be right, as this last weekend featured the first cold we've really felt here. Not surprised you've been at a low ebb lately -- the weather at home has really been frightful, hasn't it? Not sure how we'll manage that without the cheer of our woodstove. Looking forward to the cheer of another lunch or sketching expedition or whatever with you soon. xo

      Delete
  13. I'm very familiar with those down periods and have struggled with depression for many years. Upon examining my thoughts during those times I usually find I've been ruminating about the past or future rather than centering myself in today. If I can focus on right now, my mood generally lifts. You didn't want sympathy but I'm sending well wishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jennifer. That's a useful reminder, although there are times when the past or future are very insistent. . . The yoga practice is helpful and we got to a class yesterday.

      Delete
  14. You have been through tremendous upheaval recently, Frances, and it is bound to take its toll. Feeling down at times is part of most people's lives I think, no matter how blessed one is, so don't be hard on yourself. It will be good to be home and getting into the swing of Christmas again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marianne. That's the kind of reassurance that helps, and I'm mostly back up and ready to move on now. I know that Christmas activity will have me in its grip very soon -- we have family events happening within days of getting back.

      Delete
  15. I so hear you Francis! Carry on bravely.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Old movies, bad food, sleep, and if I have the energy, expression through writing/art. Ginger ale, hot chocolate/coffee/tea. Phone off. Surrendering works best for me, not fighting. When I can't take it anymore, I'm ready to carry on. I hope that being home again will give you the base to find your way through. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great suggestions, and thank you. I agree re the surrendering, to a point, although when travelling with a companion, I do feel some social responsibilities (poor Pater!). On the mend now, I think, and I'm looking forward to having that home base again. hugs back.

      Delete
  17. Last year, a few months into our long planned nine month sojourn in Malta, I with hit by feelings of sadness which lasted a number of days. Inexplicable, because we were having a great time, lots of extended family to renew friendships with, wonderful new things to see and our son and his partner were visiting soon.
    I think for some of us, feelings of melancholy are necessary as a sort of counterpoint to happiness or pleasure. Not a good thing or a bad one, just the way we are.
    Lilibet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So interestingly similar, Lilibet, and thank you so much for sharing this. It's very true, for me, that sometimes the melancholy speaks back to the happiness or pleasure -- and then somehow a conversation gets worked out between them and all gets sorted for the moment, some kind of balance. I love your recognition that melancholy or sadness isn't good or bad. It just is...

      Delete
  18. Do you know Tania Kindersley of Backwards in High Heels? I recommend her even if you are not a dog or a horse person. She is especially good on fighting the bad days. It's a recurring theme.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read her for ages, but now that you mention it, I remember how good she is on this and will head back to that blog. Thanks so much, Lucille.

      Delete
  19. Your honesty is appreciated. No advice here but I know what you are speaking of and I have experienced the same. I just try to observe the feeling and not judge. Practicing gratitude helps me. Everything that commenters have written here resonates with me and it is good to know that we are not alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, slf. It is very good to know we are not alone, powerful even for me when I tend to feel isolated, a bit alien. . .

      Delete
  20. I echo everyone's comments. Moods don't go away simply because one is not in the midst of a war or some other type of tragedy. I have been under examination for possible breast cancer since September, and when the diagnosis came back that there is no cancer yet, just atypical cells I should have been thrilled. Instead I've been tired and sad. Confusing to me, family and friends, but there it is. I am sure it will pass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a relief, Lynn L, and how interesting that the relief left space for fatigue and sadness in its wake. Everyone would have been expecting you to be happy, thrilled, yet you'd have been exhausted from the inside out after holding your breath for weeks and these reminders of mortality always hit hard. Take care of yourself.

      Delete
  21. Ah yes, the blues do come, one of the colors of life after all. The problem I think is the Critic who tries to kick a person when she's down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elle, you express your perceptions so well! Blue is a colour of life, yes! And it's true about that Critic's meanness, bully tactics. Thank you!

      Delete
  22. I don't normally do this, and it blows my nyreader cover, but here is a link to a photo of the the ethereal Abbey de Beauport. I took it last month and (truly) think it was more beautiful than the full-bloom shots of a prior, summer, visit. Sort of our own Goldengrove unleaving, right? https://twitter.com/nyreader/status/803398759560441856

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beautiful photo -- and thank you for unveiling yourself to share it. Even more, thank you for "Goldengrove unleaving" which I didn't know and which is absolutely the perfect poem for the moment. I've copied it into my travel journal, in fact. A very thoughtful gift.

      Delete
  23. I also echo everyone's comments. I appreciate you speaking about the regular days of your life. I think all your feelings are very normal and feel it is fine for you to share those if you want to.
    Thank you for another thoughtful post.
    Suz from Vancouver

    ReplyDelete
  24. Do go easy on yourself. The Inner Critic seeks those moments to reach out and grab her prey. I understand how indulgent it could seem to complain about feeling low whilst in the midst of a ten-week European vacation. I think it is completely understandable. As most of the above have said, you have just been through one of the 3 most stressful events in life - moving. I've been reading you for selfish reasons as well as pleasurable. We are about to sell our house and move to our vacation home, 220 miles from all family, children, and grandchild. I have been admiring your aplomb at giving up your family home and, I admit, envying your move closer to family. Right now I am on a 'trial retirement' as I sort out some health issues. Just this morning I told myself that I'd be better off at work where I wouldn't have a moment to obsess about my health issues and would be totally distracted. I have a feeling that once you return home and have those grandchildren in your arms and your boxes unpacked and your favorite coffee cup in a new favorite place, you will gradually enmesh yourself in your new stage of life. All the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your reassurance and encouragement, Loretta. That's a big move you have ahead of you, but I suspect you have some very good reasons for making it and that there will be many unexpected rewards along with the challenges. Good luck!

      Delete
  25. I think all of this amazing community have hit on the varieties of experience of seasonal/intermittent sadness veering off toward possible clinical depression. And I admit the last several months have been especially stressful as one observes the condition of the world. With the increasing ugliness of discourse, it's hard not to hear the voices of bigotry, racism, misogyny, xenophobia and worry for the future especially for our children and grandchildren. The ugliness that we find in media on a daily basis makes me shudder. I think to maintain equilibrium, to find joy where possible but sometimes know that it's enough to just hang on. We find community where we can, and the online community sometimes feels more real than the world around me. But I have to remember one of my favorite myths as a child was that of Pandora and the hope that was at the bottom of the box. We shall endure. Barbara from Guelph

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it a wonderful community, Barbara?! I'm so impressed by our collective wisdom and -- even more importantly perhaps -- kindness.
      How interesting that even as a child, what you got from the myth of Pandora was that message of hope rather than of chaos released. I'm off to reread it now as I'll admit just the words "Pandora's box" summon up a different message for me, one I've just accepted as shorthand without much examination. Thank you!

      Delete
  26. Waving across the miles in solidarity. Loneliness and feeling down are all a part of life. Our society doesn't like to acknowledge those emotions, but when someone is brave enough to do so, so many of us jump in to agree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Waving back gratefully, Lorrie -- thank you!

      Delete
  27. Feeling it right with you! I know the Inner Critic well , though I have presented her with eviction notices again and again. I so appreciate your fearless mention and cataloging- to me, if you can name it, and state your feelings, it helps. I also wonder, too, why there is a certain stigma in admitting this. I firmly believe the inner critic has a lot to do with serotonin levels, when one is tired, the immune system is low, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Megs. It does help, doesn't it, naming it aloud, although I do feel a risk in doing so of scaring people away... Why that stigma, I'm not sure...
      Does chocolate contain serotinin, I wonder? Must test. . . .

      Delete
  28. Thank you so much for keeping it real. Nothing to add to others' comments, except the greatest gift we can share is our true selves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, and thanks for the reassurance.

      Delete
  29. Nothing I could add to all the insights, explanations and good advice given in these comments. I think solidarity is the word here, meaning the sympathy that arises from being (potentially) in the same situation. I do hope it helps. You are not alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, solidarity, and it really does help.

      Delete
  30. Thanks so much for posting about this! I can certainly relate - for the past few days the Inner Critic sounds more like an Inner Critical Committee. But it helps to know that others feel the same way, and to read all the lovely comments. - Murphy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. or a Tribunal, right?
      the lovely comments do help, don't they, and they really apply to (m)any of us, at different times...

      Delete
  31. "The odd heavy flatness is here again" I too, experience that feeling. I wake up, recognise it ...then wonder why it's there? So many things to be grateful for, yet somehow that feeling occurs now and again ... with no apparent reason or trigger. Like Wendy, I walk , listen to cheerful music ....watch a lighthearted film ....and definitely avoid gin! Whilst thinking of the many people and experiences in my life that make me happy. I wrote a poem many years ago for my children that began "I think of you and it makes me happy, I think of you and it makes me smile" So that's what I do! :)
    Take care Frances ...this feeling will pass.
    Rosie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rosie. . . It sounds as if you wrote a poem for your children, and it was also a lasting gift for yourself. . . very nice!

      Delete
  32. Echoing all the wise words from your friends above. See how many of us you inspire, challenge and delight with your honestly open posts from the front life of your life.
    Eat cake, avoid gin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a kind and very welcome comment. Thank you.
      And we need a bumper sticker: Eat cake/Avoid gin. . . .

      Delete
  33. Ah Frances, I'm sorry you're dealing with this while on your amazing trip. I'm starting to wonder if this isn't part of the normal human condition. Kudos to you for being so open and honest and not trying to sugar-coat what you're feeling.

    I've had waves of something similar...part of it is being surrounded by so much change that's out of our control right now, and part of it is just acknowledging the passage of time, and the finiteness of our tenure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue. Yes, the zeitgeist is not so friendly to mental health at the moment. . . and this, "the finiteness of our tenure." Truly, it becomes ever more inescapably obvious...

      Delete
  34. I'd like to introduce your Inner Critic to my Inner Critic - I think the old horrors would have a lot in common. I'd also like to poison them both. If I ever find out how to do it, I'll let you know.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I've been thinking about this post for a couple of days. First, I'm sorry you have blue days. Even though I believe they are nigh-on universal, still, yours are yours and they are hard. As mine are mine and they are hard and so on around the world.

    First of all, while I am a firm believer in the impact of privilege, I don't much like the marketplace of grievances that has taken hold, in which one person is not allowed to feel because someone else might feel worse. I just don't think that approach is realistic, or helpful, to making the world better. So if you feel blue in Bordeaux you have every right.

    Second, I have come to believe that the natural state of mankind is struggle. No matter what, we all have to stay alive. Even if our every need is taken care of, we still have to move about or die. So there's always going to be an edge, a blue day, a stomach roiled by anxiety, random rages. At the very least maybe it's helpful not to cold ourselves for our sorrows. They are part of being human, no matter our good luck.

    But as I said, the most important thing is your blue day. And I hope it's all passing, or if not, it speaks to you more gently about your responsibility or lack thereof for its existence.

    Much affection, Frances. xoxo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, two important observations, and the comfort of some hand-holding... and it does, it does shift....
      xo

      Delete
  36. To follow on what LPC said above, there's a wonderful quotation attributed to various sources, "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."

    We all do battle with the nature of our existence. Things are forcing their way into your brain about what is ahead: the reality of your move to Vancouver, saying goodbye to the Europe based part of your family. Things are heavy in the zeitgeist right now, which is part of the mix. Looking forward to seeing you perhaps in February or March. Brenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brenda -- I'm looking forward to that visit as well.

      Delete

I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...