The sun comes out around here and we soggy Seattlites take our socks off on our front porches to air out the webbing between our toes. Everyone's happy. Everyone except me.
On me, the unseasonably long stretch of sunny days had a deranging affect. It was as if the bright light illuminated the dirt and disorder of my kingdom. My grip on sanity began to loosen. I was alerted and put on standby for depression by these warning signs:
1. I wrote a post about how unambitious I am.
2. I started getting anxious about teaching yoga. I started to doubt that I really wanted to do that. This lead to feeling like a loser.
3. I stopped answering the phone and picking up the mail.
4. When friends invited me out, I didn't want to go.
5. I decided that once and for all, I am not all that cute and I should just get used to it.
6. I fell into deep naps during Audrey's afternoon "rest time."
7. I burst into tears while talking to a sweet friend over green tea at the Madison Park Starbucks.
8. I began to feel that my children were making me sick.
9. I began to feel jealous of other writers.
10. I became paralyzed by the piles of CRAP around my house. I mean the papers, the kid artwork, the wrappers, the empty boxes, the broken crayons, the drawers that won't open because they are stuffed indelicately and haphazardly with CRAP, the drifts of pine needles and dirt that are collected in the corners of my porches and deck, the rotting front steps, the peeling paint of the south side of the house, the yoga teacher homework waiting to be done, the field of dog poop that is my backyard, the unanswered pleas for prenatal yoga subs from various members of my yoga community, the unpaid bills, the dog-eared catalogs, shall I go on?
11. I lost myself in fantasies about getting a studio apartment or office space or a room somewhere OFF-SITE so I could read and write and meditate alone and leave my own stuff around and not be disturbed by anyone. I began to think this was the answer to all my problems. If I could JUST have that, everything else would fall into place.
The sun is only partly to blame. More significantly, our beloved sitter who has been keeping me rational for a year and a half now has gone on to better her life in graduate school. She can only come a few hours a week.
For about two weeks, all I did was cry, obsess over all the stuff that needs to be done, drive my children to and from their schools, arrange playdates, cook 3 meals a day, tidy the house, do load after load of laundry, manage The Master Calendar that runs our lives, and ask myself, in the words of the Talking Heads, Well, how did I get here?
This isn't really my life. Oh, God, is this really my life?
Then, my mother-in-law took pity upon me (or had a sudden surge of desire to be with her grandchildren every day)and took the kids off my hands unexpectedly a few times.
Suddenly, the sun feels good. I made some appointments, I hired someone to fix the gutters, I bought some more clothes for the children, and I ate about a half a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread.
I'm smiling again and I can sleep without first going through a huge list of stuff that has to be done and despairing that there is no bloody hope of it ever happening.
See, I'm NOT getting depressed, but I probably WOULD if I didn't have some help. There's nothin' wrong with me that a babysitter won't fix.
Sometimes the answer is so simple.
*title quote by Tom Waits