We got married December 20. In the infinite wisdom of our youth, we did not consider that would mean an anniversary smack in the middle of the most ridiculous time of year. But that’s how it goes.
This year when we went out, we had this really great conversation. We had more than two hours to really talk. We talked through what about the past 17 years had been good and what we’d be happy to never do again. We talked a lot about the future: financially, travel-wise, where we want to live, careers, all kinds of things. Overall, we’re optimistic about our life.
Then we left that little respite in the storm of the holidays to get back on the crazy train and ride out the end of the year. Charlie went back to work this week. Jackson went back to school. I’ve had some good meetings about my own work. I’ve had a chance over the holidays to start some really creative projects. I’m finishing those up this week.
The party scene of November and December has ended, and I’m consuming normal, healthy food again, instead of sugar and liquor. I’ve started exercising. In fact, I’m just about back to my pre-Thanksgiving weight. That’s good, but not even close to my goal. But still… going in the right direction.
Everything is going well. So of course, I’m kinda blue. It’s January. This is the time of year when things get soupy for me. It’s like Neverland, except instead of everyone staying forever young, everyone is forever gloomy.
Every year, about this time, I start second guessing every choice I’ve ever made about my life. Am I doing the right work? Am I taking care of my family the way I should? Should I be trying to earn more money? I really should just mark it on the calendar. Cue En Vogue, “Now it’s time for a breakdown.”
So here’s the good news on this:
- I’m not alone. It’s almost funny. Until I started blogging, I honestly didn’t know how many people I know who go through this same thing. There’s comfort in numbers. We may be crazy, but at least we’re crazy together.
- It will pass. It always does. About Easter, or opening day of baseball season, whichever religion you subscribe to, the gloom will lift. This year is better than some, worse than others, but overall, manageable.
If you’ve been reading what I write for any length of time, you already know all this. I’m writing it again now because it helps me to document it. I can see the pattern and trust the process to bring me back to center.
I’m also writing this because I really do know that I’m not alone. For all the people I know about who struggle with this, I know there are many more. We have to talk about it. We have to talk about it because somebody probably needs to go to the doctor. Somebody needs to talk to their best friend or spouse to get support. Somebody actually needs a hug. Somebody just needs some grace because he’s not his usual self. He’ll come back around, just give it time…and a lot of love.
We can get through this. We’ll use doctors, pills, light therapy, talk therapy, prayer, big cries, ice cream or some combination of these things. We can get through this, as long as we hold on to one another.
Because there really is so much to be optimistic about.