It's a beautiful night. Really perfect. There's something about having a family day off together tomorrow, and then knowing that I still have reading week to follow.
Tonight, while sitting around a table with some friends at 145 King Street, I found myself absolutely unable to concentrate on the discussion as my daughter twirled and danced and giggled with her 5-year old playmate. They played "hide and seek" together, and I'm thankful that my conversation partners found it as amusing as I did to get lost in their antics. Kaiya, hiding again and again under the same table until her playmate said, "Don't you think you should try hiding somewhere else?" But her friend playing the part, saying again and again, "Hmmm... where could Kaiya be??" Kaiya barely counting to six before madly dashing off to find her friend, and then squealing in delight and jumping up and down whenever she found her. I was so proud of the way she played tonight. So very big girl of her. But still with all the idiosyncrasies of a 3-year old who doesn't quite get the point of the game yet. Beautiful and free.
Earlier in the day we hung out at Auntie Dagmar's, and I felt a peace I haven't felt for days as I sat nibbling on good food while chatting it up with Dagmar, Jeff doing likewise with Dave, Kaiya happily playing on the floor in the middle of us. "Uncle Dave, play with me!" A simple game of "chase" had her in fits of giggles and screams as Dave lazily pursued our squealing little firecracker around the kitchen and through the living room. And a Bailey's on ice while hanging out in the hot tub is just what this mama needed.
It's the first time in many days I have felt this calm and peace. The anxiety squeezing my chest and the dark, doubtful thoughts finally gave me a break today. Winter is not kind to me. Call it what you will... Seasonal Affective Disorder, the winter blues, the winter blahs... it's not fun. And it's not something I like to talk about. Because I'm often met with one of two (very unhelpful) responses:
1. The "ya, winter sucks, Canada sucks, life sucks" response. While I like people to understand and identify with me, I certainly don't need them to depress me more!
2. The uncomprehending look followed by comments that clearly show me to be inferior because I struggle with ANY form of depression. Depression is for weaklings, don't you know? For those who can't hack it. These comments/glances lead to one of two undesirables: I either wish pain on my conversation partner so that they too would know the bitter void of depression, OR I eagerly bring to mind all of said partner's inferiorities and weaknesses, all whilst drumming my fingers together.
I never said I was perfect. ;)
Today gave me what I need, on any day really, but especially in the months of January, February, and March: companionship, good food and conversation, lots of laughter, honesty, and transparency. And a very healthy dose of rest and DISTRACTION.
I just want to keep being the same old me. Laughing, reading, talking, eating, drinking, sharing, creating, writing, relaxing, reflecting, envisioning. But winter has a way of paralyzing me and making me anxious about things that wouldn't normally bother me, to the point that on bad days I feel being a mom is 100% chore, 0% fulfillment, and I lose my temper easily, wishing only for free time, alone time. When I invariably end up falling asleep or staring at a wall because there is just nothing else I want to do. Creativity zapped. Initiative out the window. Ya, it ain't pretty.
But today was a blissful reprieve. Yes, I will continue to struggle this winter, fighting the deadening moods that knock on my door each cold, grey day. But today was very good. I remembered what a transformative time these past few months have been, and I remembered to get excited again. The fear is still there, deep within, but I remembered today to just keep putting one foot forward, taking one step at a time. And the rest... the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful, will continue to unfold around me. I'm not in control anyhow, right?
And thank God that on the bad days there's GLEE, and CBC radio, and Ingrid Michaelson, and red wine, and a warm bed and an understanding husband. Yes.
(oh, and the promise of no winter for at least 2 years!)