Color Me Blue

The last month or so finds me a bit down.  Stressors are running high, and schedules are too tight.  Life’s just moving a bit too fast.  I’m not depressed: I’m sleeping, eating, and otherwise keeping up with all my obligations.  But I’m on the blue side now.   Not permanently so, but perceptibly off.

I have the crabby kind of  blues that wash from the blue one onto the family when care isn’t taken to build up the psychic levee system.  My  younger son calls me on this quite often. “Mom, just because you’re mad at (his brother, the IRS, the outside faucets that won’t release their hoses and will, I’m sure, cause hose bursting come a cold spell), doesn’t mean you should yell at us,” he declares.  He’s right.  And his blunt message generally hits its mark.  But despite my good intentions, my stresses often find their way through to my voice, which grows loud, pinched, with rather blunt messages that say more than need to be said.  And then repeats them. I hate that voice.  It’s not the voice I grew up hearing.  It’s not the voice I ever wanted to use as a mom.  Yes, I can plug the levee hole and shut up.  I can apologize and start again.  We’re together 24/5.5, and it’s inevitable that I won’t be soft-spoken every moment.  But I still despise it.

I have the weepy kind of blues that make my eyes leak at certain songs.  And the kind of blues that draw me to play those songs again and again, directing pent-up pain toward those tear ducts.  Sure, I could make other listening choices, but a sad song matches a sad mood, and that emotional matching releases a bunch of emotion.

I have the kind of blues that fit the rainy, cold days of November, which is a serious plus, since that’s what we have in Michigan now.  It would be a shame to waste May with a mood like this.  I’m no fool.  I know the longer nights and shorter days contribute to the blues, but like the music, the match of mood and weather work for me.

I have the kind of blues that evaporates with the presence of a laughing child and fades gently in the presence of friends.  The kind that is banished by love, hope, and joy, at least for a while. So I find time each day to make contact with those who care about me, who make me laugh, who listen with the heart.  Ah, so blissful to have so many places to turn with life seems so hard.

I have the kind of blues that run when I run.  Or, given this time of year, walk, rake, weed, sweep, vacuum, or otherwise move quickly.  A bit of a blue patch is great for my yard and home.  Bringing control to a controllable area of my life softens the blow that so much of life is necessarily uncontrollable. Anyway, my basement is clean and the leaves are raked.

I have the kind of blues that remind me that my life is generally fine.  My children are healthy, whole, and happy (usually).  Likewise, I’m healthy and whole.  And, when I stop to think about it, generally happy.  Really.  These blues are a blip, a passing period of time, a time that will likely come again, only to be worked through and passed through once more.

I have the kind of blues that lift when I feel a sense of focus and purpose.  Writing, even about being blue, banishes them, and not just for the brief time I’m writing.  Teaching my younger about verbal phrases, discussing math with my older, or working on a project for someone else also whisks them away.  Any creative work expunges the sadness, at least for awhile.

So I write.  I knit.  I rake and clean.  I laugh with my children, and I apologize when I need to. I cry to sad songs,  and I reach out to friends who care.

Yeah, I’m a bit blue.  Like the seasons, moods  — happy and otherwise –come and go, and I’m certain this one will do the same.


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