I don't know about you, but this month has just about "done me in" as Liza Dolittle said on her first run as a "Lady" at Ascot! That was her hilarious euphemism for "killed" in My Fair Lady.
I don't mean to complain, and I know I'm supposed to offer you inspiration and hope and insight, but sometimes it works the other way round.
You inspire me! Yes. True.
This morning, I was trying to think of something to tell you that would make you laugh. After all, my last post was pretty rough.
I drew a blank. And it's not just because it's February.
Forget the weather. February is always dreadful in this climate. Blaaaaaaaah!
Not enough sunlight. SADs. Air that's so sharp it sears your lungs. Forget walks in the park. The ice along the sidewalks will throw you if the subzero, wind-chilled temperatures don't.
Who knows? This year, there's been so much snow and for the first time we equipped our 10-year-old Honda Accord with snow tires! I should be delirious, but I'm not. Even though my husband keeps reminding me that they've saved his life numerous times on his 100-kilometer ride to and from Humber College where he teaches. Why am I so blaaaaaaaaah?
Wasn't Family Day supposed to give me a lift? All it did for me was deplete my paycheque, since I wasn't paid for two classes I usually teach on Mondays.
On Sunday night, Instead of watching the Academy Awards, an annual ritual, I marked my students journals. (Actually, many of them were inspiring.) I didn't really care who wore what or who said what or even which films won. I had seen only a couple. I just didn't care.
Actually, The Spirit Awards for Independent films on Saturday night were more fun. My husband taped both shows. On Monday, we whizzed through the Oscars in about 10 minutes – stopping only to see Tina Fey, Steve Martin and Jerry Lewis. Then we zipped through The Spirit Awards which took place in San Diego. Everyone was dressed down. Looked like you and me, well, that's a stretch when it comes to Penelope Cruz. But you get my drift. No one looks like Penelope Cruz.
Anyways, she won for Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona and cracked me up with her acceptance speech on the earthy and expletive-filled and bleeped-out award show. It seems, she said in her acceptance speech, that Woody stopped production of his film for one entire day because he had to run to a dermatologist. Apparently he found a new freckle on his hand.
That's the last time I can remember laughing.
Forget my oral surgery. My messy looking smile. My emotional lability. I'm getting used to eating baby food and porridge and not being able to brush my all my teeth. I'm craving salads. Anyone who knows me, knows this is cause for serious concern.
Forget all the financial mishaps – plugged toilets, my dog Riley needing expensive uninsured periodontal work on his gums which necessitated his vet having to give him a general anaesthetic, surprise tax assessments – that's just money. (Riley's fine and financially we'll manage.)
Forget the textbooks that didn't arrive for four weeks, making my teaching at Seneca treacherous or to put an upbeat spin on it – a new and valuable learning experience.
All this is peanuts in the big scheme of things. I would say that 364 days a year, I wake up greeting the day with a joyous, "Well, I'm still here!" No joke, considering my health history, Waking up is a minor miracle.
Yet, occasionally, even I wake up with the blues. Or on the wrong side of the bed, as my mother used to say.
Curiously, today is not one of them. Yesterday was.
It's sunny today. The sky is my favourite shade of periwinkle blue. There are only four days left in February. Next week is Reading Week. I didn't lose any weight at Weight Watchers last night – but I didn't gain any, either.
So, here's the point. The days are getting longer. All things do pass. I'm still here, in my nightgown, writing to you – for one main reason. To thank you. Your emails and comments are my tonic. Better any antidepressant – which, by the way, I cannot take as they make me manic – nor would I, even if they didn't.
On Facebook, this morning, I started following the blog of Ron Unger, a therapist in Eugene, Oregon. I heard him speak at an international mental health recovery conference in Toronto last June and he was rivetting.
In his description of his blog Recovery from "schizophrenia" and other "psychotic disorders", Unger describes what he calls the "life" model as opposed to the medical model.
"People's life experience and their interpretaions of their experience can lead them into some strange and often distressing mental states, in which they often get stuck, but from which they can find their way out."
He says, "finding the way out is what we call recovery." (I love this defnition.) "Like poeple who have been inadvertently taken on a risky adventure, those who do find their way back often bring back a gift of some kind or other for the rest of us."
We all have gifts to share. And adventures. I really believe this. That's my cockeyed optimism rearing it's little head, again. Can't help it. I can see March – and almost see Spring!