Monday, September 5, 2011

Rainy day writing

It’s the start of a cool, rainy week (or two). I’m luxuriating in the dark dreariness, celebrating it with a large coffee swirled with dulce de leche and two squares of dark chocolate. My mouth, hot from the scalding coffee, turns the hard chocolate into velvet sweetness in mere seconds.

At the same time, I’m steeling myself for all the unpleasantness that is bound to come with the low clouds and wet air: mountains of laundry that get larger by the minute as we wait for a sunny few hours, dark moods from lack of sun therapy, hyper children with nowhere to blow off steam, lack of exercise and the heavy feeling that comes with it, a spike in the garden’s already booming weed crop.

The cool, wet weather makes me realize how much I really do like summer.

The funny thing is, winter’s not here yet, and since fall is my favorite time of the year (except for when it rains excessively) I ought to be loving it up one side and down the other instead of getting my panties in a twist ‘cause winter’s on its cozy way. Silly me, getting bent out of shape over something that hasn’t even happened yet.

So often, enjoyment is dampened with dread of what is to come. If I eat these nachos now, I’ll wish I hadn’t in the morning, you know? It’s hard to live in The Now. I do not do it well.

One could argue that my ability to see the flip-side of any situation, both good and bad, is a sign of maturity. Or, maturity aside, that I have a knack for seeing the big picture. There are certainly pros to this. When I’m in a funk or the garden overwhelms or my marital satisfaction plummets, I know, deep down inside, that it’s just a phase. It helps me get through.

But when things are nice, it’s a downer to always see the bad flip side. It goes something like this. All my kids are here with me, living life to the hilt and I love it to pieces, but OH NO! IN FIFTEEN YEARS THEY’LL ALL BE GONE AND I’LL BE A DRIED UP OLD PRUNE WITH NO SEX DRIVE AND MOSTLY DEAD, FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES. AND WHAT IF ONE OF MY KIDS DIES, OH MY WORD. HOW WILL I EVER GET THROUGH SOMETHING LIKE THAT. IT WILL CRUSH ME COMPLETELY AND I’LL WANDER AROUND LIKE A ZOMBIE AND EVERYONE WHO LOOKS AT ME WILL START TO CRY BECAUSE I AM THE EPITOME OF SORROW. OH AND OF COURSE MY HUSBAND WILL GET CANCER AGAIN AND WON'T BE ABLE TO WORK AND WE’LL HAVE TO SELL THE HOUSE AND... And by then I’m blowing my nose and have to step outside to get some fresh air except it’s raining and I can’t.

Humans have a way of dealing with this positive versus negative back and forth. It’s called Repression Mode. My Repression Mode kicks into drive when I’m doing things like the dishes, folding laundry, or writing a blog post. While dear old Mr. RM is functioning, I am able to focus on getting the task done and the peace/satisfaction/emotional high that will come from completing it while at the same time repressing the cold, hard fact that I will have to repeat the task again in x amount of time.

It is with the more nebulous, less controlled situations, like getting old, or the weather, that my Repression Mode fails me. Then a metallic, robot voice starts to drone in my ear, This is futile. You will have to do this again in x amount of time. There is no point, no point, no point.

Maybe this—the focusing on the bad when surrounded by good—is all hormonal? Maybe it’s a sign of age and an increase of wisdom? Maybe it’s the golden ticket to depression?

In any case, I have come to the radical conclusion that people who survive and stay optimistic are the control freaks, the list makers, the task-driven doers. The analytical, big picture, creative people get completely screwed.


All that to say, it’s raining outside and I like it.

This same time, years previous: NY trip, family pictures,

10 comments:

  1. Screwed, yes.

    One day at a time.

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  2. Wait. I thought you are one of the control freaks? And even if you're not, how the heck are control freaks optimistic? We're the ones who think no one else can do it as well as we can, so we'd just better go ahead and do it ourselves. How can that possibly be called optimistic?

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  3. wrote a comment that won't go. I'm out of sorts for a hospital visit tomorrow that will lay me up for a while and trying to think what needs done or what I want done up for a while and I just keep going around in circles today. Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug... Hang in there and it will be OK.
    I like fall, but sometimes have trouble letting go of summer and that is necessary for full fall love!!

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  4. Thoughts about the loss of a child or my husband or a natural disaster (with me having to save my children's lives or living with the fact that I couldn't) can send me into a tail spin, too (and I'm a list maker:-)). I'm going to get spiritual on you now and say that I think Satan LOVES to rob us of our joy and make us fearful. The most common command in the Bible is variations on the "Do not be afraid" theme.

    I'm not saying I can keep these thoughts from coming in the first place, but I'm working really hard on not allowing myself to wallow. I used to think they were "normal" and therefore okay to entertain. I don't believe that anymore (that's it's okay to entertain them- I do believe they are normal).

    I don't need bondage. I need freedom. When I call it like I see it, it loses power over me and I'm usually able to shake it off and move on.

    Love your footprints picture.

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  5. I'm a list-maker and a slight (okay, maybe more than slight) control freak, yet I HARDLY stay optimistic. I have your same thinking about how things are going to turn out bad at some point in the future. It just happens to the best of us.

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  6. Hormonal? I vote yes!

    Spiderjohn

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  7. Dear Debbie Downer,
    Life is short. Stop making lists when you know you'll only get half of the items marked off.

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  8. Wish our deck looked like yours. Ours is self-destructing as we speak, but it ain't gonna get no attention this year. ;o}

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  9. You are not alone, I'm here with ya on all points except Spring is my favorite time of year with all the new birthing of plants and animals alike. Like the downpour rain days, not the drizzly, make-me-feel-miserable days.
    L in Elkton

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