Posted by: Kate | March 25, 2009

And the Livin’ is Easy

Oh, right, it’s Wednesday. Already. How did that happen? Wednesday means our weekly carnival of sorts here, and this week’s theme is “Summer.”

I suppose I’m not, technically, late yet, since it’s just past 9:00 in the morning and I know I’ve posted later than that before, but I feel like I’m late because, until I flipped open my computer this morning, I had completely forgotten about it. Things have been a little crazy around here, starting from the dental/mother-in-law visit of last week, extending through the weekend of secondhand weapons charges, and then continuing through a sudden flurry of job interviews for me: three this week, following three in the previous four months. I’m pleased that I’m able to figure out what day it is, even if it takes me until that morning to do it.

So, anyway, summer.

That’s a hard one, for me, because one of the side effects of depression is a shortening of the horizon. I have a hard time thinking ahead to next week, much less next month (even though, ha ha, right now those are the same thing, aren’t they? Where did March go?). I used to be able to spout off our next 4-6 weeks’ worth of plans, including kids’ sports and appointments and travel plans. Now I spend a lot of time going, “I don’t know, I need to check my calendar.” And sometimes, the calendar is just right there, on the side of the fridge, and it seems like too much work to get up off the couch and walk all the way over there.

It has been a little better lately – ironic, perhaps, that the dentist and my mother-in-law coincided with a sense of lifting depression, but I’ve always functioned best when I’m busy. The more I need to juggle and think about, the more alert and productive I feel… and the more myself I feel. We’ll see if the trend continues once the dust settles.

I hope so. If not for my own sake – and let me tell you, I would decidedly welcome a lifting of the depression just for my own sake – then at least for Willem and the kids, who deserve a healthier, more present me in the house. So, we’ll see.

Anyway – you’re darn right I’m sounding scattered today – so, summer seems like a long way off, and it’s hard for me to really envision it. It doesn’t help that there are still several inches of snow in the front yard, and the backyard is a center rink of frozen mud with a ring of nasty snowlike ice, and yesterday’s high was several degrees below freezing. It has, in many ways, been a lighter year, in terms of weather, than many in the past, but I still feel a bit suffocated by the endless white brrrrrrr.

But it will happen, someday. And summer here means finally being able to take the plastic off the windows and let some air in the house. It means bottles of bug spray and sunscreen next to each of the doors, to try and protect the kids from the swarms of mosquitoes that breed in the pine trees in the neighbor’s yard. It means setting up the little plastic pool and listening to the kids spend hours at a time going down the slide, giggling like idiots, and then going down the slide again.

It means having Willem home full-time, which has its pros and cons. Mostly pros, because I like him and want to spend time with him, and the kids just adore him beyond measure, and it feels right to have the family all together for longer than an hour or two a night. The cons aren’t as noticeable as they used to be. The first few years that we were married and he had summers off, I would start glancing at the calendar in early August, thinking, “When are you going back to work?” He would get bored, and noodgy, and a bit attention-seeking, and generally would make my ears bleed just a tiny little bit. He has learned to entertain himself, structure his time better or whatever, I don’t really care.

I’m not sure exactly what the summer will mean, for me, personally, this year. In times past, I found long, solo walks on the beach to be soothing and curative. After a particularly bad breakup, in high school, my family went on vacation to Cape Cod, and I set off one day to walk until it stopped hurting. It only took a few hours, so I could rest assured it wasn’t true love, but still, it helped. But my problems now aren’t a case of trying to recover from an event that has already happened and passed; I’m still dealing with them, as present, in-my-face kinds of entities. I’m not sure there is enough beach for me to outwalk them, and they’ll just be waiting for me when I get back. I may try, though; at the very least, we’ll get a parking pass so that we can go to the beach whenever we want to.

I dare to hope that, by summer, things will have changed a little. That maybe I’ll be employed, which means a reprieve from the increasing anxiety over money, and a return to better health insurance, and structure and a purpose that stretches beyond just today. And new health insurance means the chance to resume fertility treatments, which opens a whole new set of doors that way.

My life kind of fell down, one step at a time, not unlike a set of dominoes on the floor. Usually I love watching those displays, whether it’s huge and elaborate or just a dozen tiles set up by the kids in the living room. Lately, I’ve felt a little bad for the downstream dominoes, the ones that are inevitably going to fall because the upstream ones determine their fate. I had predicted that our hopes for the B&B, our hopes for better fertility treatments, our hopes to take the kids to the dentist for less than $400, would all start to fall over once the initial Unemployment Domino tipped, but it was still hard to watch it happen.

The flip side is, if life fell apart as a series of dominoes, then it can be put back together one at a time, too. And that’s what I’m trying to hope for, even when hope hurts: that, by the summer, I can start playing a more active role in returning those tiles upright. I can’t Superglue the first one to the floor, but maybe I can set them a bit farther apart, the next time.

As I said, it’s carnival time. As usual, it’s a short list – but play along and I’ll link away…



  1. I like the domino image. I don’t see why we can’t superglue that first one so that at least ONE will remain standing in times of stress!!!

    I’m in. Posted and all.

  2. I also like the domino image. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could space those dominos far enough apart so that they wouldn’t effect each other? Probably not possible…..

    (psst…you can add me to the list)

  3. Very poignant . . . I know summer will bring you a breath of warm soothing air.

  4. You know when I’m at my lowest, and lately that has been frequent, at least I can look out at the sunshine and think ‘what a gorgeous day’. It really does make a difference.

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