It's the first of February, and I will be 43 in six days. When I was 18 and imagining my future, it was nothing like this. I always thought I'd have had a successful, fulfilling career, be doing exciting things, be happy and interesting.
To say I've made a lot of mistakes and have a lot of regrets is an understatement.
|My daughter Heather and I, 2012|
|My son Kaleb and I, 2011|
However, as winter trudges on, I find myself being much more introspective than I am when it's bright and sunny. It's easier to get out and forget some of the darkness within, when it's not so dark outside. But during these long cold winter months, suring which I battle the demon called SAD, everything tends to come out, all the pain, all the regret, all the anger, all the self-pity, and I am never at my best when I'm fighting against myself.
Despite this, I am trying. I get up every day, do a little housework, try to get some sun (when it's out), work on my writing, try to stay social, and do my best not to crawl into my bed and sleep until spring. It's taking everything I have to merely get up, much less think about exercise, eating well, being productive, being happy.
Today the sun is out, and I've been going out onto the back porch for 5 or 10 minutes at a time, braving the cold temperature of 20 degrees, and simply soaking up the blessed sunlight. I know I need it, and I know that it's one of the reasons I'm feeling better today. Since the sun and warmth helps so much, I've decided to get a light box. I think it will make a big difference in the way I feel everyday. If I can just get a push toward normalcy, then I can fight the rest of the way.
|babies take up more space than you think!|
Duckie is a good baby, most of the time he's content, although he is suffering with some mild colic and feeding time is a bit of a pain, with lots of gas and crying. Mom handles it well, and the rest of us do what we can to help.
He's getting SO big. Duckie is 4 weeks old, and he's already almost 10 pounds (he was 8 lb 3 oz at birth), and he's grown an inch. He's starting to outgrow the newborn sized clothing, but we have plenty of 0-3 months sized clothes for him. He's staying awake and alert for longer periods, too, although so far we haven't seen any smiling. He makes the funniest faces, lots of frowning and "duck face". He really loves when I sing to him... mom makes fun of me, because I sing 80's power ballads. But Duckie likes it, he makes little humming noises when I sing to him, and he always falls asleep on my shoulder... I'm the only one who can get him to sleep without feeding.
|Duckie and me!|
Everyone is just in love with Duckie. We all love to hold him, and he loves it too... he prefers it to anything else, and often fusses when we put him in the bassinet. He does love his swing, though, and we use it more often than the bassinet or carrier. My daughter, especially, loves to hold him, and I often find them snoozing together on the couch.
Everyone has settled into a routine. Mom is still breastfeeding, so Duckie is still eating every 1-2 hours. He's sleeping longer at night, sometimes 2 or 3 hours between feedings. Mom has started pumping, so we have a small supply in the fridge for when she's at school or has to run an errand. On Monday and Wednesday nights she has college classes, so Dad has the baby for a couple of hours. Mom is starting to get more comfortable with leaving Duckie alone for a while, she's started to run errands more during the day and leaving him with us, without stressing much... although she still calls if she's gone more than an hour or so.
My husband is enamored of Duckie, although he doesn't have a lot of time to spend with him. The other night we had the baby in our room for a couple of hours while Mom did some studying, and it was a blast. We had Duckie on the bed between us, and he'd just take turns looking back and forth. Once he's fed and changed and burped, he's usually fairly content, and he was happy to just lay there and listen to us talk nonsense for almost 2 hours before he got fussy and needed to eat. It was fantastic. I'm looking forward to warmer weather so we can start to take him out. I plan on taking him for lots of long walks in his stroller.
|J-Dawg and Duckie!|
Duckie takes up a lot of my time, but there are other things I've been doing, in order to try and get through this dreary winter. I've started writing fiction again, after a year (more like two!) hiatus. I go through phases where I just can't concentrate enough to write, not because I'm blocked, but because I simply have too much going on in my "real life".
Lately I've been staying up late. I'm a night owl by nature, ever since childhood. Since I don't have to be up early, my body clock has taken over and I'm usually up until 12 or 2, and occasionally later. I wake up about 11ish. It seems to work for me, and right now, with the weather so cold and dreary, there's no reason to change it. I do my best writing at night, so after everyone else is asleep, I'm sitting at the keyboard, typing away. I've been fairly productive on that front, which is encouraging. It makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something positive, instead of just sitting in the dark moping, which is still something I'm doing, but at least I'm focusing that energy toward something creative.
I have high hopes that this book, novella, short story, whatever it is, will get me back on track with my writing. At one point I was starting to get things published and I was really making forward progress. Then things got rough in Real Life, and the writing career, like so many other things, fell by the wayside in the wake of the overwhelming situations we found ourselves in. Now that life is slowly getting back on track, I can concentrate on my writing again, and it feels really good.
|this is what is getting me through the winter!|
I'm still eating Chobani, for the protein. I need a lot of protein, otherwise I feel hungry ALL THE TIME!
Green tea is my lifeline. I used to drink diet soda all the time, for the caffeine boost, and over the past year I cut it out, because of the chemicals. I have a Mountain Dew addiction, however, and if I don't replace it with something else caffeinated, then I'll go right back to the Dew, and guzzle it all day long. The green tea has enough caffeine to keep me "off the Dew", so to speak. I like my tea sweet, but I don't want a lot of sugar. I found the Stevia-to-go recently, and I love it! Zero calories, easily portable, and you can add as little or as much as you want!
Sherlock is my go-to program that I watch repeatedly, especially when I need a break from
So... I guess what this rambling post is supposed to say is that: I'm still here. I'm still working on moving forward. I'm still working on my wellness journey. It's just that right now, instead of exercising my body, I'm exercising my mind. I'm working on the "trouble spots", which, for me, right now, is my inside. My mind, my brain, my inner demons.
So... buckle up, it's going to be a... ride.