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I Have a Need for Solitude

I’ve been in an odd mood lately.

Aside from the time spent with our family, which I love, I’m finding it hard to be positive or upbeat these days, which is just not like me.  I tend to let things roll right off my back, but am finding this funk hard to shake.

I notice it most when I’m alone, whether in the car, running errands, or just hanging out.  It hovers, enveloping, and at times grows so strong it makes my heart race.

Partly this feeling is caused by economics.  It’s hard to be enthusiastic about work — or anything else — when you’re getting paid a whole lot less than you’re used to and, indeed, far less than you are worth.  Especially when finances are tight, prices are skyrocketing, and you have that added pressure of trying to stretch your money to the next paycheck.

Part of this is impatience.  After 10 years spent writing my novel, I want it to be published and in people’s hand right now.  And yet with agents and publishers having 3-month turnarounds, there is nothing remotely expedient about this process.

Part of this is political.  When I voted for Obama, I voted for change — and leadership.  While I like some of what he has done, I was hoping for more.  I wanted to see him dismantle the big behemoths — education, healthcare, defense, environment — and start from scratch.  Put together blue ribbon panels and have the experts — not politicians or lobbyists — tell us how we can do things better.  We need to start again, from the ground up, and actually solve problems — no more patches.

Part of this is vanity.  I hate looking in the mirror and seeing my gut.  And the increasing lines.  And the grey hairs.  Yet despite the physical, I like who I am now.  I wouldn’t return to my egocentric 20’s for anything.  Still, it’s the gut I see when I step from the shower.

Part of this is about self-worth.  I haven’t yet made the mark upon the world that I desire.  While I am proud of my parenting and other accomplishments, I feel as if my purpose is greater, with a farther reach.  I want to be able to tell my stories to a larger audience, opening hearts and minds along the way.  And there are times when it feels as if it just won’t happen.

Part of this is anger.  Anger at myself for not making better choices — skipping the gym, pouring that unnecessary extra glass of wine, finding an ugly remark roll off my tongue — falling into the same old patterns of poor behavior.

What is interesting to me about my current state, though, is that no single factor seems to carry any more weight than another.  No “one” thing is majorly wrong.  It’s more that a lot of little things aren’t quite right.

But instead of brushing off this general depression, I’m trying to wear it well.  To let it have its moment, and to take note of the feelings.  I fully realize that “This too shall pass.”

But until it does, I’ll let it linger.

One Response

  1. Rebeccca Reynolds-Johnson

    Yeah, I get those feelings sometimes too. Often I am unable to pinpoint the true reason for feeling down, but I think you are on the right track of letting it run its course. My therapist used to say, “What ever you are feeling right now, it will be different tomorrow, and a whole new set of stuff will take its place. Live in the moment as much as possible.” She helped me laugh again and cry, as well. We are far more complicated than we think! xo beck

    June 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm