Friday, September 14, 2012

The Low Down, Low Grade Blues


Barbara: After a wonderful whirlwind long weekend in Montreal last week, after seeing my daughter and reveling in family and friends, I am now back at home and officially navigating my new path of quietude. Because back at home there are no dinner parties or kids (or noise), back at home life “goes on”. And, yes, as we’d all anticipated, this new life of quietude is not without its challenges: namely, it also comes—at the moment—with an undercurrent of wistful, delicate sa-tigue (see how I made that up? “Sad” and “fatigue” together … because it feels remarkably like fatigue).

I swear I wasn’t even going to write about this as I don’t want you to worry about me or get all schlumpy yourselves (ever notice how moods are infectious?), but then … well, when you gotta write, you gotta write what you know, right? And right now, this is what I know.

I am doing my thing, by the way, and getting LOTS done (which is very satisfying and wonderful), but this satigue just follows me everywhere. Kinda like a puppy who’s forced to be with you on a long road trip and does so only because he loves you and the alternative of being left behind is much much worse but who is in great emotional distress the whole time because he HATES the car but he’d prefer you didn’t know this as his favourite purpose in life is to follow you around happily and adore you and so he suffers the dreaded 6-hour car ride in whimpering “silence”. (… Yes, this would be Chaplin on last week’s road trip to and from Montreal. Make sure you listen for his low down, low-grade whine...)
video

And do you ever find when you’re nursing the low down, low-grade blues that you kinda want to be left alone with them? That you don’t really want to chat and visit and be cheered? I know, for me, it’s all about letting it run its gentle course. And, in my experience, it is a gentle course. This is not the same feeling as true depression, or frustration, or angst, or grief. It is something else entirely. It feels almost like that dull ache you get when you’re a young teen and your bones are growing you into your next shape and size. Everything kinda throbs and hurts and your longer arms and legs make you all clumsy and awkward. But. BUT. You have this niggling, insistent, committed certainty that this new size and shape is going to be just swell in time and that it will all be worth it in the end.

So the truth is out: definitely feeling the blues right now. But the hope is there: definitely convinced it won’t last that long or be for naught.

Deb: Oh Barb. I have no words of wisdom. I hope you take solace in the fact that you know I have been where you are. I hope you see that we made the best of it and that we were rewarded with the return of our boy plus a girl. I also hope you see how very very fast that time went. We are reversed, aren’t we? We are reversed. I am feeling your satigue and I am phoning you...right now. Sending love. xo

55 comments:

  1. Barb,that is so true what you say about wanting to be alone at that time. It is almost like an animal who is feeling sick and wants to hide at the back of the yard and not let anyone see that he can't be his joyful self at the moment. My heart goes out to you. Home does go on in it's quiet way even when its hearts are spread out over the world. Deb is right time goes fast, too fast.....believe it or not you will gain something very meaningful from this quiet blue time. This is usually when life teaches you something very important that will finally resonate with you. big hug flying over your quiet house, hope you feel it.....xo

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    1. Jo, what an excellent analogy -- the animal that hides in the back while he's feeling sick. So apt! I truly do believe that this will be a learning moment. Maybe one of the reasons I'm attracted to staying quiet, even if the quiet is also burdensome... Thank you!

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  2. Awwww Sweetie! I'm virtually hugging you right now! Our telepathic senses synced up again as I am feeling the "satigue" a little bit too. In my case its the complete opposite. I feel tired. Just Tired. I feel bounded....and I dont feel like I have the space I need and I hate that. I cant wait to be free....All of this with PMS so its TOTAL CHAOS!!! I'm just.....hmph....

    All I can say to you and to myself is....This to shall pass. Its a phase and everything changes. Hope for the best because everything happens for a reason...and a good one (Take Deb's example!....She even got a bonus in form of the girl!) So Do what you are doing.....ride it out. Negative emotion is like "Devil's Snare" remember...If you struggle to let it go you just get tangled. Leave it alone and it'll leave you alone. (There...pep talk over)
    I'm gonna get outta the house get some fresh air..... and distract that stench of "overwhelment" and "frustration" and ofcourse "feeling bounded".
    You remember that if the satigue gets hold of you ....I am here. We all are! Anytime you wanna talk ok. Love ya honey! xoxoxo

    P.S. Chaplin is sucha cutiepie! He looks soo eager....Cheered me up a little!

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    1. I'm sorry I'm not in the state of saying anything else right now! I'll come back when I release this negativity....xo

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    2. I know, sweetie! These feelings come and go for various reasons in all of us. I would expect at your age it would have to be that feeling of being "trapped" and "feeling bounded" (love that expression!). I KNOW you will ride it out, as I will. My plan is to let it run its course and see where that takes me. Thanks for your love and support!

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    3. What you're are doing is perfect. It'll take you somewhere better! I can give you that :)

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  3. Barbara, I am sorry you are going through this and I hope it does not last too long. At least you can recognize what it is, so that you're not going through it completely blinded.
    Once in a while, I get into a "funk" of just feeling like crap. I try to do things that usually cheer me up, but it doesn't work. I just have to go through this "funk" to get to my next happy moments of life. And of course, after being in a "funk," the happy moments are even more sweet when they arrive.
    And Chaplin...oh my! Very adorable and so sweet. My dog travels with me and she LOVES to ride. She loves looking out the windows and watching big trucks pass us. She also loves to catch up on her beauty sleep in the back seat. We had a 11 hour drive a few months ago and she had such fun! I am so glad she likes to ride along because I just can't see my lif without travel and I feel guilty leaving her at home (with my Mother to care for her). Unfortunately I will have to leave her with my mother soon since I have a trip coming up that I can't take her on. Of course, I will have to bring her a present home so that she forgives me!!
    Hope your weekend brings happy surprises and wonderful moments. xoxo

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    1. Aw, thanks for sharing your dog-driving story! I can just picture it. There really are 2 kinds of dogs, huh? the ones that LOVE the car and the ones - like mine - that HATE it! Your thoughts on the "funk" are greatly appreciated! And I so agree with you, especially about those sweet moments that come afterward...

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  4. Barb- I wish I could give you a hug, a real one. But know that I'm on this journey with you right now although a little further down the road. I mentioned before how the missing them is always like a physical pain and it is but it does get better. Even when I see my daughter and granddaughter it's painful when they leave and the house is quiet. I never thought my kids would have to "try" to find time for mom. But I think like anything else there are phases we go through and I was told I will eventually like my solo lifestyle and doing my own thing. I can't imagine that but I'm willing to wait and see. I've found talking to friends at my loneliest times is most helpful. Remember we are always here to listen and also remember I gave you my number so feel free to call anytime and chat. I'm promise I'm a good listener. Much love and hugs your way Barb!!! XOXOXO

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    1. I absolutely KNOW you are a great listener, Mary! And I so appreciate your offers of love and support. It's funny how we're experiencing the same thing in our own ways right now. As much as we each need to deal with our challenges by ourselves it is endlessly reassuring that we also know we are not alone! Thank you! xoxo

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  5. you children have left home , you have been away with good friends having a great time it will take time to adjust to being back to the new normal , if you follow my meaning . it takes a while to re adjust .

    i know what you are talking about . i have felt a bit the same as you on and off more so since dad got ill . there have been times where i wish he could come home and i could give him a hug , especially when mom and i have had a frank exchange of views and yes when i feel like that i do want to be left alone . thankfully as i am up here in my office on my computer i do have a good bit of alone time .

    the best thing i can tell you to do is take time on your own . leave your projects aside for a short time , do something to relax yourself what ever that may be . like shalaka has said it does pass but don;t forget to look after yourself while it is here .

    also please don;t feel like there are things you can;t talk about here . it is after all your and debs blog , you both can write what ever you like .

    i love Chaplin . you are so lucky to be able to get him into the car . our last Airedale terrier , penny , knew that when we tried to get her into our car it meant a trip to the vets , usually for grooming . she would try her best not to get in . hiding in the kitchen , under the telephone table in the hall , upstairs in the bed rooms , you name it she had a go at hiding there , whixh was very funny in a way as penny would have been a medium to large dog much bugger then Chaplin ! by the way give him a big pet from me .

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    1. Isn't it funny, Linda, how they KNOW when you're going to take them in the car to the vet or groomers, over say, just a regular walk. Always kills me! Thanks for your support and kind words here. I so appreciate it. Like with Shalaka, I can imagine for your age group that sense of WANTING and needing to be alone is really big. And, as I've said, in general I also want and need some alone-time to process and work and think, but the "growing pains" are definitely still there...

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    2. Yeah, I think that is the most important part for me. I never got my own space so it kinda kills me! But good thing I'm moving out next year when I'll get all the time I want!

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  6. {{{Barbara}}}

    And, you know my invitation still stands! :)

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  7. Barbara, just sink into it and let it in so that you can come out the other side with fullness of the cycle of life. I have been there as well and this too shall pass and you will come to the realization that you have given your daughters their wings and they are sturdy and strong and they will fly around and land successfully. Just hope it is not in another country/or state. My sons left and the one son who I thought would never returned did with his family in tow, so wonders will never cease to amaze me. Hugs all around.

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    1. Now I just have to wait for my own wings to grow back :) Thanks, Madge.

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  8. As I always hear: "This too shall pass." :] Sometimes when you are so stuck in a routine it's hard to break from it. Then you have to "re-routine." Takes a while, I know. Then, another day goes by, and you don't know how or why, but each day gets better and easier.

    :]

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    1. "re-routine"!! That is sooooo good, Kelly. And that's it too.

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  9. I have heard about this pain when the kids leave. I am not looking forward to it...all the more reason to embrace each day with them! I thoroughly enjoy that presently, my boys canNOT imagine a day without mom and still consider me as the only one they want to marry. : )

    I think it's wise that you are just rolling with the feelings and letting them evolve. I'm sure you did hesitate in writing about it, I know I would. I hope it served to be therapeutic. You have a bunch of cyber hugs here to help ease the pain!

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    1. They cyber hugs DO help, as much as I resist the idea of "forcing" them and feel a compulsion to reassure, they still really really help! Thank you. And, yes, enjoy your precious days with the boys!

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  10. I spend a month with my extended family (mom, sister, son, nieces, old friends) every summer. I even take my dogs on the 28 hour car ride, and one of them is just that pathetic. When I return, I give myself a week to be sad about missing them. I don't announce on FB that I'm back; I don't call or text local friends; I just do what needs to be done and allow myself to grieve missing them. After about a week, the sadness loses its edge and intensity, and I re-engage here. Life goes on.

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    1. I think this is what I need to make peace with - the need to grieve the changes and letting the time in for that. I should have made myself a "grieving holiday" -- I actually think this is genius!

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  11. I just had to add recently when I put my son on the plane to Vegas to move away on his own for the first time in his life. He kept saying Mom I know until you could hear the irritation in his voice. And then as I was leaving the airport with the plane still on the runway I got a text from my 20 yr old son that said "What am I gonna do without my mom." Hard to believe he's been gone almost two months now but as the saying goes they never stop being your babies

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    1. I love this story, Mary. It is the best!

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  12. just wordless compassion. it's the small, silent moments that will carry you to the next part. follow your own inner, soundless voice as you navigate this new territory. this being human takes courage. Loving you right where you are.........

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    1. It's what you do so wonderfully, Lori: "loving you right where you are". May everyone learn this simple act. And the "inner, soundless" voice is definitely having its way...xoxo

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  13. My second child left the nest in July and yes, you're happy for them but you feel that dull empty aching. I applaud you for recognizing your sadness and giving yourself the time to grieve- which is necessary. This is a huge change and change is hard. But change is also good. This is what we've always wanted for our children...for them to be happy and whole and confident in their own lives, not living in our basements at thirty years old. So it's a very, very good thing...and very, very hard. And very, very loving of you to let her go with grace. My prediction: your life and heart will fill up with many new things, and your relationship with your girls will continue to grow and blossom in new ways that will amaze you. Much love.

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    1. Aw, thank you, Hollye! I love this so much. There is poetry in your words, but also poetry in the living it: the editing, the shifts, the quietude. That's how it feels right now!

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  14. I don't see anything wrong with having downtimes or feeling sa-tigued. I think your approach to it is spot on. Accept it, live it, leave it in its place.

    I wish I had a few words of wisdom or some honest insight to give however I'm on the total oppositte end of the spectrum right now. Life is too busy for me, heck I can't even pee without being interrupted.

    Oh and Chaplin is so cute!

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    1. Erin, no "words of wisdom" necessary right now (and, boy, do I remember that time!). I totally agree with your summation of "accept it, live it, leave it in its place". Perfect.

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  15. Lots of hugs from me too! As others have already said it just takes some time to get over the hill to the sunny side. I have had this dark time depression (very normal when living above Arctic circle) which probably is not very similar but same thing applies. Just wait for the sun to shine.

    My old dog did not like to travel in car in his late years. He was fine with bus and train though. When I got my driver's license, he didn't know where to sit. In the end he would only travel under my or my sister's seat. He was a small dog, so he fit quite well.

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    1. Kasku, I do think that the "sunny side" moment is probably what connects all of our downside times (in that we know they will come in theory and from experience -- although they can feel quite far off and impossible in the moment!)

      As for Chaplin, I think his fear of the car comes from the rare times it takes him to the vet or the groomers. Sense memory. He'd probably be great in a train or bus!

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  16. I guess its the time of year. Summer ends and the Fall is a time for new beginnings. When the world seems to march forward without you in the flow, its gets pretty scary. I am there too. My daughter is just creating her life and she blows me away with her confidence and vision. I am still stuck on keeping the roof over our head, food in the fridge and keeping her taxi requirements straight.

    Lately, in those moments when I get to look up from all that, its like looking into the abyss. Soon she will be away at school, starting her new life and don't get me wrong, I so want that for her. I want her to go away and have the most amazing adventures - and I want to hear all about them - well, some of them anyway.

    But who am I now? And who will I be once she is off running the world (this, by the way, is a possibility)? With the exception of a few well needed and deserved ME breaks, pretty much all decisions I have made, I made with her in mind - including my personal relationships and my business size and structure.

    And now I have to shift gears. Part of that shift I feel is experiencing right where I am now - wheepy tears and all. I don't suppose the rainy day has helped ease the process any, but maybe that's a good thing. Best to experience it fully. Curl up in a ball and conserve some energy for the shift that is happening whether I am ready or not.

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    1. Wow, Fran, you literally took the thoughts right out of my mouth (mind?) and put them here. This is exactly exactly how I'm feeling, responding and trying to look forward. The concerted "ball time" is more important that I (would like to) think (accept). Thank you!!

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  17. I really admire you for listening to your inner voice and allowing yourself the time you need to adapt to this new stage of life.
    For me, it's always directly after these periods of "sa-tigue" (love that) that I seem to get the best insights and feel re-inspired - like the body and mind are getting a complete energy reboot as a reward for working through whatever it is you had to work through. It always leaves me feeling very positive and grateful.

    And I'm sure, like you said yourself, that you'll come out of it just fine - and probably with more energy and more creative juices flowing than ever before! Which is nice :-)

    Margo

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    1. Me too, Margo. I think that's what is keeping my spirits in some state of expectancy. While the sa-tigue has its way with me, while I succumb and wallow, there's a far-off sense of light and change and fundamental positivity. Thank you!!

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  18. I haven't come up with the right thing to say and I have been thinking all day. So have some hugs instead. {{{{HUGS}}}}}

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    1. Well, Kelly, this is the perfect thing. xoxo

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  19. Back from the show folks! SO guess who did sound effects for Colin tonight? I'm no Ryan Stiles but I made people laugh and people kept coming up to me after ward and telling me I did great so I don't know. It was everything you all said it would be so excited. The only bad part was I was unable to get Brad's autograph for Rick. But it was beyond fun. Deb and Sean'a thank you so much for sharing and ask the guys how that Mary did on sound effects game in Ithaca : D

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    1. That is AWESOME! I'm glad the show lived up to the hype. :D

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    2. Mary!!!! How wonderful!! Did Colin know you were one of our gang here??? How amazing that, out of all the audience, you got picked! Consider that our little karmic magic circle :)

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    3. I didn't really get to talk to them Barb! I was hoping they'd do some kind of meet and greet but apparently they had to rush off and catch a plane in Syracuse. I told Ricky I didn't get his autograph this time but I would certainly go again it was a blast. I hope I did alright but the laughs were constant and my cheeks and belly hurt from laughing

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    4. So happy for you Mary!!!

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  20. Oh, Mary!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  21. I wish I could share pics but I don't know how on here. I sent Deb a pic of Colin and I on her FB and I sent Sean'a one too. They are so down to earth and pleasant. I never thought they'd really pick me but it was great although I admit my legs were shaking sooooo bad. I'm so thankful to everyone who encouraged me to go! : D

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  22. {{{{{HUGS}}}}

    and {{{HIGS}}} which is what I typed first. Have a typo and, hopefully, a giggle.

    Watch or read something that you find absolutely HYSTERICAL. You may find that you literally laugh until you cry. I've shed a tear or a hundred during a Colin/Brad show and I tell ya, it's a release I didn't even realize I needed until it was all over.

    You can try http://damnyouautocorrect.com

    Might just be me, but some of these make me laugh my ASS off, which explains why I don't have much back there. :)

    (When someone sends a text and ends up with "Jesus Crust," that's where I lose it. (As I'm almost doing now.)

    Bring out those emotions, girl. Letting them linger weighs you down.

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    1. ^^^ Barb, PS. You can also take this image with you: I had McD's for dinner and one of our pets was begging for french fries. The catch is, all we have are cats. Georgie eats fries, Bailey eats peanut butter, Bingo likes tomato/spaghetti sauce, and Fluffy likes coffee ice cream. I'd weigh less but I can't let the cats go without. LOL

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    2. Oh my god, Dawn, THANK YOU!! All of this made me laugh out loud! Yes, auto-correct typos ALWAYS get me. Why???????? Jesus Crust! Oh my god, howling.

      And, yes, there have already been several instances of totally unexpected, frankly uncalled for, "release". sigh....but it works. without fail.

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    3. Jesus Crust:

      http://bit.ly/aXkCbY

      (no offence intended...)

      Margo

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    4. Wow, Margo. That's perfect. LOL

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  23. Awwww...Barb *huuuuuuuuuuuuuuugs tight*

    I don't know what else to say.

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