Scarlett jumped out of bed on Thanksgiving and hopped around the house, saying, "I am thankful for my nose so I can smell, the snow so I can build a snowman," (there was no snow outside), I am thankful for my baby sister and going to school and my teacher, Mrs Edwards." And thus it went on and on and on, until she was grateful for the fact that mice have feet so they can walk and mummy has ears so she can hear, and yes I was irritated by her bouncing around and saying all this, and then I thought. Wait. Don't you realize how much you have to be grateful for?
These past months I was stuck in this depression that dragged me down, that made everything feel like it was covered in a thick layer of dust, that made me feel I could not move forward, however hard I tried. If you have ever been depressed, you know how it is. You take all the problems you have and think and think about them, twist them about in your head, this way and that, until the depression gets worse and worse. This is compounded by the fact that I usually try to bottle it all up and hope it goes away. Why do I do that? Well, this time I didn't, and actually talked about it. Surprise surprise, a lot of people are going through similar things, and surprise surprise, sometimes you can't get through this on your own.
And then, like every time, the depression lifts, and you can't remember what it felt like. The depression was a kind of longing for something, some other life. The feeling that somewhere along the line one took a wrong turn and if one had taken the other path, life would have been more satisfying, interesting, exciting and invigorating. That somewhere there was a life where I skipped between countries, like a female James Bond, getting embroiled in adventures and leaving lovers strewn all over the place like discarded Kleenex.
Depression is just so strange, and interesting. I walked around in this bubble, totally detached from other people, the children, from any task I had to complete. I walked about with an ache in my chest, lost inside the dusty corridors of my brain, getting more and more lost, turn after turn. And yet, now, I can see that the depression was totally necessary. My husband always says, it is you, you want to miserable. But why would I? Okay, I do have the tendency to see light grey as black and small problems as insurmountable, but I don't actively want to be sad.
And on Thanksgiving, I went to a couple of parties and I could see that I was totally cured of this depression. I felt like an Alka Seltzer sparkling in a glass of water. I was the life and soul of the party. I was totally on top form and making people laugh, a lot. And it is simply so strange, that suddenly I can be in a place where I am fizzing about, so that people are actually drawn to me at parties, and actually come up and talk to me. There was this woman I know, who was fawning all over me, and she even asked me to join this interior design firm she was opening.
"I think you'd be perfect. You have a certain style."
"I do? Well, thank you. Um, well, I might be okay at the actual design, but I would be hopeless with the customers. I just wouldn't be able to accept that someone had chosen a color scheme of leopard skin and lime green, with a yellow sofa. I'd have to bite my lip for months and months to prevent myself from pointing out the client's appalling lack of taste."
"Ha ha, maybe you couldn't work in interior design."
"Or maybe I could learn to keep my mouth shut? It pays well, does it?"
"Yeah, but it's hard work. At the firm I was working at before, we sometimes worked seventy hours a week, seven days a week."
"In my new firm, it will still be long hours of course, but it'll be more creatively challenging."
Seventy hours. Hmm.
"Let me think about it."
And that's when I realized I live too much outside reality. Yes, there are fabulous careers out there. But they mean you have to be dedicated to them 24/7. Is that me? Frankly, no. Yes, I am fed up that all I have at the moment are the kids (okay, so they are the most beautiful kids in the world, but they still make a hell of a lot of mess/noise), and the house, which is going to need months of renovation to look like I want it to. Maybe I am totally fed up with trying to be a writer, because somehow I feel like I don't have anything to write about anymore. I need some experiences to get me creatively inspired again. I will probably take a few trips soon. I think that would shake me out of my complacency a bit.
And then, in the end, you realize that you can't keep scrabbling around like a hamster on a wheel. You actually have to start something. You actually have to start with something really mundane, like tiling the bathroom. And then when you have finished that, you can take up the carpets and plaster the ceiling, and then, and then. But when you are depressed everything requires too much effort. But now I am no longer depressed, I will just start. Here's a deep thought: Why sit around like an idiot waiting for husband to finish the bathroom, when I am perfectly capable of doing it myself?
8 hours ago