Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Behind The Smiles

Have you ever felt that moment, when the very last thing you feel like doing is smiling?  However, in the name of positivity, you have managed to squeak out a curled grin to those in passing, despite your urge to do otherwise.

Have you ever felt that moment, when you know your life is really good and yet, you simply cannot shake the sad doldrums?  Constant reminders to yourself of how much you have and all of the blessings you have been afforded, yet, you feel depressed.

Many of us have taken the ride of the Great Life Coaster:  up and down, all around, sometimes so fast that you hang on tight with partially closed eyes, and you hope you do not soil yourself.  But what happens when we get a little stuck at the bottom of one of our valleys?  What do we do when our locomotive struggles along slowly and we question whether we can do it?
Ahh, for me – the great Angel and Devil commence their requisite spots on either shoulder and the debate (in my head) begins.  You see, I feel horrible for feeling down.  Yes, physically – and yes, obviously, mentally – but the guilt trip I give myself for feeling down is so much worse than the blues!

The Angel tells me rationally, “It is okay to feel how you are feeling.  You cannot help it, let yourself feel it. Work through it.” 
The Devil childes me incessantly, “How DARE you feel this way!  You have SO much to live for, don’t you even fathom thinking you are blue!  Do you know how many of your recently deceased friends would KILL for a day to be alive and to feel – <meh> – blue?!?” 
And on and on and on it goes making me, well, nuts.

I am “famous” for being one of those people.  Yes, THOSE people who seem to always be positive and happy.  However, I am NOT always positive and happy.  Does that revelation make me a faker, you say?  I disagree wholeheartedly.  I choose to outwardly display my positivity and my happiness; especially at times when I may not feel it.  Why?  When you are happy on the outside, it makes others feel good.  Even "faking" it usually eventually helps to pull me, with the force of a strong ox, out of that little valley where I have been stuck in a moment.
Where do these blues come from, I wonder? 

  • Hormones (geesh, these little buggers called estrogen or progesterone can wreak havoc on us!); or
  • The daily doldrums of chaotic routine and lack of appreciation or gratitude for running yourself ragged (kids…..I tell you, they can take the wind out of your sails in a spoken sentence!  “I don’t want that for dinner!”  “What do you mean you did not wash my uniform?”  “Why can’t I have an iPhone?”);  or
  • Your spouse (after a long marriage does "roommate" sometimes seem more descriptive than "love of your life"?); or
  • Your body (despite being the amazing, awesome machine that it is – it disappoints you for those saddle bags that stretch the seams of your favorite jeans;  or that cellulite you are afraid to confront with a view in the mirror; or  perhaps that muffin top that won’t allow you to wear your favorite shirt out?); or
  •  Incessant bills (orthodontist, dentist, audiologist, sports, phone, oil, groceries, shall I go on?!?).

Maybe you just cannot pinpoint any cause of your feeling down in the dumps.  A wise friend once told me, “It is OKAY to feel that way, you know.  Let yourself feel it.”  Problem is for me, I do not want to feel the blues.  However, I do compromise and allow myself to be sad for a couple of days and then I whip myself out of it.  Of course, I am human and it’s not always that easy to pull oneself up.
Lately, I am back in the various shades of blue…..and I sort of think I know why.  I have been seeing more dragonflies than usual – they are still landing ON me.  I have been thinking of our local woman who passed last month, a lot.  I have been thinking of my dad, a lot.  I have been worried about bills.  I have not been able to exercise to my liking and it makes me feel physically gross.  My kids and my husband have not taken full measure of just how they take me for granted and many of the things they say lately are simply not my favorite words to hear.

However, I know tomorrow is a new day.  I know that come Friday and the weekend, I will have more time to do the things that make me smile.  I will hike.  I will volunteer at the local festival downtown.  I will watch my son play soccer.  I will be with friends.  I will be with my family.

Suddenly, just like that – I am smiling.


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