I have a confession to make - I have really struggled this year.
I have struggled with rhythm and balance and clarity, my vision often lacking.
I have struggled to stay connected to those around me and the vibrancy of the world.
If I had to put a label on these struggles, I would label them depression.
I have allowed it to deprive me and my family of connection.
I find myself laying on the couch taking in yet another television show thinking that I could play a game with the kids or even watch an interesting documentary or movie together, that it has been some time since we gathered around the table together for our meal, or that there are things to create or to plant or even just to clean and then I continue laying on the couch with the television on.
I have allowed it to deprive me of living:
living with integrity where my choices and actions align with my ideals,
living with full joy and wonder
and sharing it with my kiddos with whom I have limited time with as they inch their way towards the full independence of adulthood.
The basic elements of this struggle are not new but have been more effectively battled in the past.
I am usually carried along through my darker, fuzzier times by the momentum of our routine and the rhythm of the seasons and the accompanying traditions and a strong desire to live a life of wonder and joy and connectedness.
So what is different about this year?
Well, our routine and rhythm was disrupted when I slipped on the ice, injured my back and took a bit to be fully recovered.
We also experienced a significant amount of loss this year that not only impacted my mood but also disrupted our rhythm and seasonal traditions. My mother-in-laws funeral was the day after Easter, my grandfather's funeral was the day before Mother's Day and my grandmother's funeral was the day after Thanksgiving. (All of these funerals were about 825 miles away). Time already passes in a weird way for me, it speeds along at an alarming rate, seemingly skipping around as if there is a wrinkle in time itself. Our traditions anchor me, they slow down the movement of time, smooth out the fabric of time. They also provide unique opportunities for reflection, connection and expression of joy. Without them I feel a bit adrift.
Also, I am certain that my hormones are shifting making me particularly vulnerable at this time.
All of this, coupled with my natural tendency to be undisciplined, has drained my energy and muddled my thinking and my inherent enthusiasm for life, love and learning has been dampened.
But this is not the way I want to live.
This is not what I want for my kids, my family, myself.
I want to bask in the light.
I want to be delighted.
I want to be filled with gratitude.
I want to be gracious.
I want to feel connected.
I want my vision to be clear and my values to be apparent.
I want joy.
I will seek light,