Frog and Toad was one of my favorite books as a child, and then again as a book to read to my own kids. There are so few books for small children that don't want to make me scream internally when reading them to my kids (Bite me, "I Love You Forever"). But Frog and Toad is different. I think every state of life can be summed up by one Frog and Toad story or another. When I'm feeling down in the dumps in the middle of winter, I think of the story where Toad is at home hibernating under the covers and Frog keeps trying to wake him up. Toad just says "Blah". That's how my January has gone so far.
I don't know if it's the short daylight hours, the fact that our "holiday" was filled with activity and house guests, the walls of the house closing in on me, or some other random thing, but I've felt just Blah these past couple of weeks. I have to say, it gives me a lot of empathy for people who struggle with depression on an ongoing basis. It's really not fun.
Luckily, my workouts have not been suffering, I've been "gettin her done" as they say. Punching the clock, putting in the miles. Not really enjoying a lot of it, but doing it anyways. When it's cold or windy or rainy, it would be easier to pull a Toad and just pull those covers back over my head.
Couple the "Blahs" with the usual anxiety of the Robotics season - will our team get their act together, can I help them make it through the season, is there something I'm forgetting that will cause them a setback? and you also get a recipe for insomnia. Which I'm sure doesn't help the blahs. There's nothing like that feeling of staring at the ceiling at 3:00 am with a million things running through your head to really make your next day unproductive.
So what can I say that's useful out of all of this? Maybe that when you're feeling like this, it's more important than ever to have routines in place. Routines that you set down in good times, in easy times, can carry you through the hard times. If you're already grocery shopping for healthy food on a weekly basis, then it's not that hard to just keep doing it. If you're already exercising, getting to bed at a decent hour, and taking care of yourself, then at least if you just keep on keeping on, you can make it through. If you don't have those routines in place and you fall into a dark time, it's very hard to start doing something good for yourself at that point.
So here I am, Toad-like, blinking at the light and plodding on with life. I know I'll make it through. I know in another couple of months when the weather is warmer and the schedule is easier, I'll be okay again. Just wake me when it's spring.