It is mid-February and typically not a great time of year for me. We have had a lot of sun this year, which makes an appearance of Seasonal Affective Disorder unlikely. I do not mind the cold, but prolonged periods of oppressive clouds and a grayish color to the sky can affect my moods. It is helpful to get outside and walk and I have been trying to do just that. Yesterday, I walked with a friend as I do once a week. It was in the upper 40’s here, which is far from the sub-zero temps we can experience here in the mid-west. Today, my husband and I decided to walk right after our boys left for school and it was around 35 degrees, which was still very pleasant. It was a nice hour long walk in the crisp air.
Despite this I feel blah. It is the mid-winter blahs, I know. But, given my mood I find myself missing some people and some things that are not present in my life any longer.
I miss my friend Peggy. She and I connected well on a number of different topics. She moved away several years ago, but I still miss her. We’d have lunch about once a month and laugh about silly things or share our frustrations about more serious issues. We still connect through blogging. Of course, FaceBook helped us to stay in touch, too. But, last week I made the decision to get off social media for a while. I find myself re-thinking that decision. But, first I have to consider how I can respond differently to the annoyances one encounters on that platform.
I miss music. This is no one’s fault but my own. We have a piano. I bought a book specifically for adults learning to play. I have a ukulele, a book, and a website to go with the tiny stringed instrument. There it sits in the corner. My oldest son is an accomplished musician. I miss hearing him play complicated concertos on the piano or practice his saxophone, clarinet, or even the bassoon, as he used to do for school. Yes, the CD player is used. Yes, I have a Spotify account and a Pandora account. It’s just not the same. I miss the sounds of real music being played in my house. I miss band concerts and being part of a band parent family. Hell, if truth be told, there are days I miss being in a band!
I miss my writer’s circle students. We were usually deep into our poetry unit by this time of year. Somehow writing poetry with eight year olds brought sunshine into the winter days for me. I miss their enthusiasm and their smiles. This is my first year in seven without the writing group. I think I will write some poetry of my own this month.
I miss my Evergreen Garden Club students. This is true despite the fact that I have a started a new group at a different school. My group at Evergreen was large and energetic. I was as familiar to them and the school as they and the school were to me. Although, my new group has some enthusiastic students, it is small. I am struggling to fit in with a staff and building that does not know me, my history, my passion for teaching students, or my boys. I have come to realize that what existed at Evergreen was very special and might not ever be replicated again. I wish that fact had not been lost along the way.
I miss having my boys need me the way they used to when they were little. I know, I know. We’ve done a good job in that they are independent and becoming self-sufficient. But, I find myself clinging to those rare moments when help is needed – a speech needs proof reading, or their valentine gifts are so appreciated they are put on immediately or eaten straight away.
I miss open spaces and quiet. A new housing development is changing the landscape next to us. Instead of a starry night sky, I see a glaring street light when insomnia visits me as it did the night before last.
Forward is where I am looking. There will be changes and they’ll be good changes, I know. Another high school graduation, another drop off at a new college, a few more years at the high school for our youngest. A few more years of soccer matches, track meets and maybe even some basketball. The end of graduate course work. A new degree with the possibility of a new job for more than one of us. Exciting but scary all the same.
But, I suppose that’s what happens when you are missing something or someone. Other things come along to fill the hole. It’s just that the gap seems wide and deep on these long winter days. Soon, it will start to fill in. The sun is out.