This is the time of year when the blahs set in. Winter is technically over, but teaser spring days followed by dreary rain, rain, then more rain make it hard for me to find my get-up-and-go. I shouldn’t be surprised because it seems to happen every year about this time. Somehow this year is a little tougher than usual, though; 2012 has been a long year already, and it’s only just begun.
Recently my husband and I found ourselves in a simultaneous slump, something that should be forbidden in a marriage. I wanted to say to my husband, “I was slumped first! Wait your turn. We can’t both be here at the same time!” Thank goodness for spaghetti sauce in the freezer since neither of us felt up to making dinner. Lucky for us our children, though a little concerned, didn’t join in. Their usual dinner table belching and other antics did a lot to lift our spirits.
When my kids pick up on my mood, I’ve found that honesty (though sparing on details) works best. They’re aware of my feelings no matter how hard I try to hide them, and I figure that if they see I can get through a bad day, it will help them be more resilient and less fearful when things don’t go well for them. The other reason for being open with my children is that they always surprise me with their uncanny abilities to say just the thing that draws me out of my head and brings things into perspective. I’ve come to value their input and sometimes try to channel their energy.
My kids went back to school this week after a fun-filled March break, during which we’d enjoyed several days of glorious weather. When the alarm went off Monday morning we were greeted with darkness and rain. I’d planned to go for a jog after dropping my kids off, but I couldn’t motivate myself to run along the swampy path in a downpour. As I grumbled about the weather, my son talked about how pleasant it smelled, how fresh, and clean! “You should go for a run, Mom. It’s lovely rain, and you’ll stay nice and cool. I wish I could go with you.” There was no arguing there. I went for my run and saw many of the regular joggers I usually see on my route. We all laughed about the rain, and I found myself feeling better and better.
After that I’ve adopted a new mantra to help me get through these spring blahs: just get outside, just move! Kids seem to know this intuitively. There are more kids playing in the rain during recess than huddled under the awnings at our local school. Children know they need to run and don’t restrict themselves, yet we adults fret about the rain or forget to do something as basic as move. No more worry about getting wet, I’m going take a daily break to play in the rain. At least until the summer comes.