Snowing today for the first time this season, the world is white and quiet, a peaceful scene. Still in the trough of the mental health roller coaster, I resist the urge to interpret what seems patently unreasonable in some reasonable, logical way, and instead, I take pictures out the living room window through the mini-blinds, stare out at the falling snow, and work at emptying my mind to allow peace to flow in. Obviously, since I’m writing this, I’m having no small difficulty with the blank-slate-mind thing.
I don’t sleep well most nights. Last night, as I lay in bed hoping for sleep, I thought to myself, “Why couldn’t I have a nice, simple, happy life like other people?” And then I tried to think of even one person to whose life I could point and say, “Yep, that’s what I mean.” I laughed, reminded myself that life is messy—sometimes, unmanageably so, other times, not so much. I telly myself that this, too, shall pass, as it always does, that one way or another, things will work out in the end (but not necessarily the way I’d like them to), and if they don’t, well, it’s not the end. The universe does work, but beyond that, I have control only over myself—my thoughts and feelings, my behavior—choosing whether to sit around being miserable and afraid, or whether to choose happiness and engage my being in that pursuit.
I decide to give my disquieted mind a rest this afternoon, so I watch the snow accumulate as the fat, luscious, silent flakes fall, awed by the power and beauty of nature. Not wanting to run up the gas bill by turning up the furnace, I sit with my feet encased in three pair of socks, leg warmers over my leggings, hugging myself in a blankie against the cold, and begin to relax and let go a little. I look out across the street and see the neighbor boy running around in the snow with bare feet and short sleeves, obviously looking for something. He retrieves a pair of sneakers and disappears indoors. Once again, it’s a pleasant vignette, not unlike an old-time Christmas card, albeit without glitter.
I remember that yes, I do have to venture out in this later for a birthday party, but I’ve still got two hours—time for a nap. The trough no longer seems so deep.