Looking for answers to life's questions

It’s almost the middle of February! Where the heck did the time go? And where has everyone been? Like myself, so many other bloggers that I follow have been curiously absent. After the holidays, and the push to get my place livable again, I found myself sitting in my chair in the den after waking up in the morning and staying there till it was time to feed the body. I read, watched some news, always in fast forward with the sound off until they came to something that didn’t make my blood pressure rise and then I was tired and took a nap. It was a bad routine of sitting and barely motivating myself to read much less write a post.

Maybe it was the full moon that caused the blahs?

Maybe it was the full moon that caused the blahs?

I was lucky to see it will all the cloud cover

I was lucky to see it will all the cloud cover

Research was necessary. I found my journals from previous years and discovered  there was a pattern. The after Christmas letdown. Some years it was like I had gone into hibernation. When you don’t have a job, it’s easier to do but I think the need was there even when I was working. Retirement age makes hibernation easy. It seems so many are struggling with a lethargy from the post-election time through the holiday until the first signs of spring peaks through.

A new book to cheer me on.

A new book to cheer me on.

I’ve been sending out e-mail and cards to blogging friends and other friends to check on them. I learned years ago that the quickest way to feel better was to reach out to others. Many of us get caught in a rut and don’t know which way to go next. We feel…blah.  My friend at Gardening Nirvana must have had the same idea.

Today started out slow again with good intentions. You know what they say about good intentions and the road to hell being paved with them. By mid-afternoon I forced myself out of my chair to the top of the terraces in order to bury more green waste. I had planned a walk that didn’t happen so instead I grabbed the rake and shovel. After digging two large holes and burying the green waste, I raked a great deal of the debris that had fallen from the trees in the last wind and rain and snow storms this winter. That’s pretty good exercise for me. Getting ready to invite spring. Then I noticed spring was popping up its little head. I’m thinking that spending more time out there will smack the blahs right in the tush and get me moving again.

The blueberry bush was a gift from my friend that also blogs at “incahootswithmuddyboots”

 

Are you coming out of the winter blahs or do you just power through without a problem?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

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Comments on: "A Cure for the Blahs" (75)

  1. Perhaps you are like bulbs, and need a period of chill and dormancy to be at your best! Post Christmas blah occurs even down here, where Christmas is at the hottest time of year and is the season for our annual summer vacations. I’m finding it hard to stick to anything… However, I did manage to walk 2.5kms today (so far), and am finding my birthday FitBit is helping me get off my lardy arse and move, with its hourly alerts.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I had a fitbit for a couple of years Kate and it got me moving regularly – I never wanted the little app to feel disappointed that I hadn’t done as well today as I did yesterday 🙂 It was great and even though I no longer use it I keep the walking regime going.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It has taken me longer than I hoped to get moving again after surgery, but that little alert is enough to get me up and moving, and that plus the gradual weight loss is getting me healthy again!

        Liked by 3 people

    • I loaned my Fitbit to my daughter and never saw it again. She used it till she wore it out and replaced it. I’ve been able to get out several days over the last week to walk and started doing my indoor routine when I can’t. Those couple of weeks were so hard for me to just sit and do nothing but the body and mind would not cooperate. I think we are very much like nature and need a bit dormancy to restore. I always feel better too when I’ve moved in some way. Today is a walk with a friend before we go to lunch. Our last dry day this week. 😦

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  2. I had a slight case of slumped energy for a bit Marlene, I think the whole world suffered it post US elections. But I’m good again now despite the weather. (28C yesterday, 2cm hailstones, thunder and endless rain at 13C today) I decided that today is the only today I have, I might as well do something enjoyable with it just in case it’s my last one 🙂

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  3. Hibernation, the blahs, yip – happens here too 😦 Maybe with all your cold and snow, hibernation is more of a common sense, survival thing. We don’t have that excuse! I can go into hibernation at any time of the year, actually, which is why it’s better that I live with people and/or animals rather than entirely on my own. But post-christmas and usually for the first 2 to 3 weeks of January, mental and emotional activity tends to plummet. Energy hits rock bottom, and creativity is for other people!! You are completely right to suggest doing something for someone else – it ends up being good for both giver and recipient.
    I am delighted with your bulbs and the hellebore – nothing has kept me going in the last 6 months as much as my garden and trying to get things to grow, so I understand the pleasure. It’s in the small things, right?
    Thinking of you, sending happy thoughts xxx

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Jill. I think it is a bit of after Christmas letdown as well. Glad I’m not alone in that. The Hellebore was here when I bought the house and I’m trying to nurse it to spread. 🙂 A little at a time is the best I can do. Have a wonderfilled week ahead.

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  4. I’m with you, Marlene. I’ve had days where I’ve really had to push myself to get into a groove. I would feel overwhelmed with the things I should do and sometimes felt a general sense of malaise. The election results, and the fear and disappointment playing out day after day add to a sense of fatigue. You’ve had so much going on in your personal life and for so long, that this may be your mind and body needing to retreat and regroup. I love giving and receiving letters and cards and remember when I would spend lots of time writing letters in long hand to friends around the world. We had no choice but to “write” in those days, place the pages into an envelope and mail it. I still love the act of choosing or making a special card, selecting a stamp, and the act of putting it into a mailbox. You’re a good letter-writer and I always notice the special stamps you choose, too.

    I’m so glad you liked the card. Thank you for featuring it here and for linking to my blog. I’m up late with the remnants of a migraine. I’m heading back to bed and hope sleep will soon follow. Big hugs. xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much, Alys. You made my day with the card. I sent some out to older friends that don’t get e-mail anymore. But I’m not at the point where I can make my own yet and have so many that need to be used. I’ve always been a card sender. Just a note that says “I’m thinking about you”. Your card will go in my album of special cards. I agree that my body and soul said enough, down time. I just went with it but it seems that everyone struggling is coming out of it at the same time. Maybe it’s because we are connecting with each other. I’m so sorry you are dealing with migraines. I had a rough night but that’s a whole other story. Hope you feel better. Big Squishy Hugs.

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      • You make me blush, Marlene, putting my card into a special album. Thanks for always making me feel like a million bucks. It’s a wonderful habit/hobby/practice, I think, writing notes by hand and sending them in the mail. They light up mailboxes like nothing else. I’ve written notes and letters to friends around the world for years, and never tire of it. I do love the immediacy of blogs, emails, Facebook, but in the end, I think it comes down to embracing all the wonderful ways we can connect with the people we love. xo

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      • I so agree with you, Alys. Nothing like a phone call to hear someones voice or snail mail. I have BOXES of cards already bought that I love to send out. Making my own was never really a probability before. It might be now though. I found an empty album and decided the cards I’ve been saving that were special to me including those from you, Kelly and Pauline are all in there with those from my sister and children and a couple of very close friends. Kind of protects them and I can look at them when I need a boost. 🙂

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      • I have all your cards and notes, and just recently came up with a new way to store them. I bought three boxes in graduated sizes from Michael’s on sale for half off. They look like old-fashioned suitcases. I cut down old file-folders to fit inside the cases, then filed the cards by friend. I love going through them from time to time, and smile simply looking at the cases, knowing the treasures they hold.

        Liked by 1 person

      • What a great idea!!!! You will have to post photos of your creation or did you do that on your organizing site? It’s like storing love. 🙂 That makes me smile inside.

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      • Marlene, “storing love” may just be the name of that post. I’ve been crazy busy these past two weeks, working, volunteering, attending a conference with Mike. I’ve missed the time to write (and read) posts.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Time to read and write will come when it should. I like that title.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PS And yes, by all means use up your stash before making more. You’ll be so glad you did. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. PS I’m glad your blueberry plant pulled through. The Hellebore is lovely!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You’re so right, Marlene, doing something for others is the best way to beat the blahs. Another is exercise. Not much winter blahs going on here with temperatures hitting 80 degrees yesterday. I’m worried about the trees that are beginning to bloom. I know winter isn’t done with us yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are right, Jill. Winter isn’t done and things are beginning to bloom here too. It was the coldest winter we’ve had in a decade. I decided that working in the yard filled a two fold purpose, exercise and getting some work done. Today it’s a walk with a friend before lunch. 🙂 I usually walk alone when the weather is good or do my yoga when it’s not if I’m not in a blah funk. 🙂 Music is usually another one to break the spell. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh yes post elective blues for sure and darn right upset with the unconstitutional travel ban on top of that. So many emotions to deal with but still so loving America. Finally I had a post up about my important nothings , to which you kindly commented as always and snap some vertebrae in my spine decided to protest as well. Well every cloud has a silver lining : as it happens the chiropractor of the Cincinnati Baseball team has his practice around the corner from me and the man is a wizard!!! I am already walking again and hope to be back to normal after another week. Love love love the cover of the Chicken Soup and yes, ARK’s make the world go round!! Xo Johanna

    Liked by 2 people

    • I miss my chiropractor but have managed to keep walking on my own so far. I had one on retainer for years. Glad yours did the trick. I know what it’s like. When I saw the title of that book, I had to get it. I have most of the Chicken soup books on my shelf but gave away many before my move. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Soon there will be a Spring in your Step!

    Liked by 2 people

    • There already is a spring in my step. Sunshine does that to me. More rain starting tomorrow but the end of the month will be dry and more sun. Even in the cold, the sun starts my battery. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. Have a good week.

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  9. Great Post!!! I am with you about the winter blahs:-) I am going for a bike ride on the Mississippi tomorrow ( 49 and sunny with no snow this whole week and a few in the 50’s)….go figure:-) I love it. I am going out today to pull some more weeds and clear some garden beds. I was starting to go crazy indoors all those gloomy weeks ( I found it hard to get out of my seat too) with no sunshine. For me, it is the lack of sun. I need the sunshine on my back!
    I quit teaching back in 2009 when my youngest went off to college and started getting involved in an encore career-lol-just some other stuff on my bucket list. I am involved in community gardening and helping others, so it keeps me busy and outdoors…

    Spring is here but you know Mother Nature does like to tease a bit just a little early, I still think it might get cold again after this week…Happy Spring!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. We are back under nasty thick fog cloud cover and I’m having a hard time functioning. Although, I am, barey! Sigh

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  11. I too started my week by going for a nice walk in glorious sunshine and then out for lunch. 😉😉 The last few weeks have been hard on me too, but I finally am making myself go out and do things. The blueberry bush looks super! I have some hellebores too and they spread like a wildfire. If you want babies, I have lots of them. Dark pink and white heirloom ones. I still send cards and letters in the mail too. It’s a lost art in this day of technology where it seems like non-verbal (texting) is isolating us from each other. The world sure is changing and not all for the better. That’s why it’s important to let those who enrich our lives know that we care! Happy Valentines Day and a giant hug for you! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you had a good day. We all seem to be solar powered. I was hoping that given enough growing space, they would spread on their own. I’ll probably never stop writing snail mail. I figure there is a time and place for all of it. Hope you have a wonderful Valentines day too.

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  12. Emily Moss said:

    Anxious to see you tomorrow a day out always lifts your spirits and mine. You are always a wonderful person and we need to speed more time together.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was thinking about you all week and wondered if your knees were any better. I think I’ve finally pushed through the wall and a little sunshine and friendly faces always helps so much. Looking forward to making Dolly smile tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

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  13. Marlene, you, my friend, have hit the nail on the head. So many of us (me included) have had the proverbial cabin fever. I usually do pretty well, but with all of the snow and ice we’ve had, it makes it difficult to get outside. However, most of that is past; I’m out and about, and that does a world of wonders.

    I just picked up some cards from the “Bend Joy Project,” with suggestions of things to do to bring joy … like “buy someone a cup of coffee,” “go for a walk,” etc. Simple things to keep us engaged with others. That’s my goal! Have a great week!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by Missy. I’ll look that project with the cards up. Had a walk and lunch with Sabine today so we were both cheered up. I seem to get hit with this yearly so I’m going to have to make other plans for next year to circumvent the lackluster motivation. Simple things to keep us engaged is a noble goal. Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I could’ve written this post, Marlene–it so completely describes the way I’ve been feeling. Yes, winter blues and yes, hard to get moving. I’d love to be able to go outside and see some evidence of spring . . . but we have over a foot of new snow! I trying to find my energy!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Welcome to the club. I went to lunch with a friend yesterday who was struggling too. It helps to do something out of the ordinary. Today my sewing group is going to visit a friend in a retirement center and take her to lunch. You have to come out of the doldrums when you cheer someone else. I’m so sorry you have more snow but I know those bulbs will peek out through the snow just to let you know it’s almost over and we will be complaining about the heat before you know it. Take the time to just rest and be still. It’s a pattern in nature. Thanks for stopping by, Kerry. Hugs.

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  15. Dear Vonderfrau, you at least made time to get outside. While we are enjoying a mild day, everything is still buried in snow. My Xmas tree is still up, although it is surrounded by the boxes from the basement that I finally brought up to undecorate. I’m so busy at work, I’ve no time to hibernate. But I guess that’s a good thing. Winter went by like a flash, as did Xmas and January……I’m on a treadmill that’s set too fast……..I’m thinking I’d better slow-er down. xoxox

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    • I finally got almost all my Christmas put away by the end of January. I just found 2 more large decorations that need to get packed away.:( I’ve been where you are and it eventually extracts it’s fee. This year almost brought me down too. I feel more restored now. We don’t usually get this kind of snow and it was lovely while it lasted. Seeing signs of spring and getting some short walks has helped a lot. Sunlight, even in the snow is a good mood lifter. Don’t worry about the tree. I once left mine up till April. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh…sending a giant hug and lots of light to shake you out of those after Christmas doldrums!! I get it…I think as we age the whole energy around the holiday changes. I used to get so sad (well part of that was because it was winter and I lived up north!) It has helped me a whole lot to live in a very warm climate year round! I am just a hot and humid kind of gal 🙂
    I hope that you feel better…and that every single day gets better! I agree about reaching out to friends…I know that when I feel that way if I do something nice for someone else it always makes me feel better.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week, Marlene. And thank you so much for supporting me and always being there with kind words or with the sharing you did this week. I think it helps so much just to hear that someone else really knows what is going on. Hope that all things are good with you and sending lots of love and light!!! ❤

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    • This was the Christmas that really wasn’t. So much else was taking place that I couldn’t really get into it. Hope next year is better. I can’t do a warm climate. I think I worked myself into exhaustion and hit a wall. So 2 weeks of rest has helped me focus again. I just can’t handle heat but that’s why there is a place for all of us. We all just need to keep helping each other. Giant hugs, Lorrie

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  17. The last half of 2016 was such a slog for me. I think I’m coming out of it now. I want to blog again and visit cyber friends. I miss you, Marlene. And look at you – outside ushering Spring in! You definitely have more energy than I do. 🙂 Enjoy your new book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by Maddie. I think you can join the club. So many of us were in the same place that I’m wondering if it isn’t in the alignment of the stars. Spring always comes early in Portland. I’m old and my energy comes in waves and wanders away quickly. Sometimes I even notice it’s missing. 🙂

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  18. “Smack the blahs in the tush.” I’m cracking up, Marlene. I’ve also been down after the holidays and our awful weather here in the PNW, and with so much unrest politically and a country divided, it’s easy to feel down. I am quite ready for spring. It will come as I keep telling myself, and while I wait, I’m looking at photos of my flowers from last year which brought me great joy. Helps me to know that time is near. ❤

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    • Glad to give you a grin, Karenlee. We need all we can get this winter. I know the sun is there somewhere but come August and September I’m going to be begging for rain and clouds. I’ll take this anytime over that relentless heat. Had myself a little sewing day. Now it’s catch up on blogs time. 🙂 It’s a tough life. 🙂

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  19. Women's voice club said:

    Definitely coming out of the winter blahs!! I love your post. Yesterday I’ve noticed that Spring is already knocking the door (at least here) and I am super ready. Actually, I can’t wait! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for stopping by. I love winter so I have the time to step back and rest a bit. I rarely give myself permission to do that. But the glimpse of spring and sunshine fills up the reserve tank to go the rest of winters distance. I’m almost ready for spring. Just a little more downtime for reflection and I’ll be raring to go. Have a wonderfilled week and weekend.

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  20. I can relate to the blahs, Marlene. Combine post-election blues with extra darkness and indoor weather, and it’s hard to feel energetic. However…. spring is on its way!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is. I’m ready for a dry day to start with. Tomorrow! and next Friday one more. 😦 Dribbles and drabs. Thanks for stopping by. I’m catching up again and will be back to see you soon.

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  21. So glad that you spent time outside on a winter day, Marlene! A touch of nature always does the heart good! I spent days making valentines for friends, near and far. It made my heart so happy to mail off these tiny works of ‘heart.’ I’ve been going on an Artist Date each week and finding inspiration everywhere I go. It feels so good to give myself this special time to nurture my creative heart! We have also been taking some actions that have made us feel a bit less helpless ~ a wonderful afternoon rally at a nearby Islamic center in support of our immigrant families and against the travel ban. We have been writing to our members of Congress to let our voices be heard. I’m so grateful that retirement gives me the blessing of time to pursue things that matter to my heart!

    Have you unpacked your craft supplies? Just putting them into your new craft space will stir your creative heart! The ideas will start to flow, I’m sure. Sending you sunshine, Marlene! Spring is just around the corner! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I have unpacked and put away most of my craft supplies. There is almost order again. Just a tiny bit left to deal with. Our weather has been exceedingly wet! We will get another dry spell at the end of this month and I’m so looking forward to getting out again. Artist dates are a tough one for me. I’m not able to drive myself any distance right now and have scheduled another eye appt. There is plenty of inspiration here though. Is Congress even listening to us? I’ll send some letters too in hopes. My mother and I had a very hard time getting entrance to this country so I understand. Thanks for stopping by, Dawn. Have a wonderfilled weekend.

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  22. I always power through. The dark days and long nights are perfect for writing. As a winter baby, I enjoy the winter more than I do the summer. However, I’ve only noticed this winter how much more quieter the world of blogging has been compared to previous winters. These quiet periods come and go, but I always make the most of them.

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  23. I can so relate, Marlene. It has been difficult to keep up with blogging as well as several other things around the house. I decided I was feeling the lack of sunshine and my mood too often reflecting it. While appreciating the rain I am at a point ready for spring and done with gloomy skies. I know you have had some serious winter in your area as well. No complaining here really, just persevering until spring and taking advantage of the intermittent sunny days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are all solar powered and even a little helps. Bears hibernate so I think we should have a little down time too. This winter was wonderful! A little inconvenient, but truly wonderful. I am almost ready but not quite for it to be done. A little sun in between the clouds and rain help. The snow was wonderful…for awhile. 🙂 I guess I’m odd that I love winter. Summer is the season I moan through. Can’t do heat. I do love the long sunny days though. Very, very soon. 🙂

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      • Not at all. Surprisingly I heard very few complaints about rain as people understood how much we needed it. I did really enjoy it. What is odd is as I get older I don’t seem to mind the heat as much. I always heard ‘old’ people are cold a lot and it must mean I’m old because the cold just seems to set in my bones- especially my bad knee. Waiting on approval for a knee replacement for next month. 😨

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it’s true. Old people do seem to like heat more. Hoping I get there soon. Maybe before summer.:) My sister had a partial replacement and it helped her a lot. Have plenty to do while you rest and heal.

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  24. Marlene I always love your indomitable spirit. You have the blahs, and yet your thoughts press ahead to things like “why?” and “how do I fix it?” and “what I’m happy about anyway.” So inspiring, you are.

    I, too, have been outside when I can, and I’m noticing the signs of Spring. It lifts my heart. Bulbs are up in the yard – just a couple inches, but that’s enough to bring me joy. The willow branches by the creek have green buds. My hydrangeas have buds. So very wonderful that it happens for us every year just when we really need it!

    I ran out of firewood, and a neighbor who had been watching the pile of wood get smaller and then disappear, stopped by one day to offer the downed trees on his property. When I told him I don’t have a truck and don’t know how to run a chainsaw, he brought me a load of wood! ha ha. Friendly neighbors have no equal. So today, the kitty and me have a fire in the stove and we are both happier. I have enough wood to get me through another couple weeks, and hopefully that will equal the end of the snowy days too. I’m still getting snow out here – just yesterday the ground was white for awhile, but freezing rain came through and melted it. I called my stepfather last night to check on him, and he said they got another foot in north Idaho, to add to the foot already on the ground. Yeesh, I need to stop whining.

    Thank you for pointing out other reasons for the blahs, not necessarily due to my own shortcomings. It is post-Christmas, post-election, still long dark cold wet days, and not enough sunshine! That gives me hope because all those things are temporary. 🙂

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  25. You are such a loving and giving person Marlene. I do find going outside a good cure for the blahs and the blues. You have lovely friends and you are lovely friend to them. I hope March blows away the cobwebs for us both…big early spring hugs to you my friend xoxo
    PS I laughed out loud at your quip about the path to hell being paved with good intentions. I haven’t heard that in a long while… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Sherri. I love that phrase. I always have the best of intentions…but.:( To have good friends, you must be a good friend. I’m ready for March to blow those cobwebs out of my brain and my body. It’s been hard to make myself move with our constant rain. You know all about that, I’m certain. Trying to make myself get out more in spite of the cloudy skies. Hope you are doing well also. Miss you.

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      • Ha…you and me both Marlene! Oh yes, rain, rain and more rain it’s been. Occasional bursts of glorious spring sunshine…and back to…well…you know. I haven’t been getting my walks in half as much, you would think the rain wouldn’t stop me being a Brit…maybe I got soft living in California 😉 Roll on spring!! Ahh…thanks Marlene, I miss you too. I struggle between this state of needing to focus on my book (it’s like doing homework for hours, but at least it’s self-imposed, ha!) and missing my blogging friends. I love popping in and making sure things are going well with you…so I will see you again soon my friend! More hugs ’till then 🙂 xoxo

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      • Wishing you all the best with the homework. I’m going to start working on my memoir shortly. Think the direction is finally clearer 🙂

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      • Thanks Marlene…and oh how wonderful with your news! I know you’ve been thinking about it for a while. It’s great when you get that clear direction. If it weren’t for that, I would have quit way before now. When you know, you know! 🙂 xoxo

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  26. Hello Marlene, Just spending some time on WP and thought I’d pop in and say Hi.
    Hope you survived the recent Nor’Easter!

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    • We are just experiencing a great deal of rain but not as much as Peru so I’m still counting my blessings. 🙂 I haven’t written anything in weeks. Still trying to get there. Hope you are doing well.

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