Midwinter Mood Shift

Maybe it is the 48 hours of clear skies that turned my mood. Maybe it is the daylight that is still going strong at 4:30. Maybe it is the completion of a major task at work. Whatever it is, the sense of gloom and doom that overtook me at the turn of the year has dissipated.

There is a lot to be gloomy about. It just seemed like 2024 was going to be another gut-clenching year where there was no news of the world without some outrage reported about the former president. Then the hopelessness of the war in Israel and Gaza, Ukraine and Russia, and Sudan. How many lives and how much land will be destroyed before these conflicts will get settled.

What is the antidote to feeling overwhelmed by problems that are so far out of my own control? This is what I did that turned my January gloom into February it-might-be-ok.

Controlling what I can control

Joel and Mom at JK House, 2021We suffered two deaths in the family in the past year and a half. This led to piles of tasks to clear the estates and the living spaces of the departed Fischmans. There is not that much left to do, and it will be more-or-less completed when taxes are filed this April.

These obligations and the mourning that went with it put our material projects on hold. This January, we resumed the decluttering projects we promised to get to in July 2022.

Being with people

I have been limited in my ability to be in big public spaces with a lot of people since I was brain injured in January 2019. This became somewhat worse since the 2020 lockdown because of Covid. Being in large groups has multiple dangers for me: concussion symptoms and viral infections. I am still affected by noisy environments, but I have a pretty reliable set of personal guidelines that make it comfortable for me to be with groups of people now.

Being supportive

When I stick to my health guidelines, I have been able to extend myself into somewhat crowded spaces, with crosstalk. The trick is figuring out when it is worth the risk of post-concussion symptoms. In January, there was significant progress in the State Legislature regarding affordable housing. I am pleased to be able to put my oar in on that.

Generally, I think my winter slump is receding. So, happy Groundhog’s Day. The gloomy, wet winter is half over. Everyone has a way to energize. Mine is with people and with service. I hope you can find yours this February.

As the sun sets around 5 PM this Sunday night, I wish you a good second half of the winter.

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