I know that January and February are usually (for me, at least) the months of the year where we just have to somehow 'get through'. And having read other blogs it would seem many others feel the same too. But then I read a post which made me think - why wish time away? Why not embrace it for what it is (in this case cold, dark, wet and windy)?
Without wishing to sound too preachy there are people who are really suffering. Yes, the gloom has a negative effect on mood. Yes, it would be great to get out into the garden if the rain ever stops.
But really - there's nothing you can do to make the sun appear or the clouds disappear. Better to go with the flow than try to swim against it.
Yesterday, after weeks (months?) of saying we must adopt the whole Slow Sundays way of doing things, we actually did it. I put my phone in my bag and stuffed it behind the sofa. We lounged around and had a late breakfast then layered up and went for a walk. The sun did appear once or twice, and how wonderful it was to sit on a bench and soak up those fleeting rays. Yes, we had to take shelter in the church doorway during a passing hail shower. But we also saw hellebores and tulip leaves thrusting through the earth, snowdrops and steam trains.
Refreshed and invigorated (and plastered in mud) we returned home to spend the afternoon keeping warm and eating good food.
I noticed something: the weekend doesn't fly by as quickly when you slow things down and do a bit less. Slow Sundays will now be every Sunday. It may take a little while to establish that but I'm determined to do it.
I'm currently reading 'The Victorian House' by Judith Flanders. It's fascinating; social history, particularly that of a domestic nature, is something I really enjoy learning about. A good book on a wet day is something that can't be beaten.
And speaking of learning: I recently came across an article about Highly Sensitive People (H.S.P's). It resonated with me. I'm not really one for psychobabble or the leaping onto the latest affliction/condition bandwagon. But it just rang a bell or three. Maybe everyone feels this way but there are many traits - listed on this site - which are just me. Things like being accused of being overly sensitive, my inability to cope with loud noise, of feeling easily overwhelmed. Of feeling rattled when I have lots to do at once, of being highly aware of other people's moods, of being ridiculously sensitive to caffeine.
The list goes on. It's really interesting and has been a bit of a revelation to be honest. I think I was also a Highly Sensitive Child and that could explain why certain events had such a marked effect on me emotionally.
Non of this stuff means I need therapy or indeed, want it. Sometimes it's just good to identify with something. And maybe there is a bit of a trend at the moment. I've heard about this book too. Maybe we introverts, those of us who spend more time thinking and listening than talking, are about to have our day!
So there we have it. A bit of enlightenment in these dark months. Amazing how good reading, slowing things down, savouring the weekend and spending time indoors with family can make the gloom shift. Even if it's just metaphorical. I'll take it.