Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I have seasonal affect disorder. What this means is when we have little daylight because of our northern location I'm prone to irritability, depression, and mood swings. Right now I've been waking up each morning to sub thirty temperatures without factoring a wind chill. This has been making me extremely crabby.

Toss in some dog wars, a sudden spurt of teenaged behavior from Diva, and indoor recesses at work and I'm a loaded gun. I've been wracking my brain for some strategies to deal with this. Once upon a time I went to the tanning bed, which truly helped. But I refuse to commit the time to do that right now. I know I need to step up to the plate with my physical activity levels, but *excuse alert* with Ryder moving in, feel the need to commit the time to him. I have found a doggy daycare not too far from work and once the owner returns from holidays and can intake him, plan to take him there 3-5 days a week. This will help with the guilt.

Plus, I've made some decisions around Roxy, also causing me to feel crabby in many ways.

Sometimes I feel as though no matter how had you work, how hard you try, thing just don't go your way. Defeatist isn't it?

Then I remember my uncle. My uncle committed suicide a little over 2 years ago. He had had a number of strokes, was physically challenged (nice way to say impaired - sigh), and was in a supportive lodge setting. He had about a third grade education because back then "special" kids didn't go to school. When the RCMP came to the door I felt a tremendous amount of guilt. After all, I had left him. I had moved away to pursue more selfish pursuits - such as shopping, nightlife, and a social life. I felt that I had stopped giving him the time and attention he deserved.

There was a time when I'd pull up to the lodge door in my tricked out truck, where he'd be waiting by the door for me. I'd load his buggy in the box, boost him (literally) into the cab where Tessa was anxiously waiting and we'd hit the road. Sometimes I'd bring him back to my parents for a weekend. Sometimes we'd just drive to the nearest town and have pie. And sometimes we'd just drive past fields of wheat and cattle, swerving into access drives to grab a handful of crop to give him to inspect.

My uncle had a very, very difficult life. He worked hard. He was treated with disdain and disrespect on a regular basis. He lived on the family farm with his parents until it was sold and they moved to town. He regularly fell, causing concussion after concussion, and eventually I'm convinced some brain damage. By his death he often didn't make sense and his words were slurred.

What I learned from him was perseverance. When things get hard, you bear down and put some elbow grease into it. (I was going to say back into it - heh.) I also learned to love the simple pleasures of life. I think I've been forgetting the lessons Uncle Gene had taught me. I've been feeling sorry for myself when I have nothing to feel sorry for.

I am blessed. I have a great lifestyle. I have wonderful animals that bring me joy. I have had opportunity and choices. I need to remember I have chosen this. This IS what I want. Not that long ago, I had the opportunity to ditch the furry family, move into a fancy pants McMansion, travel frequently and live the good life. But when placed in a position to choose, I didn't choose him. While nice I'm sure, that's not the life I want.

I want to honor my heritage while working towards my dreams, wishes and goals.

Today, look for the simple pleasure of your day.

Mine is the joy the dogs greeted me at the door.


The Canadian said...

Whoa, I was worried through most of that post, glad it ended with you embracing the simple, happy things you've chosen!! I have also been letting this cold bring me down. At school today, I complained, saying, why, why do we choose to live here. One of the kids reminded me, by answering, "Cause we're Canadian!" He said it with such pride, it made me proud and take another perspective.
Here's to keepin' it simple!!

Jennifer said...

Wow, Andrea, that was a great post...

MTWaggin said...

Your "disorder" is shared. The lack of daylight - leading to the end of winter up north does that to me...plus cabin fever from a winter locked (dogs included) I find I have my worst times the end of January. This year it lasted into February with the additional snow/cloudy/cold we had. This too will pass and Spring is around the corner - I PROMISE! Chin up kiddo and thanks for sharing the story of your Uncle - true, we sometimes must step back from our whining and remember others in worse shape than us! :)