Tuesday, March 26, 2013

When Everything Is Grey ...

There is a point each year when I find myself bogged down with “The Greys.” No, I didn’t mean to say “The Blues.” Blue to me is a peaceful, wistful shade. No for me, it’s “The Greys,” which tend to arrive in late February or early March. It’s the time of the year when I’m weary of all the clothes in my closet and I long for bright color and a warm breeze. It’s the time of the year when I’ve had enough of Winter and dream of birdsong and green leaves bursting out on the trees.

When I find myself in The Greys, I know I’m not alone. I notice other people. They seem grey … dreary. Tired. The bounce is lacking in their step and the twinkle in their eyes is dulled.

The Greys hit about the point when Winter has overstayed its welcome. Now, I live in a part of the country with four seasons. I like that. I like Winter … the snow, the blue-grey winter sky, the trees painted with white sparkles. But when winter is just dull and cold and blah … well, I’m done. And I fall victim to The Greys.

I’ll admit, I wallow a bit. But then … I  make different choices. I find some color in my closet. I choose a brighter lipstick and nail color. I try to change up my activities with a new creative project or book or exercise choice. I put a new peppy playlist on my iPod. To bounce myself from The Greys, I need to make active choices. I can't wait for someone to save me ... I rescue myself.

Sometimes I travel … a vacation to a sunny spot where I change my habits for a week or so. But that isn't always possible. So, when I go out, I make sure to add an Orange slice to my Blue Moon or ask for a sweet lime to place in my Tonic Water. The bubbles amidst the soft green lime change my perpsective. They sparkle a bit and give me a more effervescent feeling. At this time, I take brisk walks in the chilly air, breathing deeply and visualizing or meditating. Whatever it takes. I can’t stay in The Greys long. I fight the tendency they bring with them to succomb to the lows. To doubt and fearful thoughts of inadequacy or isolation. To retreat inside myself. To curl up in a ball and wait for something to happen to change things around me.

No, for me The Greys are a signal that I need to up the anty … I need to make different choices and decide to find the little joys in the world around me. It's these moments that I need to be most active. To engage. To choose to make the most of times when I'm not truly unhappy but I'm not in a blissful place. There are times that I just exist ... that's okay. But The Greys are a dangerous place for me to dwell too long. They create a hypnotic, inactive realm ... The Greys. And I can't sparkle or shine there. Few can.

Are you suffering from The Greys? If so, it’s all up to you where you go next. Me, I’m choosing a ladder and a change of focus. I’m choosing Hope. I’m choosing to remember that with this time of year, spring is just waiting to burst out. That if I can hang on long enough I will be once again surrounded by bright color and that warm breeze I long for. That The Greys may try to sap my strength and damper my nature enthusiastic personality. But I don't have to allow them to possess that power over me.

The Greys come. They are an old companion. I know to expect them. I see them coming in the shadows of February and March. But they are like Winter’s dreary final moments, holding on and resisting the brightness to come. And, they are only welcome for a short time. I use their dullness to help move myself forward and seek whatever is coming next.

Sometimes I don’t know what that will be … I think that’s my favorite part.