Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter Doldrums

Inspired by Kathy over at Moving on to the Past, I thought I would post my current knitting projects.  I am making socks for a friend for Christmas (yes, they are late - I gave her a card and a small ball of yarn with a small knitting project hanging off the ends of toothpicks to actually open at Christmas, with the promise of a pair of socks).  She had asked me to make her some, her grandmother used to knit her socks, so she has a fondness for hand-knit socks.  If you have never worn a pair, you have no idea what you are missing.  They are like a perpetual hug for your feet.  Also in the photo is a shawl I am knitting.  It is a lacy thing and so much fun to knit.  I usually have at least 2 projects going at any time.   I love to knit!

It seems I am entering some sort of winter doldrums.  I guess it would be called Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I do have this every year.  I also do suffer from chronic depression that I have to fight with all my might.  Some times the fight is just knowing the enemy and trying to outsmart him.   I am that rare endangered species - an unmedicated depressed person.  I don't take medications well, so my doctor and I agree that I am pretty good at "managing" my depression without them.

I find that if I have some major thing to look forward to, I get through the winter much better.  On Tuesday, I registered for a marathon - it is in Maine in October - which should be beautiful.  I said "never again" after my one and only marathon in October of last year, but I guess I have already forgotten the pain and want to do it again.  I have spent hours on the computer planning the trip in the last few days.  It does help.

I think I am going to have to turn off the television for a month or two.  At least the news.  I cannot tolerate it right now.  I am sickened at the whole thing.  I can't stand either side of the political equation in this country right now.  Do we really need to check our brains at the door when we join a political party?  If so, I will gladly relinquish my membership.  In my life, I have swung from one extreme to another, perhaps it is time to stand right in the middle.  I know I am a "social conservative," and that is non-negotiable.  But neither party really embraces that.

Last night when I went to bed, it was around 20º, when I woke this morning, it was over 40º.  I wish I could go outside and run, but the sun is up much too late, and I refuse to go out alone in the dark.  My workout for this morning is an hour on the treadmill.  I am grateful I can do this.  I am also grateful for my iPhone with videos on it because an hour is a long time to stare at a corner of my basement.

I am grateful that I know this place isn't my final home.  I am grateful I know that this life is just a moment, and I have all of eternity to look forward to.  If I thought this was it, I would not be able to bear it.
We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. -- Romans 5:3-5


  1. Every single minute that passes puts you one minute closer to spring. Every breath is one breath closer. Every day is one day closer.

    Before you know it you'll hear the peepers in the woods and the buds will swell. The days are getting longer now; it's staying light 'til almost six o'clock.

    Pretty soon now you'll be starting the seeds and getting the garden ready.

    Remember, too, that you already belong to a third party, the Catholic Church. Follow her teachings and really have some fun the next time somebody wants to talk politics.

  2. I think you should buy some new shoes Mary Christine and post a photo of them! That always cheers you up, or boots to go with the socks (oh no, they're for your friend. Well, just knit some more or I'll send you some from Tescos in the UK). I bought three pairs of men's socks yesterday, to go with my boots, which are flat heeled and therefore comfortable for my overweight middle aged rheumatic frame! Blimey, don't you just want to be like me ha-ha-ha-ha!?!

    I am seriously contemplating a diet, but the Christmas choccies must all be eaten first! Sugar cheers me up, momentarily at least. Take no notice of my advice, I'm a sad gimp at the best of times. My moods are like rockets. They look impressive on their way up.........

  3. Wow, while I was reading this, I saw myself! Especially the part about knowing and outsmarting the enemy. I have never taken any meds either--I just "watch the perimeter" and if I notice things creeping in, TRY to address them.
    Lately I have begun (again) exercising, knowing that this helps in a lot of different ways. Kudos to you on your running! I also struggle to stay consistent in prayer and daily mass. I am so fortunate to have the ability to do this, and yet don't.
    I know what you mean about the TV! It is a constant stirring up of upset feelings. :P It would be hard to give it up, my family would have to get on board with that one...
    Your knitting sounds creative outlets are music, reading and writing. And cooking! which then leads to
    There are a lot of fronts to maintain, and yet, even if I fail, I keep going! My family needs me to, and I know and love God enough to have the hope you referred to in Romans, and the trust that He will perfect that good work He began in me.
    God bless you! Keep putting that one foot in front of the other (literally) lol, as you already are! And know you have lifted the spirits of another sufferer of depression by sharing your struggle.

  4. Hi Mary Christine
    So much to think about here. Let me say I'm very grateful to have "met" you and we seem to have come from a similar place and are heading toward another place together, by the grace of God.
    First, I have no talent whatsoever at knitting and I really admire those who do. Your friend is lucky to be getting those socks.
    As for the television, I was actually thinking that a future post on my own blog is going to be called "Political Nomad" because I really have no home. I know there are some who would mock me for this, but I am really am middle in the road. I am on the side of life regardless of the issue, so I'm not really welcome on the right or the left. I didn't vote for our current president, nor did I vote for the one that preceded him, but it sickens me that people cannot find a single kind thing to say about either of them. And if I see or hear Sarah Palin or her name one more time, I'm going to puke. If people like her, fine. If they don't, why pay so much attention to her? It's like feeding your dog from the dinner table - the more you do it, the more the dog begs. I just wish we could discuss issues in this country without villifying one another. And I wish people paid as much attention to their faith as they do their politics. It's why I am so removed now from the political process.
    Finally, I think all of us suffer from one degree or another to seasonal disorder. The time after Christmas is especially a let-down. One thing that has changed as I've gotten older is that I love winter. I, too, am a runner although I have had to take some time off for a back injury. People think I'm crazy but the dead of winter is my absolute favorite time to run. Think of it as a dormition - nothing is dead, they're all just sleeping so they can erupt in beauty when Spring gets here. I see a beauty in winter I never noticed when I was younger.
    Thank you for such a thoughtful and provoking post.

  5. What wonderful socks! I can't figure out how you can possibly use more than two needles and remember what you are doing. When funds are not so tight maybe I'll spring for a couple of lessons at the knitting shop so I can make things besides scarves. I'm sorry you suffer in the winter. I did notice I can get home now before dark so spring is closer every day! Thank you for the mention!

  6. Thank you everyone. God bless you. You are so kind.

  7. Those are lovely socks. I am sorry to hear you suffer from depression. My mother has suffered from depression through quite a bit of her life and she takes medication (Celexa) which doesn't seem to have any side effects. It doesn't alter her mood to some giddy person as some think. It stablizes whatever is chemically inbalanced in her brain and makes her normal. You would never know otherwise. Perhaps you should talk to a doctor about it. Depression is not a good thing to suffer through. My prayers for you.