Let’s say, hypothetically, that your basement is six inches under water, and that small animals are seeking refuge by clinging to pieces of your new Pergo floors, which are now floating adrift amongst your childhood keepsakes.
And let’s say, also hypothetically, that as you are trying to bale yourself out, you create a steady stream of water from your baling bucket to the electric motor on the pump you Jimmy-rigged. Let’s say that the ensuing electrical shock is so fierce that you buck backwards, and, with your own hands, you smash your own bucket into your own face, spewing blood everywhere and splitting your lip wide open. And let’s say that you then lose power to your home and, just for good measure, you drop your cell phone into the basement tides.
On a scale of 1-10, how do you think you would be feeling at that time? How would you go about turning that frown upside down?
Don’t answer that question, because I already know what you are thinking . You are thinking, “Momma Goose, if that were me, I would fire up my CD player and dance around my living room to Tina Turner’s ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain.’”
Savvy reader, this is a great answer. But it’s also a bad answer.
It’s a great answer because music is a terrific way to liven your spirits. It’s a bad answer because, although lyrically appropriate, your song choice could be Debbie Downer’s theme song. It’s also a wrong answer because, in this situation, your electricity isn’t working and therefore, neither is your 1990’s-era CD player. Get an Ipod, Debbie.
In all seriousness, floods or no floods, this is a mentally challenging time of year for a lot of New Englanders. After four eyeball-freezing months of winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) has staged a full-blown coup on many otherwise happy brains. We hope against hope that sunny skies are around the corner, and they are, but we may still have to schlep through two months of rainclouds first.
I am one of the many who is susceptible to the sunlight-deficit-blues. Some years are worse than others. Every year I learn something about myself.
This year, I feel great. [Throws salt over shoulder.]
Fortunately, through the years, I have developed a few fool-hardy techniques to keep my chin up so that I do not “fall into the repetitive patterns of those who waste the learning that is the only consolation for our painful experiences.” (Gordon Livingston)
Because I am a Mother now, and because happy parents raise happy kids, I have never been so committed to my consistent happiness. And so is born “Spring Cleaning for the Brain,” my three-part series in which I will share some of my techniques for making the psychological rain, rain, go away. I hope you’ll share your happiness tricks as well!
If you do not identify at all with these challenges, please check your spaceship at the door.
If you are SAD, stand tall. You have likely evolved from ancestors whose low moods during winter months reduced their caloric needs when food was scarce. In the great game of “Survival of the Fittest,” your ancestors were fittest.
In order to keep things in blog-friendly bites, I’m segmenting this “Spring Cleaning for the Brain” into a nonsequential three-part series (links will update as posts become available):
Part 2: Shut Up and Work Out Already.
Part 3: Hakuna Matata: Aint No Passing Craze.
In the meantime, remember that April showers bring May flowers. And we all know that Mayflowers bring Pilgrims, and Pilgrims bring Thanksgiving dinners, so, essentially, this rain is a good deal no matter how you slice it.
Plus, do you know how many people would love to have an indoor swimming pool?