The first full day of spring, I awoke feeling cheerful and full of good intentions for the new season. I never did get around to making New Year’s resolutions, but spring seems like an auspicious time to do some serious goal setting.
I fully intended to jump start the day with my Nia class and weights circuit at the YMCA, but then I glanced out the window. Snow again! The cursed stuff blanketed the ground, and it was still coming down. I uttered a few choice expletives, then crawled back into bed and spent the morning reading the paper, then a mystery novel. So much for my good intentions.
That morning’s “Pickles” caught my eye. It’s the only comic strip I know of that features folks of my generation – in other words, people who are well past the eligibility age for AARP. Earl tells his wife that he’s going “out for a brisk walk. I don’t care if it’s cold or wet or windy outside, so don’t try to stop me. . . The doctor said I need more exercise, so I’m going out, no matter what. I will NOT be talked out of it.”
His wife points out that he’s got a loose thread on his coat. “That’s it!” he replies. “I’m not going.”
I identify with Earl. It doesn’t take much to deter me from venturing out to the Y. The snow wasn’t all that bad, and I could no doubt have driven in it, but the Northeast’s unusually blustery, frigid winter, with its record-breaking snowfalls, has kept me hunkered down in hibernation. I never even made it out to ski at Jiminy Peak or with the Out of Control Ski Club. The brisk north wind when I traipsed out to pick up the morning’s paper convinced me that a day on a mountain in the Berkshires, with its wicked wind chill factor, was the last thing I wanted. I opted for the après-ski libations, like wine and cheese or a hot mudslide made with Kahlua, but without the obligation of freezing on the mountain first.
The weather was just an excuse; probably the snow was magnificent. The real reason I opted out of skiing this winter was my deeply entrenched depression. It began last summer, around the time I finally confronted the fact that in all probability, I would never be a wildly successful mystery writer. I gave up blogging, convinced I no longer had anything to say, and that dwelling endlessly on my lugubrious moods would be a turnoff for my readers, so I lapsed into silence.
Clinical depression like mine runs far deeper than the blue moods most people experience from time to time. In recent months, when I’ve told people I’m in a depression, they’ve usually responded along the lines of “Yes, it’s been a terrible winter. You’ll feel better when it’s finally spring.” When I tell them the depression began around the time of the summer solstice, they don’t know how to respond.
Now spring is here, the snow’s melted away, and the green spikes of daffodils and crocuses are thrusting out of the soil. And amazingly, I actually do feel better. Maybe it’s the longer hours of daylight, or maybe it’s because my shrink has prescribed an additional antidepressant in hopes of adding a “kick” to the Zoloft that no longer seems to be working as magically as it used to. Maybe it’s a combination of both, along with the fact that I’m thoroughly sick of being sick. It’s been over nine months – more than enough for a full-term pregnancy. Enough already! Time to give birth to something new.
I began this blog with high hopes that it would contribute to my success as a mystery writer. That hasn’t exactly happened, although my novels Eldercide and Mood Swing: The Bipolar Murders are still available. At this point, I plan to concentrate on nonfiction. I’m keeping the blog title Julie Lomoe’s Musings Mysterioso, because I like the sound of it. (“Mysterioso,” by the way, is a tune by Thelonious Monk.) But the focus won’t be on mystery writing.
Where my journey takes me from here is still something of a mystery, but I hope you’ll come along for the ride. And I’d love to hear from you!