The Buh Buh Buh Blues

(Base guitar)

 da da da thump…

Don’t wanna write ‘cuz there’s no light…

da a da thump…

Don’t wanna sing or work on my bling…

da a da thump…

Don’t wanna jog in my new tennis shoes…

(Loud and bluesy)

Don’t wanna do nuthin’ cuz I got the blues….

I’ve got the (loud) no-sunshine, no-energy, don’t give a whack ‘bout nuthin’ wintery bluuuueeesss…

 Been wanting to write more blogs, network with other writers, send off my two novels to agents and publishers, work on a second draft of my third novel, organize the files in my laptop, download music for I-Tunes, enter a few contests, and teach myself Pre- Pre-Basic Photoshop. And that’s just my literary aspirations. I also want to make some jewelry, stencil my kitchen wall, sew a little bling on one of my tops, and try out a new Gordon Ramsay recipe. But the truth is, after I get home from work, all I want to do is slip into my jammies, curl up in the corner of my sofa, and veg. What happened to my creative side? Moreover, what happened to my energy side?

Once upon a time I thought I was alone in this lethargy. Even those days when the sun blasted its heat across the winter land, I would mumble about snow and slush and temperatures below zero and go home, curl up on my sofa, and veg. But in taking the pulse of those near and far lately, I find their energy has ebbed, too. My jewelry maker friend hasn’t threaded a bead for weeks. My gourmet guru hasn’t opened a cookbook in the same amount of time. And my book-a-holic friend hasn’t read more than a chapter or two a week.  Our vacuums are clogging and our cats are snoring. What’s happening?

 Fear not ― our water has not been laced with lazy pills. It’s mostly the Midwest Midwinter Blues (da da da thump). I’m sure readers in California or Georgia have different names for it (how about the Frigid Fifties Funk?) But it’s a real phenomenon. Lack of sunshine and vitamin D, cold toes, icy windows ―you know ― the whole bit. But it’s more complicated than that. Between watching eight episodes of Fringe in a row and shoveling a path from your car to your house, what else is there to do in the dullness? I mean, how many times can you play Angry Birds before your brains are scrambled?

Oh, I hear you energy-ites – walk. Ski. Play fetch with your dog. Join a health club. No no no ― you don’t get it. For many of us, these blues make our legs feel like tree trunks. Our eyes burn from the dry air blown by heaters and our hands hurt from holding onto the steering wheel too tight on our way home because the roads are sheer ice. We don’t want to risk pulled muscles and frostbite just to catch a glimpse at Apollo and his steeds and his daylight.

Well then ― are we lazy? I think not. Most of us are pretty darn busy from morning to evening. Office work. Baby work. Assembly line work. Walking. Typing. Cleaning. Moving. Calculating. Stress is everywhere, and it doesn’t take long for the strings of dread to wrap you up nice and tight. That’s why fresh air, sunshine, and gentle breezes are so important. Play ball with the kids, throw a brat on the barby, boat rides and bike rides. Those kinds of things nurture your psyche and your energy level naturally.

It’s much harder to get excited about food and sports when it’s dark when you go to work and dark when you come home. 5:30 p.m. feels like 8:30 p.m. Vegetables are dull, salads even duller. Television shows are all reruns, and even Hollywood gossip makes us yawn. What can be done to cure this International ― or at least Midwest ― Sluggishfest? Here are a few ideas:

 1.  Share your boredom. Nothing makes you feel better than when you share your blahs with your friends and co-workers and they say, “Yeah! Me too!” Misery loves company, and with enough miserable company you can have a pick-me-up party. Share your most uninteresting stories over drinks or lunch boxes. Joy arrives as you realize you are not the only one who’s bored with your stories.

 2.  Go to the library or video store and rent the most ridiculous musical you can find. How can you not raise your energy level when Lee Marvin sings and dances to “Hand Me Down That Can O’ Beans?” How can you not swing along Broadway when Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger sing, “You say toe-may-toe, I say toe-mah-toe…”

 3.  Play Hide the Pig. In my office we take turns hiding a little plastic pink pig. We aren’t sure if it’s a girl or a boy, but it sure breaks up the monotony when we discover it peeking out of various coffee cups or out from behind a stack of catalogs. It’s silly, it’s idiotic ― and a whole lotta fun.

 4. Bring out your artsy crafty stuff and, without thinking, make the ugliest, corniest, cheesiest art thingy you’ve ever made. Don’t waste time “creating” it; just go for it. That tacky bracelet or stickman artwork or smudged stamp will do wonders for your ego. Like, “OMG…I know I can do better than that!

 I’m sure you can come up with your own kick starts to get your blah life back to its sparkling, energetic center too. As they say, this too shall pass. Conserve your energy ― you’re going to need it. Don’t worry about what you should be doing ― live in the now. Mother Nature has a way of pulling you back into the groove as soon as the weather warms up. Before no time you’ll be complaining about sunburn, burnt chicken on the grill and the humidity.

Now…where did they hide that pig?

 

©2012 Claudia Anderson

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