March 22, 2011

fresh air

It's officially spring, and with my favorite season come some decidedly unfavorite things: allergies and post-winter slumps.

What to do about allergies? Drink raw milk. Consume nettles (as tea, or blanched like spinach). Fast. Avoid sugar and refined starches. Saline nasal spray (*shudder*). Neti pot (*double shudder*). Exercise. Avoid contact with pollen (i.e. stay inside, windows closed, all the beautiful season long). If all else fails, surrender to the wonder of modern medicine and dose yourself (you know what I mean - see your doctor for an Rx) with whatever chemicals will do the trick.

The post-winter slump, though, is the real kicker: the worst of winter is over, you've had a few sunny, springlike days, flowers are starting to poke through the warming soil, and your to-do list soars optimistically .... and then, bam! you find yourself sitting around listlessly wondering what happened and what will make it go away. Perky friends exhort you to go outside and enjoy the sunshine! Go for a walk! But you can't seem to find the motivation to get out of the recliner to see if they're right.

Food loses its appeal. Books or movies are just a vehicle to get you to the end of another day. Sleep offers scant respite. Hour plods after hour ..... It all feels vaguely familiar; will it ever end?

Days pass this way.

And then one morning ...

... you wake up and find your mind working again. You think of things to do and - voila! - do them! And it's not an effort anymore. You clean. You cook. You look at people with interest and answer them with a smile that involves more than just your mouth muscles.

What has changed?! The weather is no nicer and no nastier. The chores are no less onerous than before. Your friends have not suddenly blossomed into brilliant comedians. But the slump is over. It's a gift.

Quick! Don't analyze it - just go and live while the living's good!

"The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the life too closely examined may not be lived at all." Mark Twain (apologies to Socrates).

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