Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sun Breaks

Much like the apocryphal hundreds of ways to say snow in Eskimo, those of us in the Pacific Northwest linguistically differentiate between all sorts of rain events.  Pouring, drizzling, misting, showers, spitting down, steady rain, etc.  Then there are the sun breaks.  Do you have sun breaks where you live?  In case it's not obvious, a day with sun breaks is a day with mostly wet weather, but when the rain pauses, it's not just a sullen dampness that replaces it, but actual sunshine.  Clouds blow around, blue sky peeks through, and for five, ten, even fifteen minutes, we get a sun break.

Then, usually, it starts raining again.

The skies here have been steadily grey the past several days.  It hasn't rained all that much, but we haven't had the relief of any sun breaks either.  However, the internal weather, ah, that's a different story.

February was bad, man.  Death and a sinus infection and a snowstorm I couldn't enjoy.  I didn't work a full week all month, and I didn't do anything else either.  There were a few days when things were quiet enough that I could read mindlessly--YA fiction, mysteries.  But there were more days when I dragged myself from the bed to the couch and back again.  I couldn't be bothered to figure out what to cook, since I had neither energy nor appetite.  I didn't vacuum once all month.  My kids developed a sense of entitlement regarding screen time that I suspect we'll be regretting until June.  My husband has been struggling with his own crap--depression and losing a job, which really really really helped with the depression, as you can imagine--but he did get some medication adjusted towards the end of the month and stepped up, making sure we all had clean underwear and hot food.  

Last weekend I finally got some antibiotics.  Monday afternoon I looked around and said, "Hey, I think I'm ready to go back to work."  I was pretty exhausted each day when I came home, but I worked the rest of the week, and while it was horrifying to see how little my students had gotten done all month, it was good to start regrouping.  I even spent some time Friday working on a complicated list of students to sort out for a big project for the team of teachers I share students with.  It wasn't much, but it was the first time in a while I'd been able to think bigger than "What am I teaching next period?" and actually carry my weight with my colleagues.

This weekend there were more such moments.  I baked salted caramel brownies for a potluck dinner party.  I showed up for the damn party, after bowing out of social engagements for weeks on end.  Today I'm making dinner from a cookbook, instead of falling back on spaghetti or baked chicken.  I finally pulled out the stack of torn stuffed animals and mended did surgery as needed.  I had some free time and looked at my stack of mindless reading, then reached past the genre fiction to pull out "We Need to Talk About Kevin," which is not mindless reading.  (Boy, is it not!) I let the neighbor girl come over and showed her how to set up an embroidery hoop and outline her initial, and I helped my own girl organize the art supplies, which we store in her bedroom just because that's where there's room.  I helped my husband apply for jobs, and celebrated with him when one winery contacted him to say they think he's overqualified for the job he applied for, so would he please come in next week to talk about a different job?

I took the Christmas wreath off the door and deconstructed it so the boughs went into composting and the bones into the trash.  Yes, I took down my Christmas wreath on March 1 this year.  It was time.

Rain will come again, but I'm turning my face to the sun while it lasts.

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