Staying Afloat

Sea Otter

This guy has the right idea. Sea Otter (Photo credit: engelcox)

So, I’ve been gone a while. I have no idea if any of my wonderful online friends are even hanging around anymore, but if you are thank you. And I do apologize for not answering comments or visiting blogs lately.

I have been uncharacteristically unhappy these past months, and I think I’ve mentioned before that I would not want to inflict on anyone what I might write in that state. It gets ugly. I get ugly. And I often regret some of the things I set down in writing when I’m sad, angry, irritable. So…absence was better.

But, I need to work though things. I need to get back to happy, and I need to understand why I haven’t been. I believe (well, I like to believe) that I am going through a normal phase. (Oh my gosh! Is this the infamous mid-life crisis?? This thought has just occurred to me. I will have to read up on the subject.) My feeling, though, is that normal or not, I still have to take a hard look at myself. I still have to expend the effort to find happiness within me. It won’t just happen.

A couple days ago, when I was out walking with Reesie, I stopped to talk with Bonnie, a friendly lady in the neighborhood (you would never guess her to be 70). She told me her across-the-street neighbor had died suddenly this week. The woman was my age, 50, and was found by her 16-year-old daughter. Bonnie and I talked about how it is that you just never know when your life will end, and how true is the adage to live each day as if it were your last. I was affected even more, I think, because the woman who died was my age and has children the same ages as mine. It could have been me found dead in bed by my teenage son. A sobering thought.

And I think, too, of my dad. Today (Jan. 10) is the five-year anniversary of his death. I woke up in the night and was not surprised to see the clock read 3:30 a.m., right around the time of the code blue, the time when the ICU doctor was straddling my dad, pounding on his chest, trying to bring him back that awful night. The memories were painful, but they didn’t leave me in tears, for which I am thankful. It seems that Time is doing its job.

And with these thoughts, I’ve decided that enough is enough. There is no time for unhappiness, at least not the gobs of it I’ve been wallowing in recently. My better self is giving me the proverbial slap in the face and telling me to snap out of it. A few weeks ago, I was talking to my mom about something—I don’t even remember what—and she told me off-handedly to count my blessings. I told her I count my blessings every damn day, that it is the only thing that is keeping me afloat. She laughed.

But what I said to her is true. It’s really not all doom and gloom around here, and reminding myself of the good in my life often pulls me out of the doldrums and sometimes out of the pit of despair. Even the small things help—for instance, every strand of lights on my Christmas tree worked this year, and I didn’t have to go to Target to buy new ones. I appreciated that. My coffee cake turned out awesome. Also, I have a pan of lasagna in the freezer for future yummy dinners. My college kid has been home for a month and my husband has been home for a couple weeks—though next week it’s back to just me and my teenage son for a while, which is its own blessing.

So I will be back to my blog and will do my best to write from an even keel. I will record my view from the middle of life, which sometimes sucks. But I will remember what’s good and stay afloat.


About Jeannette Monahan

A writer sidetracked by life, with a husband and two boys who shine brighter than Arizona sunshine. Visit me at my blogs: or You are always welcome.
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9 Responses to Staying Afloat

  1. drangedinaz says:

    I am so glad to see you! I have been thinking about you (and yes, worrying) a lot lately. I totally understand as I have periods of time where I am not fit for human company.

  2. pharphelonus says:

    Welcome back, Jeannette. You’ve been missed. Blessings to you.

  3. emjayandthem says:

    I’ve missed you; it takes strength to not only recognize the darker days but to allow yourself to have them. You were wise to refrain, I think. I’ve hit those same walls and, in those moments, I still write .. I just don’t publish.

    Welcome back! MJ

  4. Finding my center when I’m off-kilter can be gruesome for me. Sounds like you are beginning to regain your equilibrium. Who knows the secret of how? Perhaps it is just getting out of yourself long enough to get a beam on the horizon. Blessings on you and happy to see you back.

  5. Thanks, Mother. I do feel more balanced. I like what you said, too, about getting out of yourself long enough to get a beam on the horizon. That’s just right, as usual. 🙂

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