I crack open an egg, pour in the flour and stir in the fruit. Each turn of the spoon stirs away a little bit of stress away and by the time the cake is in the oven my bad mood has mostly lifted and I feel better again.
Lately, a certain melancholy has settled over me. It hangs off me like a cape. I imagine that it looks like a superhero cape, bright blue and shimmery. It’s tied firmly around my neck, threatening to almost throttle me. It might look like a superhero cape but I don’t have any superpowers. I feel less than super, perhaps my super power would be the ability to plaster a smile over the cracks and mutter “I’m fine, all is fine” but I’m not fine. I feel the blue cape hanging off me, and dragging me down. It frustrates me as I try to make sense of it. Why do I feel like this? What’s causing it?
I’ve tried all of the usual tricks: taking myself away from social media, running lots of hot baths, getting early nights, yet nothing seems to work. I get frustrated as I try to shake myself out of it. Yet, it refuses to budge. For now, being a slightly melancholic mess seems to be my lot.
Why I’m Sharing This
Don’t get me wrong, this is not depression, it’s more of a feeling of something not being quite right. I suspect that a lot of us, if not all of us, feel like this from time to time. But we don’t talk about it. We bottle it up and pretend that everything is “fine”. It’s wrong and self-indulgent to actually share how we are really feeling, or that’s what society dictates. So you will have to excuse this very self-indulgent post but hey, my blog, my rules.
A feeling of unease, slight sadness and restlessness hangs from me. I don’t know what has caused it because it feels like it literally crept out and pulled its blanket over me. I went to bed feeling okay and woke up the next morning feeling less that okay. It seeped into my room overnight and for now it lingers on. I wonder if it is my body recovering from the shocking year we had. I wonder if it’s because now we are back in rented and I feel like I have no anchor. I wonder if it is because I haven’t seen the sun in what feels like forever. I spend a lot of the time looking for rational reasons that explain my mood, but then emotions don’t always behave rationally, do they?
Do We Stay Or Do We Go?
The usual discussion of Jersey and whether we stay has reared its head again. Each time we have the discussion, we finish it no clearer. To move or not to move. I have made no secret of my struggles with living on the island, and how some days I feel incredibly stifled. But, it is also an amazing and beautiful island to live on and I feel horribly ungrateful for even saying that I struggle to live here. There are people who are suffering real hardship and here I am moaning.
This island has enabled me to set myself up as a freelance writer and I now work from home and I can do the school run. Yet, I miss the camaraderie of being in the workplace. I miss being able to share my ideas or being able to ask for advice. Working from home has so many benefits but it can also be very lonely and it has felt increasingly lonely of late. This mood that has settled over me has left me struggling to meet my deadlines. I have found myself dreading opening the laptop and going through my work. Recently the act of writing has felt difficult and I have felt like I am wading through treacle. Just as I think I have an idea for a sentence, I get stuck and find myself unable to move on. Forming the words, constructing the sentences, it all feels too hard at the moment. Writing normally gives me joy, but right now it feels like a burden. The words are just another thing weighing me down.
Trying To Change How I Feel
In normal circumstances I would run my way out of it. I would run down our little lanes and drink in our beautiful little island. However, regular readers will know that’s not possible at the moment and so I have looked for other ways to lift my mood – baking.
Baking Myself Happier
The whole act of baking is just what I need. My waistline might not agree, but my brain is loving the baking. It feels joyful and something that I can do for my family. The whole process is relaxing and I can switch my brain off and stall the every frantic whirring of the cogs. There is just something about the measuring, stirring and sieving that feels good. It’s like it is a calming almost meditative act. It also helps me feel more in control. Baking is helping, it’s nourishing my soul and unlocking the writer’s block.
I am baking my way out of melancholy and hoping I will find my confidence again, find my anchor and feel more settled. Hopefully I will feel more me again, but until then I will continue reaching for the mixing spoon.
Let’s all be honest with how we are feeling. Life isn’t as straightforward as a recipe, we don’t have a foolproof step by step guide to follow, and we shouldn’t be afraid to acknowledge that.
Life is messy, much like the kitchen after I’ve finished baking 😉