I have my fair share of down days. Days where I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the world really was out to get me and even kittens couldn’t make it better. Most of them aren’t that dramatic, just a general feeling of apathy with tendencies to cry for no reason whatsoever, but they’re irritating nonetheless. I want to be happy, or at least feel engaged in my life. And apparently when I’m not engaged it comes across pretty clearly and my husband worries.
So last month I came up with a way to beat this melancholia and keep it down. It’s actually startlingly simple and actually kind of fun. Sometimes it even makes me want to go out and research things I’d never known I had an interest in.
I play a little game called “I wonder.”
I always start with boring stuff, because that’s all I can muster in that state of mind. “I wonder what we’re having for dinner. I wonder what made me cranky this time. I wonder if people will ever learn to drive in a way that isn’t actively insane.” Over and over, I start sentences with “I wonder” and eventually my concrete side lets go and my imagination takes over.
“I wonder how people came up with names for things. I wonder how the color blue sounds. I wonder what would happen if…”
Eventually I seem to find something that makes me want to be interested and engaged. Something to get me through the day, the week. It allows me to focus all this energy somewhere other than nitpicking on details and getting bogged down in all the things that need to and should. My own little liberation.
And then I can go on, being me, worrying about life and what I’m doing, but no longer overwhelmed. It’s glorious.