Grey matters

January is a month-long study in contradictions. The new year calls for resolutions and a zest for new beginnings. The dark short days ask us to sleep late and go to bed early. The Seattle rain begs you to stay indoors, reading, eating, zoning out. The calories you ingested over the holidays mean you better get moving. A weekend break in the miserable weather calls for short-sleeved T-shirts and a surplus of outdoor time.

This mirrors my feelings about our remodel. The new addition is stunning, the paint colors are marvelous, the window trim is beyond belief. There’s no way we’ll get to move back in by January 30th. What happens when we go over-budget? If I’ve already lived at my mother-in-law’s house for 3.5 months, why can’t I stand just 4 more weeks of existing in someone’s else space?

Annie is much like her mother, moaning occasionally that she wants to “go home.” She thinks the painters have moved into our house. She worries that we’ll never get to go back. KK, however, thinks living at Grandma’s forever would be just fine. She hesitates when I ask her why. Finally she admits the one reason. Two words: cable TV.

Indeed, TV is perfect for January zoning out. The problem is, I decided to plow through the first season of Thirtysomething. I don’t recommend this when the sun disappears for a week, and the natural grey light surrounds us for maybe 5 or 6 hours a day. I watch an episode where Michael’s father dies. Poor bereaved Michael doesn’t want to hold his baby daughter because we all die anyway and why should she grow close to dear old dad when one day he’ll be 6-feet-under? Good lorsh, the next episode must be more cheerful than this one. No luck folks. This 45 minutes of mindless entertainment deals with a 6-year-old and how he feels about his parents splitting up.

No wonder I skipped the TV and was asleep before 7:00 on Saturday night. Still, I am digging myself out today, swinging toward the other side of January’s contradictions. It’s way too rainy to take a walk, but I just finished thirty minutes of yoga. I’m going to go pound the crap out of tonight’s pork chop dinner, have some liquid sunshine at Starbucks, and run from activity to activity. I’ll stay up until 9:30, and remember the wisdom of some words I wrote last year:

The rain continues to fall

As I curl up into myself

Not realizing immersing myself in the grey

Releases this washed-out color into fresh light

1/12/08 (copyright Nancy Schatz Alton)

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