I’ve been feeling unsettled about…something for the last few days. Not being able to put my finger on it and actually call it by name adds to that unresolved feeling. As if I’m supposed to be doing something really important, like that feeling when the baby is napping for an unknown period of time and I’m actually alone and mobile (i.e. not pinned down by said sleeping baby’s body)–OMG, what should I do before the clock of freedom ticks down and the bell sounds for round 2 or 3 of Caring for Baby?

But the weekly box of organic produce I ordered arrived without incident, the apartment is relatively clean, my three-year-old son didn’t strike back when his one-year-old sister pulled on his clothes and slapped him on the head this morning, and my husband apologized readily when I nitpicked a grievance last night.

This undefinable mood cloud is not the benign blues, or the mean reds, as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s so aptly describes existential anxiety. Yet I feel uncomfortable calling it, as my husband does, “depression”. That diagnosis seems too melodramatic, somehow, and downplays my idea of “true depression” (such as when my mom got checked into the hospital under suicide watch when I was in third grade).

This particular unease is a kind of fuzzy gray: thick, stubbly fuzz that gives off an uncomfortable, static-y prickle on the underside of the mind. It makes me question if I’m wasting my life, not spending my time wisely, and one day I will look back on right now and want to slap myself for not being a more talented acrobat of many projects.

As it is, though, I can hardly keep my resolution to run for at least 20 minutes daily. At least I’m still studying a lesson or two of Hebrew and French in the mornings, but I doubt I’ll be truly conversant any time soon.

Still, the relentless funk is starting to piss me off. I refuse to let it have the first and last say over my every days. Who knows how long it’ll continue to stick around, and whether it’ll grow bigger and more powerful with each hour it wins over my (lousy) attitude?

So I:

-Keep my running sessions, even if  sometimes it only means a simple jog-walk-chat with my son because he wants to “run–like you–and grow big–and then I run–like you–and–I–can play–soccer!” and  his eyes are tearing up as he stands at the front door, contemplating the prospect of Mommy going off to exercise without him.

-Go outside, even if it’s just for an hour of slowly treading the sidewalk bent over forward as my daughter insists on grasping my hand while she toddles purposefully towards the next closest dog poo pile or dozing feral cat. The sun and fresh air do both of us good, I think.

-Appreciate artworks, or simply aesthetically-pleasing images. This is a standby habit of mine from university days.


I recently started learning about Marc Chagall–his personal life and works. This particular picture,  had greeted me every time I walked into history class ninth grade fall semester, without my taking any real interest in it until now. Chagall also created the picture that served as a plot device in Notting Hill, which prompted the character Anna Scott to quip: “happiness isn’t happiness without a violin-playing goat.”

-Text a mom-friend who home-schools her four children while her husband works for a few weeks away in the Congo. She texts back that maybe all of us can go to the zoo in the afternoon. Unless my daughter ends up taking a long nap and I’m again loathe to wake her up to go lead a life, any life, that disrupts her sleep.

They sound so prosaic and such little non-events, set down into words like that, but they do keep the fuzzy grays at bay. How odd.

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