This being my fourth summer of blogging, I am starting to understand that I get depressed in the summer. My children leave for whatever wonderful endeavor we have facilitated for them, and my husband and I are alone, trying to remember what we used to do before all the years of facilitating everything for our children. He is still somewhat in his cave, processing something, or avoiding processing something, I don't know, and his back hurts, all of which makes me think he is depressed, too. He says he is not, but I don't think he knows quite what he is feeling. He is trying to feel nothing, I think.
I handled summer better, all the bright sunshine mocking you, when I worked from home two days a week. I would talk on the phone, have lunch with a friend, sit in the park, run an errand, see a mid-morning movie, stake a claim to the day. I would wake up slow and have leisurely coffee, and reconnect with myself.
Now I wake up hard, fighting from the moment I open my eyes with the desire to stay home, knowing I have to get up and get dressed and go to the magazine, where I will lose myself in work and stay until evening, eventually finding my way home when night is falling, and then I find myself still awake way past midnight, just so I can feel as if I had a portion of the day that was mine to do with as I wished.
I handled summer better, too, when my elders were stronger, when my body was more limber, when my husband and I would plan excursions, when there were island homes we could visit and be carefree, when there was no scaffolding around our apartment building blocking out the sky, cutting off the benches on which I used to sit and read a book under the trees, and chat with my neighbors and feel like I was part of a community. Now I live in a construction site, the brick outer walls of our complex undergoing repointing for the past three years, with no end in sight. I feel so alone in New York sometimes. Everyone works too hard and too long and the essential thing, our human connection, withers away for lack of being tended.
I am always tempted not to write on this blog in the summer. I ruminate too much, veer toward melancholy. I am starting to see the pattern, and to assign reasons. But maybe it's all just chemistry in the end.