Yeah, that title makes about as much sense as my reference to the ESC, also known as the Extra Sensitive Chip did yesterday. Apparently prepping almost 70 Valentine’s, none of which are for my own children, is making me slightly loopy. No worries. Hang in there. It might be a long ride but you’ll see where I’m going.

February can be a hard month around here. It’s time to file the taxes and make sure Christmas is paid for. The weather is gray and cold and the anniversary of Tye’s death hangs over all of us, especially my mom. (She may kick me for saying that. Good thing I live 800 miles away.)While the daylight might be a bit longer, it’s hard to tell through the clouds and ominous warnings of snow and ice. Because of all of these things, Mom and I were chatting about depression. Please let me also note that a momentary pity party or slight doldrums due to grief isn’t necessarily what I’m referring to but grief can be one of those things that instigates a slide into depression.

I was explaining to Mom that I’m a bit down because I haven’t been a great friend in some cases. What if I could have prevented someone else’s mental health crisis? In normal Fairfax County speak I lamented on all the things that I have to do in a day and all the stuff and all the laundry and all the driving and all the cooking and all the Valentine’s and all the volunteering and all the working. I often feel like I slide into nine p.m. like a runner hitting home to win the World Series and I can’t be bothered to be anything else for anyone else. Cue the guilt. Guilt for complaining about having kids and being busy, guilt for not being there for friends, guilt for not doing enough college research for Arleigh, guilt for not being present for Hanan, guilt for raising my voice when Bria has listened to so many teachers and coaches all day long that she just has to stand up to authority somewhere and that authority is usually me, guilt for not making more time for Jack and paying more attention to what therapy might work for him. Seriously… I can still go on…and on!

That’s when Mom said, “Stay busy.” It’s the quiet that brings you down. It’s the those moments with nothing to do that make you feel worthless. You don’t clean the house because you’re a little sad one day.  A nap sounds better. (Boy does it!) Then you are suddenly looking at a messy house and it’s overwhelming and it makes you sad. You take another nap. It becomes cyclical. When you are busy with a purpose you don’t feel worthless.

My mom sure is smart. She should write a book. She’s had too much quiet time recently so she started volunteering at a hospice hoping to turn her painful experience into comfort for others going through similar circumstances. She is finding her purpose. I’m also encouraging her to purposefully drive to Virginia but that’s another blog.

If you’re working toward a purpose you don’t feel worthless and sometimes you even find time to laugh. And so, my memories were full of an old post that still makes us laugh in the hardest moments. I give you “The Bobcat.” I hope it makes you laugh like we did.

We got there. Now you understand how I’m fighting depression with one bobcat post at a time. There was a second post updating the story. Maybe I’ll post it later. I’m just going to leave it right here so I can finish some laundry and get to soccer and laugh and fight the dreary February doldrums. I hope you find your purpose today.