Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lost and Found

Photo credit: Free Digital Photos
The kids have been back in school for two weeks and I've been utterly lost without them.

I've been bored. I've been emotional (for what I can only assume was Precious Preteen's going into 6th grade). While most women probably would have thoroughly enjoyed the two week hiatus from work, school, and kids - I did not.

I was just blah.

And then something wonderful happened.

I attended the first Girl Scout leader meeting of the year. Suddenly, I was a part of something again and I felt excited and alive. I had a purpose.

As I drove home on this emotional high, I realized that the blah-ness I've felt for the past two weeks had been depression.

It sounds a tad pathetic that I would wrap my entire reason for being around something as trivial as Girl Scouts. That fact that I tie up every ounce of who I am in The Man Beast and the kids is the antithesis to the "modern woman".

I was talking to a friend/co-worker/mentor about her recent retirement. She admitted that she missed working and she, too, was somewhat lost. As we walked around the local track, I let her talk. Eventually, she came to the conclusion that she was depressed. Retirement depression. Is there such a thing?

Turns out, yes. Because as much as we might complain about work or our constantly busy lives, we shape who we are around what we do. When we stop doing it (even if it's by our own choosing), we experience depression and grief with our suddenly open schedule, absent of rush-rush deadlines and appointments.

So, while I might not be the poster child for the modern feminist movement: the woman who has it all, does it all, and masters it all - I am completely normal in my feelings.

Everyone can experience depression from time to time. Luckily, mine was short-lived. School has resumed for our community and as of next week, Girl Scouts will also be in full-swing. Soon, the crazy busyness will consume my family. This is okay by me. I would sooner be busy doing what I love (being a wife, mother, and Girl Scout parent) than having an open schedule and being completely lost.

One day, the kids will be grown and gone. One day, I will retire from teaching. And one day, there is a chance that I will be lost again.

But that day is not today.

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Depressed? Reach out. There are thousands of resources on the web. I'm not a doctor and you aren't either - if you feel you might be severely depressed, I urge you to seek out the help of your doctor.