Years ago I used to spend a lot of time on sailboats and I became familiar with the doldrums. This is when the wind drops, the sails just hang limply, and, unless you turn the outboard motor on, you’re not going anywhere. This usually happens during the summer so, not only are you not going anywhere, it’s also very hot.
Dictionary.com also defines doldrums as: a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits. The illness and death of an old friend brought depressing thoughts of aging and dying, missed opportunities and the swift passage of time. On top of that, the hot, humid Florida summer has sapped my energy and left me unmotivated. My early morning walk with Liberty leaves me exhausted and, after a shower, I usually don’t want to go out again. I push myself to go grocery shopping, run errands, and do household chores but, most of my time is spent reading, listening to The Blaze radio, and watching movies. I’m so tired by 3 p.m. that I have to take a nap! Occasionally, I meet a friend for lunch or dinner and a movie. I haven’t even been doing many pet visits for Haven Hospice over the past few weeks. Visiting Alzheimer’s and dementia patients is difficult for me under the best of circumstances and, when I’m already in low spirits, it drags me further down.
There isn’t much you can do if you’re experiencing the doldrums. It’s probably best to accept that you are stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for the wind to fill your sails again. Obviously, if you think you’re seriously depressed you should seek professional help but, if it’s just the doldrums then all you can do is ride it out the best way you can. Probably the most important things you can do for yourself are to focus on doing what you enjoy, be grateful for your blessings, and avoid negativity as much as possible. Pamper yourself. Seek inspiration. I feed my spirit by listening to cds by Rabbi Lapin and his new podcast on The Blaze, sermons online by Rev. Ken Lawrence of the First Baptist Church of Hampton Falls, NH (my friend, Nadine, turned me on to him-she spends July and August there. Lucky dog!) As exhausting as it is in the hot weather, I continue to get out and walk every morning (thank God for Liberty!) because I know that spending time outdoors and getting some exercise is good for me – especially when it’s over!
All things must pass, including the doldrums, and eventually my spirit will be sailing again. If I close my eyes I can almost feel the cool breeze …
I often wonder if my imagination is one of God’s choicest gifts bestowed upon me to deliberately break me free from the frequent doldrums of my humanity. ~Craig D. Lounsbrough
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