On Being Happy

We're skipping town for a mini family vacation soon and I'm just feeling very grateful.  I've found myself reciting a poem in my head that I had learned as a child.  I sort of remembered it out of nowhere (Don't you love it when that happens?) and I can't wait to teach it to Rudy.

Count your garden by the flowers,
Never by the leaves that fall.
Count your days by golden hours,
Don't remember clouds at all.
Count your nights by stars, not shadows.
Count your years with smiles, not tears.
Count your blessings, not your troubles.
Count your age by friends, not years.

-Author Unknown.

I'm also reading an interesting book right now, which I discovered through one of my favourite blogs.  It shares some really great ideas to improve family dynamics and I'm currently reading about ways to open dialogue during family meetings and identify areas that could be strengthened.  Rudy's a little young for family meetings but I think Corey and I could start the routine now and still benefit from it.

Last Wednesday was Bell Let's Talk Day, which is a great initiative to raise funds and improve awareness of mental health issues.  I shared on my own social media that I experienced severe depression during my pregnancy, which was unexpected because we are taught to watch out for postpartum depression or even anxiety during pregnancy if a woman doesn't feel ready for motherhood but we rarely hear about pregnancy depression.  For me, these feelings and thoughts came out of left field because I had no history of depression, I was ready and excited to become a mother, I had lots of help and support and we were financially ready for a baby.  Basically, life, relationships and work were going great and nobody would have ever known I was having a hard time because I was fine during the day while I was keeping it together... and yet at night, I would often have suicidal thoughts and I'd cry inconsolably for hours.  Corey and my mom felt really helpless and so did I.  Even at the time, I knew there was no reason behind my feelings and I didn't want to harm my baby but I just wanted the pain to end.  Then, as quickly as the feelings had come, they'd be gone again and I'd be fine to go to work the next day.  It was really hard.

Luckily, I had a great team taking care of me and I had lots of support from family, friends and a psychiatrist at Sunnybrook.  I was very lucky that the depression went away as soon as Rudy was born (My doctors believe it was hormonal and also linked to my B12 deficiency but I was still high risk for PPD although I never actually experienced it.) but I know that many other people battle this disease for their entire lives.  They are incredibly strong!

Even with my depression gone, I think I'm more attuned to my feelings now and of course, even without the extreme lows of depression, we all get the blues sometimes.  Maybe it's a case of the Sundays (as we call it at our house) or maybe it's weather related.  Maybe it's just a case of fatigue or some bad news.  One thing's for sure, we don't always share it but we all experience highs and lows in our lives.  I think a part of the reason I like to stay so busy is because boredom and a lack of productivity tend to make me feel blue and lead to a low feeling.

Do you experience the Sunday blues at your house?  It's a little weird that I get them, since I work most weekends but I still love weekends because Corey and Rudy are both home and I often run home to see them between appointments.  What do you do to perk up your Sunday nights?  If I'm not working tonight (which I may not know until last minute) we're making banana bread at our house.  It'll be a nice treat for us to look forward to on Monday.  :)  Corey and I also like to read extra stories to Rudy before bed on Sundays and maybe watch a show together and enjoy a glass of wine once she's asleep.

What are your Sunday traditions?

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