TURNING S.A.D. to H.A.P.P.Y

It starts when the leaves fall off the trees and the daylight gets shorter.  The loneliness, emptiness and despair fall over me like a shroud.  I worry that I won’t be able to cope with the bleakness and cold of winter.  The rooms of my house seem smaller and I want to retreat inward even though my need to be with people is far greater.

I am looking out through my sliding glass doors to the birds who are scavenging whatever is left on the ground and in the bird feeders.  These days the food is eaten with greater ferocity as the cold of winter is even felt by the wildlife outside.  I wonder if they are feeling the same way I do; ready for an escape to the sun — to light and warmth.

We turned our clocks back last month for daylight savings; another ominous warning of what’s already here and what’s to come. I have been stocking my pantry with lentils, beans, different shaped pastas…anything with which to make soups.  I will get into my preheated bed (an electric blanket is a necessity!) earlier now with a good book or a reality TV show, anything that gives me an escape to a different place.

Since the kids moved out we are only occupying one-third of our house; two empty floors devoid of music, laughter, activity.  The rest of the year when I’m out and about in the land of the living the silence is not as noticeable.  In the winter, though, the stillness cries out to me and makes me remember what I am missing.

I no longer want the privacy that living in the woods afforded me for so many years. It is now my goal to move to a smaller, cozier place where there are people close by as I need the comfort and companionship of others.  At this point in my life I want to get rid of the excessive THINGS in my life that are no longer needed and live a simpler lifestyle.  

Getting older really changes a person. You know what’s important; you cut through the bullshit to get to what really matters … love, friendship, compassion for others, peace, and good health.  I plan to turn my sad into happy in 2013.

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13 Comments

  1. Pamela Garrison said,

    January 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Hi Amy, sorry I haven’t called, I’ve been working late days to make up for days off and also going to dr.’s appointments with Andrew.
    I could have written what you wrote, except I work every day and I live in a neighborhood, but the neighborhood is filled with young mothers and kids and I don’t socialize much at work because I have to get work done.
    Andrew is moving back to Greenville on Friday. Andy’s son Mark has been with us and is going back to school this weekend. Andy is great company of course but I’m just like you. I need people (our kids) around, if I had family nearby it would help also, but I’m here to stay for now.
    I think it’s a great idea for you to look for a place like that place you mentioned in Hudson. I would love to be your neighbor there.
    Andy talks about doing contract work one day possibly in Massachusetts, but who know if that will ever happen. I’ll call you tomorrow because I have the day off. love, Pam

    • lapetinaa said,

      January 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      Thanks, Pam. You and I feel the same way about a lot of things. It’s good to know that we’re not alone. xxxxxx

  2. Joycd Weinberg said,

    January 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    What you are going through is very common for our age group. Have many friends rethinking the same. Some have already moved to condos geared to our age group, paring down, being/living in a more community setting. It does come a time when the chores of being a homeowner becomes just too much work. Each couple I have known have never regretted their move at all, so happy with their decision-no more shoveling, mowing grass, dealing with the upkeep of homes. Let’s face it, home is wherever we want it to be. Our winters have become so long around here becoming more isolating. With my aches and pains, this weather is so bad for me, so I don’t want to go out at night as before. I really could become a shut in and I am so glad I can work part time because I would stay in. Life is too short to let each day pass me by being like that. Fortunately as the baby boomers get older there are more options out there for us now. The cliche-people need people-is very true. Neighborhoods are just not like they were, families live far apart. Not sure if families living closer is really the answer because maybe we would see them more. But Friends!!! They are the ones we can pick and choose, to seek others out with the same interests, etc. I like the idea of a community setting where things to do are set up, going maybe on a bus filled with others to a play, movie, whatever. But with a group who want to go, sign up for different activities. Life is supposed to become easier and having a large home can just not work anymore for where we are in life now. I believe as our stages in life change, we must too and move on. We all need to look forward to new experiences continually, change as our situations change. For each new stage should bring us new things to challenge us. I don’t want to waste a day! I find lighting candles during the day, especially at night is very comforting with that soothing light. When I become president I will ban daylight savings time! XXOO

  3. lapetinaa said,

    January 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    You are SO right, Joyce. We’ve already picked out where we want to live and believe it or not it’s in Hudson…”Westridge”. I love it there because it has all of the things you talked about — a community center, a gym, walking trails, and a small-town feeling in a beautiful setting. We have been lighting candles at night, too. It does give a warm feel and brings more light and warmth to the house. A much needed dose of peacefulness at a dark and cold time.

    • jcwhudson said,

      January 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      You will be just up the street. Everyone raves about them! They are supposed to be a great place to live. Never heard a negative remark since they were built about them. The units are supposed to be just beautiful with different choice options for size, etc. Very, very happy for you, neighbor. XXOO

  4. jcwhudson said,

    January 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Where is that one located? I think some do my neighbors moved there happily. That would be so great to have you in Hudson once again! Didn’t realize you have been looking. You and Tony were happy living in Hudson at both places. I still really like living in this town, if only it were warmer–lol. Very exciting news and I wish you good luck on this new adventure. It still remains a small town feel, good town. Will have great pleasure walking with you on those trails frequently! What’s it like? Townhouse, one floor? Details please. When are you thinking of doing this? Happy for you. XXOO

    • Amy Lapetina said,

      January 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      I can’t remember the address but it’s beautiful there. I don’t know if that’s where we’ll end up but it’s a great goal….though not for another 4 or 5 years. Look it up on the internet.

  5. January 3, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    May the now returning light warm your heart, despite the cold. much love.

    • Amy Lapetina said,

      January 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Thank you, Beth. Much love right back at you!

  6. January 4, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Hi Amy, Well it’s no secret that you and I are on the same page 98% of the time. I KNOW myself about the feelings that you have expressed. I have them too. Winter is especially difficult for me, because, I too, am a people person and yet I rarely have the opportunity to leave the comfort of home to do anything (except go to Dr. appts.) My dog is my only companion during the LONG days. Being in a heated bed always sounds great to me. I swear, if I didn’t force myself to get up, some days, I would just stay there all day. I miss my boys so very much too. I do agree with you that downsizing would be beneficial for you and Tony. I only WISH that relocating meant being closer to me. Oh, how I would love that. As always, your thoughts and poems, etc… touch my heart. It’s because of those feelings I love you so much. We certainly are two peas in a pod. xoxox

  7. Amy Lapetina said,

    January 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Yes we are, Min. On the same page and two peas in a pod. Thank you for your love and understanding. xxxxxx

  8. Donna Holmes said,

    May 1, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Amy, I am just now realizing you have all these amazing blogs!
    After reading this one, I understand why you and Tony want to move on.
    I am honored you called me and I will be here for you when the time is right!
    In my opinion, you should be a full time journalist. You have the ability to draw all of us into your world and encourage us to evaluate our own lives.
    All my love,
    Donna

    • lapetinaa said,

      May 1, 2013 at 1:35 am

      That’s quite a compliment, Donna! I’m so glad that you were inspired by my blog. It’s good therapy for me and that’s the main reason why I continue writing. There is a reason why you came into my life again and I’m glad you did!
      xxxxxx


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