One of the things I do in therapy is rattle off all the things that are bothering me and see what seems to "stick to the wall" in that moment; but this time as I finished my list there wasn't the same sort of clarity I normally found. Instead, it just all felt so heavy. So, my therapist made a list on her whiteboard (she loves using her whiteboard) and I just looked at it and said to her: "I can't see it this time. I don't see the thing that is linking these together. I just need you to tell me."
She responded: "I see loss. The continuing loss of your friends back East, loss of regular communication with your sisters, loss of time with your parents, loss of the easiness of summer with the girls, loss of your time to comfortably have a baby, loss of the girls being little kids, even accepting the permanence that some other things in your life will probably never change. That's a loss too."
I sat quietly for a minute, processing, but then my immediate feeling was one of extreme relief. I thought: "That's it. That's exactly it. No wonder I'm in a funk." Then I felt sad. Sad that I had been so hard on myself and on my family, but the understanding of WHY I was in a funk and sad made all the difference. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
The things that were making me sad aren't anything wrong or anything that can necessarily be fixed; it's just the way it is right now... and that is totally okay. I work a lot on acceptance: I haven't done anything wrong, nobody else has done anything wrong, this is just the way it is.
The past couple weeks I've felt lighter, and just in time too, to get ready for the busy-ness of the school year. So, not only are we experiencing a return to the rhythm of the school year, I'm also feeling a return to the rhythm of a predictable work schedule, more time with Mr. Quimby and time with new friends. I feel like I'm returning to me.