Depression is painfully serious. You have no energy for frivolities and are in such a permanent state of emergency that you certainly don’t waste time on the trivial. Sadly, the trivial and the frivolous are frequently where joy is hiding.
We went to the Botanic Gardens today. Spending the last bright days of autumn in the Botanics is almost as much a seasonal observation as Halloween or Christmas. The squirrels are scampering around in a pre-hibernation foraging frenzy, made even bolder than usual by the suspicion that every human is packing treats. Children (and adults) look so cosy newly bundled into warmer clothes. The leaves are beginning to do their thing. The play-park, and indeed the rest of the gardens, are busy with people making the most of the last few weeks when it will be warm enough to linger in a park. I stopped for a while with my toddler because it was urgently and vitally necessary for him to carefully examine a bench. And while I was standing there confirming that, yes, this was a bench, definitely, the benchiest bench that ever benched in fact, a dog ran up and placed a stick at my feet, dropping back and looking up at me hopefully. Of course I threw the stick. And threw it again, and again, and again. A bench-fixated toddler and a dog with a stick – what a wonderful, trivial, frivolous waste of time. I felt more like myself than I have for weeks.
So I have resolved to try to do one completely silly thing each day. Tonight, as I cleared the table I announced to the boys that I would clear the table in the style of… the Tombliboos. Squeeling “Tombliboo, tomblibooooo” they both joined in and chased me around the flat, feet kicking out, arms waving, all giggling. It only lasted a few minutes but it left me released and happy, with a grin on my face every time I remembered, long after they had gone to bed.