You’re just going to have to walk through that mud

Photo by  Daniel Sturgess

I have been dragging lately. Feeling off and gloomy and frowny faced. I do not like it.

My preferred state of being is reeling from comic moment to comic moment. (One of the things I love about never drinking is how it allows this happiest Laura to exist in her fullest state.)

Attempts to pull myself out of this funk have failed. More meditation. More gratitude. More lunches with friends.

“Nice try,” this current grey-skied self says flatly at the completion of each endeavor. “No dice.”

I was getting really frustrated because nothing is really wrong.

We’re all healthy, work is good, no one’s fighting, things are fine.

And still.

Everything has an irritant about it, as though there’s cat hair in the air and I just can’t get it out of my nose.

Then at yoga, the teacher opened the class with some thoughts about spring. It’s a time of transition, she said, and transitions are muddy.

Oh.

Yes.

Transitions.

My son is graduating from high school in a month, and leaving for college all too soon after. I’m letting go of his hand even though all I want to do is keep it securely held in mine. He has lately been stoically enduring a litany of warnings and life advice from me, as if I’m trying to cram in everything I might have forgotten to tell him in the last 18 years.

My daughter, who we still refer to as “the baby,” will be going to high school in the fall. Containers of homemade slime sit under her bed, next to Legos and a collection of squishy keychains. None of them have been touched in over a month. Instead of jumping on her trampoline, she shapes her eyebrows. She asks for the latest makeup palette and a strapless bra. She prefers the company of her friends.

This is why I’ve been so down, of course. Transitions. My children are moving into their own lives and my role for them is changing.

I had to leave yoga class twice to go wipe away tears. I was, what I believe psychologists term, a complete mess.

This is a transition I have to make, as inevitable and cliched a thing as winter yielding to spring.

It is muddy, yes.

But there are flowers and warmer days. And now that I’ve identified it, at least I know which direction to walk.

If you need me, I’ll be over here transitioning. Scraping dirt off my shoes and holding in tears and waiting for summer.

Photo by Randy Jacob

Subscribe to my email list to get an essay like this every week. .