Watch out for Winter Ennui. It may lead to Tedx!

Sigh. It’s that time of year when it’s not really warm enough to feel alive, and the relief of a hot summer is long gone. I call that Winter Ennui. Wee for short. It’s similar to that point in time after we’re past the honeymoon phase of a new project and are now in the belly of the beast of it all. We get really excited for the promise of fresh air. The excitement of the holiday’s shimmery lights, gatherings, and extra lovey dovey behavior from framily. It’s a great time of anticipation, and as Don Miguel Ruiz explains, many of our negative feelings come from unrealized expectations.

When we start a new project, our excitement carries us for quite a while. Once the newness wears off, we can be left with this feeling of “oh crap. What have I gotten myself into?!” before the end results are evident. That’s like the dead of winter.


And so it is for me with THIS second winter of isolation. Frankly, I’m over it. I want to shed my winter weight, stop with the constant making of warming stews, heavy protein dishes, and stand barefoot on spring grass with a fresh artichoke. I’m feeling more of this ennui in 2022 than I can ever remember, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Without holiday gatherings to bridge the gap for the third year in a row, I’m really feeling it. See, my brother died on Christmas 2019.

This pesky pandemia has become more like that old song that we sang in the back of the station wagon. You know the one that Shirley McLane sang so well: “This is the song that never ends. It just goes on and on my friend! Some people started singing it not knowing what it was. And they’ll continue singing it forever just because…this is the song that never ends. It just goes on and on my friend….”

Sigh. Harumph. I’ve decided that my midway projects are dulling my senses. My midwinter ennui, both figuratively and literally, need a balmy hiatus. No wonder celebrities take this month OFF. We should be elsewhere, exploring new vistas, cuisines, and faces. Except we ought not do so amidst global calamity of Magneto proportions.

So instead, I decided to do a Tedx talk. Yup. You got that right! I’m applying the principle of pressure to catapult myself from this state of heavy sighing to heavy practicing. I’m thrilled with the newness of mastering my public speaking offering, as I’ve always been too busy behind the scenes generating happiness to realize that my message is as ripe as a juicy summer peach on a hot August night in Georgia. Bring it on, I say!

And then the nerves awaken. “What on earth has gotten into you, woman?!” “You’re doing WHAT?!” and that’s how I know I’m on the right track. This scares me in such a good way. Like the best scary movie you’re dying to watch over and over again every October. I’m afraid of forgetting my lines. I’m afraid of sweating through my outfit. I’m afraid of diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain taking hold in front of thousands of judgmental people.

See, in reality, that’s never how it goes down. Our brains are always wanting to keep us safe. It’s that old reptilian brain wanting us to survive. Thing is, people are kind and empathetic and gracious everywhere I go. It’s my reality. My perspective is a mirror of who I am, and I’ll tell you what–I would NEVER be rude to a person offering their heart of heart’s message of hope for a happier life. I would always offer a standing ovation, no matter what missteps occur during their time on the red dot. I am always supportive of others, and therefore, it is silly to give any creedence to this reptilian negative self talk.

So what if I say more than I want and lose my train of thought until long after I sit down. So what if I cry. So what if I stumble as I walk to the circle and forget to move to all three pivot points on the stage. So what. I know with a certainty that my message is vital, and that this is the only way enough people will get it. I MUST embrace my performance anxiety, because my need to share my vital, life affecting message with the world. NOW. Not later. It’s critical now.

Thank goodness for ennui. Thank goodness for this long winter. Grateful for the discomfort that pulled me from my cozy blankets all wadded up on the sofa while wafting aromas of the latest chowder fill the room. Grateful for the team that is grooming me to be my best on stage. Grateful for my lover who is my best coach and cheerleader and support system. Grateful for my wild, vivid imagination that never gives up on my biggest dreams.

Let’s get this party started. Spring is just around the corner, and I’ll be the one frolicking in the grass before heading to my Tedx talk called “Is Positivity Making You Sick?” Hope to see you there!

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