Do you ever wake up dark(ish)?

Not full-out depressed, not necessarily sad, but just off -- weary, worn out, not whistling a happy tune. That's me right now. It just happened, there were no warning lights to prepare me for this state of affairs.

I woke in the night, sweaty, restless, a tad tortured in my thoughts. And, despite falling back asleep, the feeling continued into the day, right through morning coffee with the husband, belly scratches with the dog, an incredibly inspiring chat with a friend ...

It's hanging on, this mood, lingering.

What to do?

Crawling back in bed, pulling the covers over my head is not an option. I need to carry on.

Binge a show? Eat a cake? Phone a friend? Impulse buy? Nah ...

What if I don't run or hide this time? What if I allow the clouds to hover, to be my cloud cover, my companions?

What if it is ok - understandable, really - to feel dark(ish) in this world right now? In this country? In this moment in history?

What if I talk to my mood like a friend?

"Hi dark(ish)ness, I see you there. Welcome. I guess you are here for a bit, a nice visit. I'd prefer you didn't stay, but if you must, let's work together, shall we?

I will listen to you if you have something to say. If you want to be quiet, that will work, too.

I will slow down for you, won't push you away, won't rush.

Having you around kind of gentles my spirit. Helps me see others a bit more clearly, heightens my capacity for compassion.

Thanks for that.

What other lessons might you have for me?

I am here to learn. Stay as long as you need, ok?"

This kind of conversational relationship with dark(ish)ness feels right for me this time. Our emotions are not us. Our emotions don't have to own us or lead us around. But our emotions are tender indicators of what is going on under the hood.

Paying attention feels like the least I can do.

Here's to my friends who also face dark(ish) days. I see you.