the blues

Feb 5, 2008 | Life in Progress

(my favorite blue shoes, with my favorite lucky blue jeans, on top of my favorite blue chair)

the theme this week over at self portrait challenge is Blue. they must be reading my mind, as the blues have been with me lately – right there on the surface, not too close by, but more like the neighbor across the hall that i see now and again but don’t really know. the blues. they creep in one day and there you have it: something vague and misguided and very, very persistent.

i miss my man. he’s gone for another 8 weeks. home on the weekends, but still. i’m reminded that we live in a space and time in our marriage that is hard. sometimes really hard. all the intensity of his graduate school program coupled with still feeling uprooted from where we belong leaves us both feeling in a constant state of Temporary. time goes by fast, but feels heartbreakingly slow at the same time. daydreams of getting to our new + improved life are just that. daydreams. we struggle here to make our lives meaningful without a real place to call home. we struggle with taking care of ourselves. of taking care of our joy, our hearts. it all takes a toll, this feeling of not being grounded. i go months without feeling it, and then all of the sudden, especially lately, i feel its burden. i especially dislike this feeling of always waiting, waiting, waiting. waiting for something to change. for us to move. for this graduate program to be done. for us to start a family. for us to finally move back to oregon. for life to really begin again.

and all of that feels silly to say outloud because i sincerely feel the breath and joy of life in so many ways today and everyday. but i suppose i’m growing tired. it’s been a long year and half since moving here. the signs of mild depression have been all around me including an unbelievable 14 pounds gained since moving here. can you believe that? i will say, though, even with the blues, i’ve continued to feel really motivated toward better self care. i’ve been sticking to my schedule of work hours and play hours (which includes daily workouts) and i can feel the tide turning a bit toward lighter feelings.

sometimes it just takes sitting with what i’m sitting with, acknowledging its impact and moving on. that’s where i am. i’m sitting with it for now.

(blue skies have finally arrived after weeks or rain. i feel really fortunate to be able to keep the windows open during this time of year.)

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (21 comments)
  1. amy maisel

    I love those shoes! I need to do the blue outfit thing for those blue days too! (Having the blues is not a bad thing to have mind you)! I have orange days, green days and purple days too! Take care—love your blog!

  2. Kelly C.

    i definitely hear you about this being kind-of a blues-y time of year in general and can give an “amen, sister” to what Liz wrote about these being turbulent times.

    AND your thoughts on home/ oregon really resonate with me these days, as i have been feeling like life isn’t going to really settle down until returning to portland. i feel that too, and i’m just 3 hours north, in seattle. sometimes it feels like i could slip into a pattern of just marking time until we are back *home* by not putting down too deep of roots with community, friends, work, starting a family, the whole nine, but i remind myself that THIS IS IT! THIS IS LIFE! and somehow that brings me back into my world. You seem to accomplish this so gracefully, and i really admire and look up to you for this.

  3. katydiddy

    During our dating days, my husband spent 9 months in Germany working on his PhD. We got engaged when I visited him there, but it was a very hard time. During our first year of marriage he wrote his thesis-another difficult time. But, 11 years later, we are better for the challenges & the adventures. Now we are experiences the challenges of raising a child! But each challenge makes us stronger. It will be okay.

  4. Bonnie / Graybonnie

    Very cool to she your blue photo leading off Kaths weekly picks at SPC…great shot!

  5. kellyrae

    letter9, they’re miz mooz shoes!

  6. letter9

    I so know exactly what you’re talking about. My husband and I have spent five years in Ohio just counting the seconds before we can return home to Upstate New York. Grad school (phd for me, law school for him) brought us here and now we just sit and wait and wait for the right opportunity. We’ve outgrown our condo here but don’t want to move because we’re saving to move home. It’s hard, isn’t it? Hard to want to plan for the future but to know you’re doing it at the expense of the now.

    By the way, I LOVE your shoes. Make? Model?

  7. Karan

    Big supportive “I been there” hugs for you girlie… My hubby lived in Chicago and I was in California for the first year of our engagement and marriage. Commuting on the red eye flights back and fourth on weekends, made me really look at the life I was building with him. The waiting made it all worth it in the end. Taking care of yourself, and even acknowledging that you are blue can really help to make you feel better. It will all be over before you know it. Hard words to hear when you are in it, I know… but very true months from now when you look back on this time and reflect on where you are… like camping in Italy with your honey, and you will laugh about how hard it was and how you both missed each other so much. The reunions on the weekends are great too!

    Take care

  8. Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose)

    i love that 1st pic of you…too cute…and i think i have that same stained glass window at my house…

  9. Swirly

    Hello my dear…I feel like January was a month during which I was totally wrapped up in my own world in many ways and I am finally coming out of hiding!! Those in between times can be difficult, wanting everything you are dreaming of (and working towards) to happen now. I suppose we all have at least a little bit of that in our lives most of the time. I am thinking of you and missing you!! xoxo

  10. stacy kathryn

    I know how you feel, your so lucky though to have such beautiful weather to cheer you up!
    Ah! Look at the green grass, and leaves on the trees. OMG I am soo jealous.

  11. Dawn

    Hang in there Kelly – it will all be worth it when you are back home in Portland. Enjoy all the good things that are happening for you now and keep up the self care plan.

  12. Bikkybo

    I have been there. Sometimes still find myself and my family in the same boat – waiting. Waiting for life to start – for us to finally own a home (which can feel impossible in this market), for my hubby to find his “perfect” job (he’s changed several times in our marriage and suffers from depression) and waiting for him to finally be happy. Waiting for just enough money to make ends meet. And so here I am, waiting and learning that while waiting you must make the best of each day. Life doesn’t start later – once you have it all – it starts now, everyday when you get up out of bed. This is life. And so with your encouragement (it is nice to know you are not alone), I will enjoy your open window (too cold up here and too much snow!) and start making the best of today.

    Thanks for sharing your blues and may they be replaced by bright sunshine yellows, glorious, romantic reds, and vibrant, life giving greens!

  13. Katie

    I, too, am separated from my love and am counting the weeks (five minus one day) until he comes to visit. It’s really tough sometimes. I hope the tide continues to turn, Kelly Rae. You’re right – daily self-care routines can go a long way. Thanks for the reminder, and I hope you have a not-so-blue day.

  14. Kel

    I am in a blue place right now too. I know it will pass, but it is hard to really believe that it will. I feel better now that I have recognised it and I can start to take steps to get through it. It’s a hard road though, I’m sorry that you have to travel it – especially in the midst of such success.

  15. Colorsonmymind

    Oh to have the windows open-whatr a luxury.

    I love the first picture. Great great self portrait for blue.

    It mus be challenging to be waiting for these things. Especially with all the movement you have had in your career-I at least imagine;)-that all the success although amazing is still change and that it must in some little way sometimes add to this feeling of the ground being a little unsteady.

    I wonder if maybe I am projecting.hee hee.

    Somehow my business speeding up around xmas gave me a sense of pride and gratitude and also a sense of whoa….this horse called life is tricky to ride sometimes.

    I have gained 15 pounds this past year-I know how that can feel. I am working on the exercise too and better self care.

    Hugs and love

  16. Anonymous

    From someone who has had their husband gone from just a weekend at a time to 13 months at a time and many amounts of time in between I understand your feelings of lonliness, the blues, and waiting. But remember that absence truly does make the heart grow fonder and in the end you’ll grow to love and appreciate each other more because of it. Keep up the routine and surround yourself with what makes you happy and it will help to pass the time. I wish you peace in your heart (and fabulous weekends with your husband)!

  17. Deirdre

    The sunshine the past couple days definitely helps. Those winter blues are tough, especially when the rain just won’t stop and you’re not feeling grounded.

    So sorry to hear your sweetie is gone for school again. It must be difficult and lonely. I’m sending you a hug. xoxo

  18. betty

    oh and I love your shoes!

  19. geek-betty

    I feel you on this. my boyfriend lives an hour away and we only see each other once a week. it makes for a long week.
    great shoes!

  20. Liz

    amen sister, and can I ever relate… blues are skirting the edges of life these days, and the broom is not keeping them far enough away… turbulent is the word… I keep thinking of the name of that Joni Mitchell album, Turbulent Indigo, the words kind of sum up life these days… but wow do the blue skies and drifting clouds, after days and weeks of rain and grey, make for a new, if not perfectly perfect outlook… be well

  21. Cindy Ericsson

    Such sweet feet, like a young girl’s!

    My husband has always traveled quite a bit, and it is SO hard being apart, even though we’ve lived in the same town for almost 19 years and I have two sons to keep to me company (and BUSY) when he’s gone. I just want to be with the one who can tell how I’m feeling by how I look or breathe, you know?

    You are very wise to try to establish a routine/rhythm to your days to keep you on track. It makes it much easier to care for yourself (and be a better contributing partner to your marriage) and feel healthy in all ways. Keep on keeping on!


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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