Color Me Happy

It has been raining cats and dogs for a week in Atlanta. To say the weather mildly depressed me, is an understatement. My normal colorful aura now matched the bleakness outdoors. I also had a cold, which made things worse!  In fact, I will share a mental visual with you on how bad things were!

Picture this: It is late last Monday evening, raining, and my cold has finally hit me full force. I am coughing so hard I can’t stop. Two dogs have their heads on my chest, bouncing in rhythm with my spasms. I gently push them to the side and get off the couch hoping to find something in the bathroom medicine cabinet to soothe me. The image staring back at me in the mirror is scary. My hair, normally bouncy, was flat and in odd spikes towards the crown. Grey was the color of my roots and my mood.  Sad, tearing eyes were accented with dark circles. To my dismay, but not unexpected, there was nothing in the medicine cabinet to take for my cough.

Lately, I am unprepared for anything at home. The only staple in my house is dog food.

I had no energy to run out to the drug store. I could not stop coughing. I had a sharp pain in my head from hacking so hard.

Surely I had something I could take!

Next stop was the kitchen. My hopes were high as I flung open the pantry. No honey. No syrup. No tea. Nothing, except an outdated box of microwave popcorn.

Frantically, I pulled open the bottom cabinet. Tucked in the back was a bottle of bourbon, leftover from my cousin’s visit last spring. There was a half-inch of booze in the bottle. I grabbed it, twisted off the cap, and took a quick swig. My throat calmed immediately. I felt a warm fuzzy go through my body. I relaxed.

The dogs and I curled up in bed. I caught another image in the mirrored closet door that horrified me. I had become the old dog lady of my nightmares. My flat hair outlined in grey was the least of my chagrin.  My usual lovely looking bed was unsightly. The vintage quilts I love to snuggle in were lumped up on the bed. A dog head peeked out from under the pile. Dressed in my pink knit sweater and turquoise polka-dot PJ bottoms, I looked rumpled and frumpy. The only good news, the colors blended nicely with the quilts. Five dogs were sprawled in all positions around me on the bed. The almost empty bottle of bourbon, tightly tucked under my arm, was ready in case of a coughing attack. The last thing I remember, my hound dog licking my bare feet as I fell asleep.

“I looked like a derelict!” I told my best friend when I called her the next morning.

“You need to re-stage that and get a photo. Perfect for your next book cover!” She always inspires me.

My cold is over. But the rain lingered for longer than my sanity could handle. I was in a funk, depressed all week. I was late opening my shop. I let the dust bunnies roll across my hardwood floors. I went to dinner with a friend wearing the white T-shirt I had slept in for three nights, covered by a sweater vest. I did spray my favorite perfume around my shoulders before I ran out into the rain to meet her. When I don’t wear perfume, put me in the ground.

This morning the sun has come back to visit. It is bright outside my window. The leaves are sparkling, as if covered in diamonds. I am euphoric. My energy level is high.

This week taught me two things.

Keep cough syrup at home.

The merits of sun are not over rated.

Research has shown that sun is a key factor in our moods, energy levels, and outlook on life. Extended periods of cloudy weather can make people irritable, stressed, and depressed. (Me this week!) This is also a problem for people who work inside and miss getting out in the sun.  The medical community has a name for those who suffer from depression due to lack of sun, SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The sun, a natural source of Vitamin D, protects against a host of diseases. Even though there are many benefits from being in the sun for brief periods of time, many experts worry the health warnings about skin cancer may keep people from getting a proper amount of sunshine. Vitamins are recommended to fill in for lack of sun.

I am not a health expert. You need to do your own research.

I do know that between writing and working in my shop, I am rarely outside. My last blood test was excellent, except my vitamin D levels were way too low.

“You need to take a vitamin D supplement,” my tiny doctor, with her thick German accent, waved her scrawny finger in my face. “Your body is not functioning well without it.”

“I just started taking vitamin D!” I was so excited I could say something positive about my health. I had received a sample of Easy-2-Swallow vitamins a few weeks prior to my visit and wrote about them in a post here on The Balancing Act. My smile was eager, waiting for her praise.

“Well, lose some weight before your next check-up.” She closed my chart and left.

You can’t please everyone all the time

However, I am pleased as punch today! One morning of sunshine has chased away a week of lethargy and depression. I am my old self. My mood has a lightness about it that makes me hum.

Oh, that bottle of bourbon, it still has a tiny sip left. I’ve placed it back where I found it. You know, in case another health crisis! Chances are I’ll forget to buy that cough syrup. I am over my cold now.

The sun is enticing me to get outside. I am not over wanting to bask in its glory. In just a minute I’ll be heading out to my deck with five dogs yapping at my heels. I am working on my healthy dose of sunshine today. The vitamins are a daily given. After all, they are Easy-2-Swallow!

Color me happy! I am no longer blue.

Watch The Balancing Act’s segment on Easy-2-Swallow vitamins here: www.thebalancingact.com/story/?id=3557.

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