One Thing I Know….

As many people do, I struggle with seasonal depression – sometimes referred to as SAD. Mid-December when the days are short and the temperatures are cold the world around me becomes heavy and it becomes increasingly difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning. I’m fortunate because I understand what’s happening to me and can take action to lessen my feelings of sadness and anxiety.

This winter has been more difficult than most; its extra cold and snowy and the sun seems to have run away to the Caribbean for the winter. I’ve no doubt that major life changes such as becoming an empty nester are also contributing to my feelings. The good news is the days are getting longer, I discovered light therapy, and a new outlet for sharing and engaging my creativity.

A month or so ago I bought a lamp that mimics natural outdoor light and have been using it daily. I do believe the light therapy is helping. At first it seemed  little strange to have a bright light shining directly on me for 30 minutes every morning and again in the evening, but now I’m used to it and almost look forward to it.

I stumbled onto the creative outlet quite by accident on Google+.  It’s called the #onething creative challenge and was started by  Katherine Tattersfield and Drew Myler (you can learn more about it here).

It’s self paced, anything goes and the goal is to create one thing daily, weekly, or whenever you get to it – it can be drawing, sculpting, writing, taking pictures, knitting, cooking…. etc. Then you post it in your feed using the#onething  hashtag. I was inspired by the wide range of entries and the camaraderie among the participants.

My first contribution to the challenge was my most complex and intricate ink journal entry so far. Undulate is the word that comes to my mind to describe the movement of colors and patterns through the middle of the drawing.

hearts and tears_7

My second creation was a simple drawing in my journal accompanied with my sentiments about creativity.

One thing I know
is that we are all creative
it just takes a while for some of us
to realize and accept our gifts.


The #onething challenge has already made a difference in my life. There’s a great energy among the people who are participating and it’s prompted me to once again take out my camera and take pictures of things that catch my eye.

Many people don’t see or understand – is that there is inspiration everywhere, and often-times in the least expected places, like the pavement in front of the gas pump.

I’m not sure why there was this lone shoe-string curled up in the shape of a heart and abandoned in the asphalt – but it caught my eye and I’ve no doubt that it’s the inspiration for some really fun drawing.

photo 3 b& w

I took a deep breath before posting the picture from the gas station. The positive and supportive comments about the picture made my fears of being rejected, laughed at, or even worse ignored seem almost silly. But we all know how real those fears can be.

Yesterday was my fourth day of participating and the snow covered ornamental grass in my front yard was my contribution for the day. One person said it made her think of cotton candy.

snow covered natural grass

Today’s blog post will by my #onething for today. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up the pace of contributing something every day, but it’s been a great spirit lifter.

I’m thankful the days are getting longer, the sun is shining today and I’ve found one more thing to help me through the season and feel less sad.

Hurry and arrive spring, I’m ready to take my camera out on the towpath again.

this makes me smile

10 thoughts on “One Thing I Know….

  1. I can only imagine how the freezing temps can add to your seasonal despair. Here in Southern California, we take the warm weather for granted and if it drops below 50, we have the nerve to complain! We’re such babies!

    I’m truly glad to hear how the #onething approach has enabled you to fill your empty nest with new and wonderful memories! The time spent wisely will pass and the summer sun will soon be replacing the heaviness you feel, and know that you’re not alone in all of this…all it takes is #onething to change it all, and you’ve found it!

    1. Chuck,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a lovely comment! You’re spot on when you say that sometimes it only takes #onething to make a major change and I’m so happy to have found it.

      I’m a huge believer in serendipity and I have no doubt that this creative challenge and the people I am meeting through found its way to me at just the right time. Can’t wait until summer and sunshine, but for now I’m inspired once again to think creatively and look at the world in a different and brighter way.

  2. Beth, thank you so much for sharing your story. I noticed your unease in your posts, but I didn’t know you were fighting these kinds of demons. I don’t know how you could ever think people would ridicule your work! Anyway, I’m thrilled you’re able to find such strength and courage by tapping into your creativity. This is the best #onething of them all.

  3. Light therapy is real. It is based on real science as I researched the category at work. A body has natural rhythms that become out of synch with the changes of season and the unnatural advent of day light savings time. In addition the body’s hormonal levels are regulated with related systems in addition to the skins production of vitamin d from sunlight. I am glad you found something that works for you.

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