The List

I’m kidding myself on a daily basis. Over and over again I tell myself that everything is alright.  Tell me I’m not alone in this.




I go through the motions fine.  Up early, work my eight hours, sometimes work the second job for five more after that, or go home and figure out dinner.  Maybe a rehearsal or a meeting after that.  It’s a lot to do.  I’m glad I don’t have kids to wrangle on top of all of that.

I’m happy to do all of these things (well, maybe not the working part always) but as time continues, dissatisfaction bubbles up more than it has in the past.

What causes it though?  Seasonal Affective Disorder?  Indigestion because I’m eating stuff my stomach can’t really handle anymore?  Just generalized malaise in a life that has become predictable and known?  Some hidden mental situation that I don’t even recognize yet?  An impending physical condition with symptoms that haven’t yet become evident?  It could be any number of things.

I honestly don’t know.  But I can try to figure out what can keep me going.  And you can, too, if you’re in the boat with me.  Come up with your list of saving graces.

1. Give hugs.  Lots of them.  Ask for them when you need them, too.

2. Smile at strangers.

3. Watch a movie you love.  Watch it more than once.  Repeat all the lines with the actors.

4. Help out someone that you don’t have to.  Help out someone you should be helping on a regular basis.

5. Tell a loved one what they mean to you.

6. Read more.

7. Laugh.

8. Call instead of text.

9. Sit in a sunny spot for a spell.

10. Cook someone you love a meal.

11. Fight for a cause you believe in.

12. Do charity work.  Give money to a charity you haven’t helped before.

13. Create something.

I’ve tried to do several of these things this week, and I’m looking to do the others and to keep adding to the list.  And the list might not make me feel completely better, but it helps.

Maybe this feeling is what they call the midlife crisis.  I’m not sure that I know anyone who has had one of those to be able to ask them for confirmation, but I’m pretty sure those are supposed to just be a phase.  So I’m going to try to keep doing things that take care of myself and those I care for and see what happens.

So, until next time, I’ll be belting some Alice Merton in my car on the way to the grocery store for dinner supplies for a meal with the hubs, and hoping for the best.

Marcie Herman Riebe

Marcie is a bilingual caseworker by day, a university adjunct by night, and an aspiring writer at times in between. An import to NEPA, she has been active in the arts for many years from theatre to forensics to music. Her interest in the arts continues as founder of Ink, an area writer's group, a founding member of Voce Angeli (NEPA's only all-female chamber choir), and as a columnist for Thirty-Third Wheel. She loves all things Pittsburgh, particularly the University of Pittsburgh where she earned her Master of Arts in Linguistics. She lives in Scranton with her handsome husband, Pete, and their horde of cats: Napoleon, King Ajax, Sam, and Dean.

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