by Chris de Serres

When fall comes around I get this feeling of being adrift.  The rain, cold, and lack of daylight starts creeping in to my soul.  I get sick more often and for longer periods.  My activity levels spiral downward.  Exercise becomes a chore.  I eat less healthy and based on emotions not hunger.  I begin to feel less and less satisfied with my body.  With my direction in life.  With those around me.  I’m less apt to get together with friends or just be in social situations.  I’ve always struggled to control what happens when the weather shifts.  Every day is it’s own little battle.  It can be so tiring, these days.

It is so easy to lose track of oneself.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell if being lost is the new normal.  There are so many ways to get in tune.  Meditation.  Yoga.  Exercise.  Yet, they all so easily fall away.  You find yourself depressed and struggling.  Not even sure why half the time.

I’m working on staying engaged.  Maintaining a presence within myself.  Checking in with my wife and daughter.  Finding energy to devote to them.  I remember my own father, who gave his best at work and came home with not much else to give.  I see him sitting in his recliner watching television.  I think that’s how i’ll always see him.  For some reason I just couldn’t imagine him in any other place.  I can’t recall meaningful conversation.  It was television or doing household maintenance on weekends.  I don’t recall him being engaged.  I see myself coming home from work and looking to withdraw somewhere.  I wonder if that will be what my daughter remembers about me.

Are fathers the remote parents?  The ones us children can’t quite figure out.  Elusive and unknowable.  Detached.  Bled completely dry at the end of the day from bringing home the bacon.  Because I am a man and a father and fathers have one important job in this world.  To provide for his family.  If that is accomplished then we need provide nothing more. I’ve seen it in my dad.  In my brother.  In many of my male friends and colleagues.  If they can do that then there job is finished.

Is that what we are always destined to be?