Friday, February 20, 2015

Learning to Love the Desert

Parts of this post have been sitting for a couple of months waiting for me to finish it, and then decide if I was brave enough to share.

About a year and a half ago (shortly after James was born) I started struggling with postpartum depression.  When it first came on I was super stressed about my Mom being in the hospital that I didn't even realize I was dealing with that.  It took about a year after Mom got out of the hospital for me to finally admit to myself that I had depression.  I tried so hard to fool everyone into thinking I was happy and nothing was wrong that I fooled myself.  Once I did realize what was up I was able to shake the depression in just a couple of months.

But even though I haven't been dealing with depression since then, I have been dealing with general negativity.  Which I also tried to hide... except from Zach.  Poor guy had to put up with grumpy me off and on for several months before I realized just how grumpy and negative I was.

One of the things I have been having the most difficult time with is, the fact I live in the hot, dry, ugly desert.  During one of my more grumpy, negative moments I started a blog post all about how much I dislike the living in the Arizona desert.  And, surprisingly, when I went to write down my complaints all I could really come up with was four things I don't like.
  • I hate how mind numbingly (or should I say meltingly) hot it gets in the summer.
  • I hate how there is a 0.0000001% chance of snow in the winter, unless you want to drive 1.5 hours up the mountain.
  • I long for lots and lots of green with little watering because of the amount of rain.
  • Everything has thorns or fangs
Recently I have come to the realization that if I can't learn to be happy here then I won't really be happy anywhere.  Even if it were cooler, greener, and snowed in the winter.

I need to learn to love the desert.  I need to change my attitude, and quit looking for the bad.

So instead of a whole post dedicated to how much I don't like living here, I thought I would write about why I love living here.
  • I love the smell of the rain in the desert.
  • Nothing beats our sunsets.
  • Except for our Sunrises.  (Or so Zach says, it has been far too long since I've been awake enough to pay attention at dawn.)
  • There is beauty all around, you just have to look a little closer.
  • Having a desert themed/friendly yard (less plants, more rocks) makes yard work so much easier.
  • It makes our trips up the mountain/to somewhere cooler and greener that much more special
  • Amazing mountain views
  • Most of our family lives near here.
  • Did I mention the smell of the rain?  (Thank you creosote bush!)
  • The heat is a dry heat, which to me is better than being hot and muggy, with no chance of your sweat cooling you down.
  • Squash and zucchini grow really well here, which make for really good dishes (well for the first harvest or two... after that this particular bullet could be moved to the list of dislikes...)
  • Not all the poky, prickly, thorny plants are ugly.  There are some fantastic cactus formations.  And many have beautiful flowers.
  • If you haven't seen a desert night sky you need to come visit me.  You have no idea what you are missing out on.
  • The heat of summer makes autumn that much more welcome.
  • The desert comes to life during the spring.
  • Without the desert you wouldn't havWile ECoyote and The Road Runner

Just writing the list of why I do love the desert has already started to help me see the beauty here.

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