Solving February Blues With A Gratitude List on Valentines Day

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Cow's Paradise by Wendy Brayton

I’ve got the “February Blues” and am feeling a little like a country song on a turntable with a hitch playing the same lines over and over.

For me depression and procrastination go hand in hand which is why I am writing this blog at 3:00 am.

Do you ever feel like you no longer know who you are?

Somehow between sixteen years of marriage, raising children, work and school, I have lost myself.  Grad school has furthered this uncertainty as I leave my comfort zone of painting the way I know how to.

I was not joking when a few months ago I said that I felt a midlife crises coming.  Well it’s here and I am questioning all my decisions.

What to do?

When in crises . . . call a good friend. My good friend let me vent and said all the right things then reminded me of a time she was low and how I helped her.  Her suggestion was to not make life altering decisions at the moment of the crises and make a  gratitude list.

So here it goes . . .

Some of the things I am grateful for are:

  • a warm cup of tea in the morning
  • golden fields of mustard flowers
  • my obstinate but extremely intelligent son
  • my home
  • my friends
  • my family
  • the ability to dream
  • chocolate
  • the smell of the earth just after it has rained
  • my ability to paint

If you’d like additional suggestions on writing your own gratitude list, as well as attracting more prosperity into your life, visit Valentine’s Day is a great day to start your own gratitude list.

Part of this dream funk of mine may be that the weather this time of year and my busy schedule leaves me little time for plein air painting.  The cure may be to just pick up a brash and start painting!

Sonoma Winter Series 1 by Wendy Brayton

How do you cure your winter stress blues?



Wendy’s dream is still to become a influential international artist, but she left 8 Women Dream in March of 2010 to complete grad school.

  • Rachel

    Nice list. I don’t often come up with one that long myself. You’re going to do fine.

    Love the painting you posted on this one, too. I looked at it, and it just made me go “Aaahh…” and relax a little.

  • p.s. it is comforting to know somehow that we have ALL struggled with depression at times… and that we can get through it. :) I agree with Cath that seeking help is a good idea if it persists… I for one am finally going to see a therapist about the PTSD I suffered from for years… Writing my book has reminded me of all I’ve been through, and that it’s never too late to heal and move on…

    Sending hugs!!!

  • Hey Wendy…

    Sounds like you have a wise and wonderful friend – not making life-altering decisions at the moment of crisis is wise advice, as is making a gratitude list. I turn to that tactic often (gratitude lists!) when feeling down myself…

    I definitely fall into the thoughts sometimes of “how did I get here?” and “who am I?” and “where am I going next?” and find it helpful to remember at those moments all that I have, all of my blessings….

    You are not alone… I’m here walking this journey with you of figuring out who I want to be when I “grow up.” :) Hang in there!!!!

    Lots of love,

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Also Wendy ever since I was diagnosed with Hashimotos disease I no longer trust “feelings” as necessarily being what we think they are. Meaning what you describe could be your BODY trying to tell you that something is amiss.

    What you describe (the thoughts and feelings) can be the symptoms of –

    – Hypothyroidism (see,
    – Sleep apnea or sleep disorder (see,
    – Chronic fatigue syndrome (see,
    – Estrogen dominance or out of whack hormones (see,
    – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD),
    – Low vitamin D and Diabetes.

    My recommendation is you see a doctor who specializes in hormone treatments who will look for the root causes of your depression.

    There’s Dr. David Chappell in Petaluma who’s specialty is Diabetes, Endocrinology/ Metabolism and Internal Medicine (707) 762-0001. He discovered my Hashimotos disease and has it himself. My mother still sees him – he’s a wonderful person. He saved me.

    There’s Dr Jane Kennedy in Santa Rosa who holds events to answer your questions and help you ( –

    Women at Mid-Life—Health, Natural Hormones, and Beyond
    Date: Every 2nd Thursday of the Month
    Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
    Location: Gordon Medical, 3471 Regional Parkway, Santa Rosa

    Details: Combining 25 years of holistic clinical practice with her own personal experience, Jane has developed a unique approach to help you. Her pdf on the event is here:

    Cost: $20 [your registration fee will be applied to your next visit with Jane!] RSVP info: To reserve a space please call: 707-575-5180 You can also email her at

    Think of the scene in Fried Green Tomatoes, “I used to burst into tears for no reason at all! You need some hormones hmmm? Maybe some stress-tabs number 4 for good measure.”

    “Really? Is that all?”

    “Sure honey. You get yourself some hormones!”


  • Veronica

    Thank you for sharing. You are where I have been, you expressed it so well. The good thing about it is, that it is a part of life, and you will get through it and learn from it.
    So hey….
    you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
    you are experiencing life.
    you are taking the action to move through it, just by posting.

    I hope you know how much I enjoy your posts each week. We are all women and get to share and enjoy each other.
    Thank you sweetie…

  • Remy G

    Wendy – there was a time in my life where I was trying to be so many things for so many people – and the Impostor Syndrome set in! Depression can be so tricky cause for me, it seems to set up camp and not want to leave…so my gratitude list includes my son’s laughter, peanut flavored things, iced tea on a HOT day, snuggling under a big comforter with all the windows open, baseball season, my incredible family and friends, and the ability to feel passion and excitement for things – Happy Valentines day to you. Its a great day to remember to feel loved! Rem