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If you’re a sailing ship and you’re somewhere near the equator in the Atlantic or Pacific, with nary a breeze, calm and clear skies for days on end… you’re caught in the doldrums.

If you’re Milo from Norton Juster‘s “The Phantom Tollbooth” (a favorite children’s contemporary fantasy of ours), and while driving along in your toy car you are suddenly caught in a place where imagination and cheer are not allowed, where the list is the same every day…you’re caught in “The Doldrums.”

And if you’re a Vermonter in the first weeks of March, where your patience is beginning to wear thin from grey skies full of yet another snowstorm, daily temperatures under 30 degrees, the unchanging fawn and white palette of the horizon and landscape… you might be in the doldrums.

I think the term is perfectly suited to describe how many New Englanders are feeling of late.

Yesterday, I listened to my daughter and her violin teacher play Pachelbel’s Canon for me and fell into a reverie.  The next thing I knew, I was using my smart phone to search “Cheap Fares to Hawaii.”

This morning I daydreamed while reading the Philadelphia Flower Show webpage.

In times like these, you need a sound strategy to stay positive.  I’m no weaky.  In fact, I love the challenge that the Doldrums sends my way.

Yesterday my fabulous vet told me that my fabulous fat cat, Schilling, needed to go on a diet. He needs to lose a POUND AND A HALF.

I’ve got 5 house cats, all, and so the plan is to make a box with a small opening in it for the others to go into to get their chow, while Schilling sups on his controlled allotment.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

But I thought, “Hey, if Schilling’s got to cut down, then so will I.”  And so starting today, I’m going to begin to do something I hate.  (I don’t like to use that word much -as a friend once admonished my child “You don’t hate anything but sin.”)

I’m going to start jogging.

Catch me if you can, Doldrums!

The Big Schill
The Big Schill

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