Being Blue

Blue is my favorite color, and I’d have to assume it’s my mother’s too, for that period of time she spent dyeing everything blue.  And I mean everything. The laundry room was a battlefield, and lucky were the garments to escape with their color of origin. Pillowcases, towels, favorite shirts, nothing was off-limits. I was a senior in high school I believe when this trend started. My father, (the more reasonable parent when he wasn’t drinking), had moved out by this time, and my younger brother, sister and I were left with the blue fairy, so essentially, to fend for ourselves. Exclamations were often heard from my upstairs bedroom from the first floor laundry room by my siblings, “What the hell!?” “Are you kidding me?” or “Aaah, that was my work shirt!” Within seconds I knew it was the work of the mysterious laundry fairy, most likely striking in the wee hours of the morning.

I learned, much like everything else, if I wanted it done correctly (in this case, not dyed blue) it was best to figure it out on my own, do my own laundry, and keep everything out of my mother’s path. I searched for a logical answer to the question or a method to the madness, but I soon realized asking, “Why the HELL ARE YOU DYEING EVERYTHING BLUE?” would have no reasonable answer, much like “Why do I have to buy milk and make sure everyone gets to school?” or “Where the hell have you been for the last three days, mom?”

An analysis of the psychology of the color blue states that it’s reliable and responsible. Blue seeks peace and tranquility above everything else, promoting both physical and mental relaxation. It reduces stress, creating a sense of calm and relaxation. Maybe my mother’s dyeing everything blue was a desperate search for peace, for tranquility for the mind she could never quiet, and the world she found so overwhelming. I’ve never been a big fan of common cliché sayings, “Everything happens for a reason,” or “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and the like. In recent years, however, on a quest for my own blue, or peace from my past, I’ve learned it best to find peace with circumstances that aren’t fixable.  For years I tried to fix and change things, to piece together what was broken, and I found it exhausting and depleting. I decided instead to create better circumstances for myself, and that I would stop at nothing to make that happen.

Creating your own blue often means accepting what can’t and won’t change, and responding with patience, grace, and poise. Anger and resentment won’t move you forward, people have limitations and understanding and accepting this is important on your quest for the color (not to mention it makes you a more compassionate person that people enjoy hanging out with).

It’s my hope that everyone finds his or her blue, that everyone struggling, hurting, or lonely finds a hand to hold and that no matter how trying the circumstances, can still look up and the sky and see blue. Blue is the color of the spirit, and if you so choose, nobody has the power to change that. (And you can do it without dye).


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