It seems that about every 4-5 weeks, I experience a total motivation meltdown.  I can’t stick to my eating plan (which I prefer to ‘diet’).  I don’t feel like exercising – or, when I do, my workouts are frustrating at best and injury-ridden at worst.  It would be tremendously convenient to blame this on hormones – four weeks being a normal cycle and all – but that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with it.  I just get in a bad mood spiral, and just keep going down and down and down no matter what I do to try to improve it.  This is one of those weeks.

Like this morning: I got up early with the intention of eating breakfast, preparing and packing our lunches, making coffee, and doing my hair before catching the bus at 7:36.  I accomplished all of those things EXCEPT eating my breakfast, which may have been the triggering event for the rest of the morning.  I hastily stuffed my lunch, coffee, mail, headphones, iPod, organizer, and wallet in my bag as I ran (unnecessarily, as it turned out) to catch the bus, resulting in a jumbled bag, messed up hair, and unnecessary sweatiness.  I tried to stop at a favorite breakfast spot to get takeout, but they didn’t open for another 15 minutes, and I didn’t want to wait 15 minutes to place an order that would take another 10.  I spilled coffee on myself while walking to another breakfast option, where I picked up a decidedly lackluster omelet that took 15 minutes to prepare.  I missed a call from Shane, who I had been texting throughout my frustrating commute and breakfast quest.  I realized that my top was really too low cut to wear without another shirt underneath.  I arrived at work 15 minutes late and a total mess, tear-stained from a 3 minute crying jag in the bathroom, overly warm from unplanned walking, overly hungry from delayed breakfast, and utterly unable to resist the breakroom Oreos.

It’s like a series of dominos: one small thing triggers another small thing, which then feels like a bigger thing than it really is simply because it has the weight of multiple small things behind it.  Nothing bad happened this morning – or last night, for that matter, when my mood was just as stormy – so there’s nothing to fix, per se.  It’s just that for every frustrating thing that happens, it takes at least one happy, spontaneous, or encouraging thing to lift me back up.  Like this whimsical desktop wallpaper.  Or the awesome lunch that I have waiting for me in a couple of hours.  Or ten minutes spent writing an email to a friend I haven’t heard from in forever.  Or a diet soda and a walk to the post office.

Let’s hope the rest of the week brings more positives than negatives – and that the bad mood that’s been going around moves on for good.


CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past,” said comedian Lily Tomlin. I recommend that you make this a keynote during the next six months. According to my understanding of the astrological omens, you will have the best opportunity you’ve had in a long time to put some of your unsettling memories to sleep for good. This is your big chance to graduate from old anxieties that can never be resolved. You’re finally ready to declare your independence from messy burdens and maddening riddles that have haunted you.

I’m not sure what exactly Free Will Astrology is trying to tell me, but it seems like the cosmos wants me to be broken wide open and, like, deep down in my vulnerabilities, struggles, and fears in 2011. I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

What I am ready – or really want to be ready – for is to find some kind of peace with all of the things in my life over which I have no control. I was thinking about this last night as I was trying so hard to fall asleep after two restless nights. I don’t know where that peace comes from, but I’d like a generous helping of it for my birthday. Also ice cream.

Winter is On Notice

40% oppressive black cloud of poor sleep, heavy snow, and full-body soreness
40% exceptional productivity thanks to Pomodoro, which I will no doubt talk about at great length soon
5% eating giant pastry from Graeter’s
5% rescuing Shane and Julian when they got locked out of Julian’s car

The oppressive cloud finally broke about 25 minutes ago, or 5 minutes into my shred.  It is remarkable the difference that exercise makes once I can force myself to do it.  Tonight that forcing involved the promise of a glass of wine and a hot bath, which is good because despite 30 minutes of jumping around in the basement, I still can’t really feel my toes from my venture out in the cold.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll get around to the 12 Books round up, or maybe I’ll tell you about Pomodoro, or maybe I’ll bring you up to date on my first week of shredding.  For now, though: bath, wine, and zines.  Stat.

This is a pretty good representation of how I’m feeling these days – a little tired, a little out of sorts, a little reflective, a little grey.  I met with my doctor to discuss my medication on Monday – we’re upping the (still quite low) dosage to see if that helps with the blues until the abundance of natural light comes back in a few months.  For years my dad has experienced SAD-type symptoms – I don’t recall that my mental or emotional state has been so affected, but the last couple of winters have been hard, so I’m willing to consider that my disrupted circadian rhythms might have something to do with it.

How do you combat the winter blues?

26 September 2008

We’re in the middle of a fucking terrible financial crisis, and in the middle of the Political Season That Will Not Ever End Ever, and they evacuated the building across the street from my library this afternoon because of a suspicious package, and I read on the train that our CO2 emissions were up this year, with the end result being a prediction than in 100 years it won’t just be bad – it’ll be cataclysmic, and I’m just so tired of sad and scary news.  I’m tired.

Resolution Check-In

With 6 months down and 6 months to go in 2008, it’s time for a resolution check-in:

1. Read two books for pleasure each month.

14 books so far, including one adorable childrens’ book that bizarrely made it to our New Bookshelf at work, so I’m actually ahead of schedule.  And no, this doesn’t include any of my textbooks, finished or otherwise.

2. See 12 movies in the theatre.

So far we’ve seen There Will Be Blood, Atonement, Michael Clayton, Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull, Iron Man, and WALL-E, so I guess I’m right on track here, too.  WALL-E and Michael Clayton were the best, in very different ways.

3. Take a trip west of the Mississippi (and also west of Iowa).

Not yet, but we’ve confirmed that we’ll be spending Christmas in Carlsbad.  Also, I’m presenting at conferences in Denver and Monterey.  This one will definitely happen.

4. Go to Bonnaroo or Coachella.


5. Put $5,000 in savings by the end of the year (sub item: and leave it there).

No comment.  Paying tuition has killed me this semester.

6. Finish Couch to 5K and run a 5K.

Check!  I ran the Kelley Cares 5K in early June, and plan to run more in the fall.  I’d like to do a 10K next year.

7. Continue weight training and do an unassisted pull up.

Less successful on this one.  I took a lot of time off from lifting this spring due to shoulder and knee problems.

8. Finish my CAS.

I’m on target to defend my thesis in the fall, however I’m going to be one credit hour short of finishing unless I take another class.  If that’s all that I have left at the end of the year, I’m fine with it.

9. Get published.

So far this year I have 3 accepted conference proposals (all co-written), 1 accepted (and award winning?) co-written virtual poster, and 3-4 conference and journal submissions outstanding.  Not bad!

10. Find a church.

We’ve been sporadically attending services at Del Ray United Methodist Church, which we both really like.  We found it when we went there with my family on Easter.

11. Reconsider therapy and/or medication.

I tried therapy with the GW staff counselor person, but I mainly found her annoying and “let’s fix it”-y.  I did go back on medication, though, and it seems to be doing a lot to even me out.  I go back this week for a six month evaluation.

12. Beat SB at Zooloretto or Alhambra.

I won at Zooloretto in January, but have been soundly defeated in almost every other game since then.  Between Shane and our friend Kevin, I just don’t stand a chance.

13. Finish 2007’s Bond-watching resolution.

We’ve watched two Bond movies this week, and have now made it to the ill-fated George Lazenby era.  15 to go!

monday monday

I’m DONE!!!!11!!1!!! for the semester. I’m honestly fairly happy with the paper, which is significant as I wrote it in less than 24 hours.

I just came from a very positive meeting with my adviser wherein we discussed my CAS project, as well as the current half-assed job hunt. She’s not keen on me leaving, but it’s not her decision, and when I told her more about the primary promising opportunity, she got excited about it as well. We brainstormed on the project for a bit, and I owe her a proposal in a couple of months. I’m fine with all of these things.

It is 81 outside, and I’m looking forward to working in the yard tonight and NOT suffering from overwhelming guilt because I’m not accomplishing something else.

On a less bright and sunny note, I had another panic attack this morning at work. I say ‘another’ because it occurs to me that at least part of the misery and headachey stress of last week was probably panic attack-y things. It’s been a couple of years since I had a bad bout of depression, so I’ve sort of forgotten the side effects. Here’s hoping that the dramatically decreased stress level coupled with a bunch of yoga and exercise and sunshine will keep this one at bay.