Monday, April 07, 2008

Bad Mental Hygiene

Yes, I know, I've been a slug, not posting for so many days in a row!

I was really swamped last week and this weekend: meetings, grading, grad committees, more grading, a visit to a local book club -- which was very enjoyable, but did take time -- yet more grading . . . you get the idea. (My students, of course, would say, "If you don't want to have to do all that grading, don't assign the papers!" They have a point.)

I got everything done, but my usual self-care disciplines went somewhat to pot in the process. Specifically, I haven't exercised for the last two days.

Which is why I woke up this morning -- too late to exercise today, either -- feeling like a clump of dirt that had been scraped off someone's shoe. This is very familiar depression territory: when I'm off meds, I tend to feel awful in the morning and gradually improve throughout the day. Even though I'm now on meds, lack of exercise is a sure way to trigger a relapse. So I knew what was going on, which didn't make it any more fun. I even found myself doing my little "twenty-five people who'd miss me if I were no longer on the planet" regimen, which I haven't had to do for several months now, probably since the last time I missed this much exercise. (Off meds, I wind up making my little list at least once every few weeks.)

It was all very tiresome, and I was annoyed that I'd allowed myself to get back into such bad shape, but at least I had a healthy cognitive perspective on the whole thing. And, sure enough, the day got better: both of my classes went well (my students were being very funny and made me laugh, which helped), and when I got home, I found a lovely gift from the Boston couple who were in Kaua'i with us: a copy of Oscar and the Pink Lady, a book they'd read in its original French and loved, and recommended to me. They sent it as a thank-you gift for the fact that we'd included them in the trip, and I was very touched.

Tonight, Gary and I are going to rewatch Jurassic Park, so we can see all that interior-of-Kaua'i scenery we missed because we weren't willing to shell out $270 for the helicopter ride. I'll knit. Tomorrow, I have a meeting in the morning, but then I'll definitely swim.

So I know that things will get better. I must say, though, that there are times when Life gets in the way of exercise, and I kind of resent not being able to take a few days in a row off, the way most people can. On the other hand, I'm grateful to have found something that's actually good for me that helps my mood so much!


  1. Anonymous6:42 AM

    Dear Susan,

    Welcome home from Kau'ai! And congratulations on surviving the shock of re-entry to regular life, especially as it sounds as if your regular life has been super-busy.

    About that list of twenty-five people who would miss you if you weren't here? I'm sure there are a lot more than that!! And I would definitely be one of them.

    Thinking of you, praying for you, and pulling for you for life to look up,


  2. Thank you very much, Jean! I know there are more than twenty-five, but twenty-five is usually enough to get me thinking sensibly again!


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