Tuesday, November 13, 2007

To everything, there is a season

This November thing selects for quantity over quality, doesn't it? Though it's also pushing me to put up more photographs out of deadline desperation, and maybe that's all to the good. It certainly livens up the place. In real life, I crave sunlight and brightness and I'm not sure why I continue to inflict this dark, melodramatic template on everyone, except that I'm still kind of delighted by the way my late-night fiddling with color turned out. Also, I'm lazy.

I chose it because I was mired in grief and depression when I started blogging, and this is the template you wind up with if you're mired in grief and depression, I think. Well, no one who's been reading for long will deny that those have both had their place here.

I'm heading into the toughest part of my year, Thanksgiving through my birthday (early April). Well, I'm usually doing better a few weeks before my birthday, but I've learned not to count on it, or I wind up depressed about still being depressed, and that's just depressing, if you know what I mean.

This morning was hard. I had a hard night last night, and woke up to grey half-light, feeling bleak and pointless. Like being me was pointless.

Tuesday is the day I'm most committed to swimming, so I swam, but I managed it only through the inertia of driving a route I've memorized. You know the way you drive yourself to work, say, or the supermarket, mostly by telling yourself that's where you want to wind up? After you've set the destination, some not-quite-conscious part of your brain takes care of the navigation for you.

Well, first I drove home from dropping Z. off, even though the only reason I drove those four blocks was to continue on to the pool. But I drove home because I was trying to stay depressed. Luckily, parking is tight on our block, and there wasn't a spot near our house. Instead of circling, I let that not-quite-conscious navigator take me to the Y like it was originally planning to, anyway, but all the while I was lining up excuses to turn back: I just washed my hair yesterday anyway; I didn't want to be wet on such a grey day; it was already nearly 9:00 and I had a meeting at 11:00; I hate the smell of chlorine; etc.

My autopilot is sturdy, though. I tuned back in to my surroundings and found I'd made it to the locker room. There was another moment where I told myself how comfortable my clothes were and how cold my feet would be if I took them out of my shoes and socks, but really, the locker room is plenty warm. I took my time stowing things in the locker. I took my time with the lock. I got in the water because wouldn't I feel ridiculous changing into my bathing suit and not getting wet? I swam the first lap because I might as well, now I was wet.

In the end, I managed my half-mile. It didn't pull me out of the depression of the morning, but maybe it gave me enough of a boost that chatting with a friend at lunch and playing with Z. in the afternoon and a gift of flowers from my sweetie in the evening let me climb out the rest of the way.


Jenny Davidson said...

Good work on the swim...

kathy a. said...

((( S ))) yay, autopilot! i avoid exercise like swimming by the expedient of never getting a routine going at all....

Julia said...

I love autopilot. I am glad in the end things conspired to make for a better day, even if only by the end of it. Hope today is better from the start.

I took myself to the gym yesterday too, even though things (mainly parking) were conspiring to prevent that. But then I only spent a little bit of time there, cause I was running late. And I skipped today. Where's that autopilot thingie?

Magpie said...

Autopilot. So that's what it's called.

Glad you got your swim in. Do it again, soon. And again. It'll help.

S. said...

Jenny, sometimes the hardest part is getting in the water!

Yeah. Yay, autopilot! It's nice to think there's a part of me that can ignore all my impulses towards self-sabotage. I wonder why it can't get me to sleep on time, though?