Even being mild, fall isn’t being kind to me. I lack motivation or the will to do much of anything besides sleep until 11:30 each day. If I am lucky, I convince myself to run 3 to 4 miles before heading into work at 3:30 p.m.
Last week I barely managed to run three days.
“This is all a good indicator that things aren’t the greatest at moment,” I thought yesterday, as the weather was nice enough for a run that I didn’t feel like taking. In better spirits I actually keep a gym bag in my back seat just in case I want to spontaneously run somewhere or go to the gym.
Sometimes I want to blame the source of this lack of motivation — moments of self-pity, lathargy, depression, whatever you are comfortable with calling it — on my work schedule.
Working 3:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. M-F right now and then going back to a regular schedule of F-Tues soon sure doesn’t make maintaining a social life (or group running schedule) easy, but I can’t blame all this on my work.
For as neurotic as it makes me (there are a lot of things I can do wrong that are instantaneously visible to everyone and then there are things I am learning everyone else prefers in terms of presentation and publishing online that sometimes conflict with one another) I do enjoy what I do. My little corner of journalism, which really isn’t too much journalism at all, can be fun (and, let me clarify, I publish stuff on the web, I’m not doing the reporting, hence the “isn’t too much journalism” comment).
No, work, and to a lesser degree, even the hours, are not the heart of my problem here. I have always been just a little more moody when the leaves fall and the gray skies swoop in. I’m sure a lot of people are affected by seasonal depression to some degree. I think of it as an allergy, some people have a greater degree of sensitivity to ragweed than others.
I have a greater sensitivity to fall and winter weather, unfortunately. (I always said I would love to live someplace warmer, but really could I stand being that happy all the time?)
Of course, unlike most people with allergy there isn’t really a magic pill to surpress the symptoms, at least not one that I am willing to take. And I don’t really help the situation when I knowingly chose to roll around in the pity, rather than force my ass off the couch and out the door (which I have tried to do more of in one way lately outside of running).
Recently, I came up with this list of simple things I am going to try to do to motivate myself and stay afloat emotionally for the next four months (shit that seems way too long):
- Find time to run, outside and in the cold. It’s going to be rough, because running long runs in groups with my work schedule will be next to impossible. But it made last winter much more bearable. And I do love it, even though I hate it when I’m looking at a clock at 5 a.m. and it is 2 below outside. I want to run Nashville’s marathon in the spring, and would love to do a marathon like NYC in the fall.
- Change my eating habits. This is more of a New Year resolution type of thing. I would love to set a goal of fixing one new, healthy recipe a week for 2012. My eating habits are those of an idiot. Basically, I eat a lot of starches and crap fast food. Of course any suggestions on approaches on how to do this are welcome (recipes, planning, etc.)
- Being more sociable. This one sounds stupid, I know. But it is so much easier to do things, without planning, when you work normal hours. You have seven days a week to just call people up and say, “Hey, what’s up?” or just show up somewhere you know people you know regularly hang out. Not so much when you are going into work at the same time everyone else is looking at clocks waiting to go home. Finding things to do on my evenings off that involve other people now involves planning. If I could incorporate poisoning small groups of friends with my weekly recipes that would be great too. Of course that would also mean cultivating a group of friends who would be into those types of shenanigans.
- Also, doing different things. There is a whole city out there I sometimes forget to explore. Like last night, there was this big balloon fest thing. I could have taken my camera and ooed and ahhed with people at this scenic park. I didn’t, because I was too busy just trying to get out of my house and not be depressed*.
There are other musts and approaches to digging out of the nice little hole I create to hide myself in that I am doing more of, but if I can add at least a couple of the above mentioned I know life would be swell again.
*One thing item I debated on adding to the list was to no longer listen to the Eels and other such sad music. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, and man, who wouldn’t want to curl up into a fetal position with a bag of potato chips after listening to songs like Novocain, Hey Man (Now you’re really living), or It’s a Motherf*cker?