Monday, December 14, 2009

Winter blues

I've been feeling blue for at least a couple of weeks now, and though I know progress isn't an upward slant but an upward-slanting sine wave, periods like this can be hard to ride out. I've got my wonderful community, of course, and my involvement with it still brings me joy on a pretty regular basis. But I feel stuck with regard to work -- no projects on the horizon, very few phone screens since I turned down two job offers a couple months ago -- and uncertain about my current academic path, such as it is. When people ask me what I'm studying, I'm more weary of repeating myself than excited to tell them.

I've considered the possibility that the antidepressant I'm on is contributing to my general sense of emotional flatness, but I wonder if I suspect the Lexapro because I've heard other people say that SSRIs can cause emotional flatness. The power of suggestion works both ways; it can make you feel like your meds are helping you, or it can make you wonder whether they're hurting you. I imagine the increasingly gray Seattle skies, my singleness, my overweight, the overeating that's sustaining that overweight, and the lack of exercise in my life are all contributing factors to this year's early-onset S.A.D. Last year at this time, the Kibbutz was still something new in my life, and New Year's Eve brought the beginning of a relationship that lasted longer, and became more emotionally significant, than I expected. This year, the Kibbutz is still meaningful but not nearly as novel, and I don't feel particularly confident about presenting myself to the world, whether in a dating context or just socially.

I think my #1 problem right now is sagging self-esteem due to physical inactivity. When I danced at the Moishe House Chanukah party the other night, it only took about 10 minutes, if that, to utterly exhaust me. I was practically wheezing, and I felt a desperate need to lie down. There have been times in my life -- my bar mitzvah, the year 2004 -- when I was so out of shape that I couldn't dance for very long. Here I am again, in the middle of one, only this time it happens to coincide with a unit on fitness in my nutrition class. Looking at all the toned models in the book's supposedly helpful pictures, I felt that the distance between where I am and where I want to be is vast. Even moderate fitness feels unattainable.

My main goal for 2010 is to make exercise a regular part of my life. I want to do on the fitness front what I did this year, with the help of my wonderful life coach, in the area of money management. Thanks to our work, I make a budget at the beginning of each month and am much more conscious of how and why I spend money the way I do. Prediction: If I can make the sort of progress with exercise in 2010 that I did with money in 2009, I'll be much happier by 2011.

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