Friday, April 30, 2010

Somewhere between half empty and half full.

Last week, on Monday night, I came home after being gone from my house for 14 hours (which were my Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays all semester long) the first thing I did walking into the house was to glower at Jake, aka a$$hole dog, because of the constant phone calls and emails that he'd gotten back out again.  He had been running back and forth for a while between our house and then neighbor's house, being spoiled rotten because they had just had to put their dog down and really love Jake.

He quickly tired of that because it neither aggravated me nor cost me money and headed back into the neighborhood again.  All my neighbors love Jake.  Of course they do  They don't  spend as much money and time on him as we have, trying to contain him and his destruction.

So I glowered at Jake.  I just didn't have it in me to be happy to be home, or to respond to his happy wagging tail.

I looked at my watch as I set down my briefcase: 9:15 PM.    I looked around.  There was nothing to eat.  "I'm going to bed," I said, and I know I said it flatly because I felt flat.

Sweet Baboo followed after he put the dogs to bed.
"I miss the way you used to be," he sighed, "optimistic and happy."

"Yeah, well, I miss me too," I muttered.  Then I went to sleep, until 3:30 am, when my largest cat woke me, as she does every morning.

It doesn't seem like things used to affect me this strongly.  My outlook this semester became completely skewed.  Everything was a reflection of how crappy the world is.  What was once minor setbacks or glitches now seem like proof that everything sucks.  Flat tire?  Suck.  Cable company runaround?  Suck.  Naughty dog?  Suck.
I never thought a single semester would take so much out of me, but I never took on so much before.  And, my best means of coping was thwarted by a bitter, wet winter.

And as the semester dragged on and I exhausted my coping skills, my optimism and happiness accounts were drained. My normal self sees everything as a sign that things will always work out, and that people are generally decent.  I felt a constant sense of dread and anger that I couldn't shake

I knew things were bad when I found myself wanting to slap the crap out of every cheerful person I saw.

Now the semester is over I've had some free time.  I'm coming back,  slowly.  The world looks a little prettier today.  The apple tree, wisteria, and lilacs are blooming.  Just yesterday, I told Baboo in the car excitedly, I love running down our street in the dark because of all the motion detector lights that go off as I go by.  It's like they'll all doing the 'wave', just for me.

That's the old me talking.  The old me is what gets me through another Ironman or ultra-marathon when I've run the numbers and the numbers say that I won't make it.  It's an important part of who I am, this unrealistic belief that things will always work out, people are not intrinsically bad, and for every start line, there is a finish line and I will cross it.

I have to be careful, though.  It doesn't take much to make me feel tired and discouraged, all over again.  It's like I've had an ultra marathon of stress, and I need time to recover.  I need some serious down time for that to happen.

I need some good long, runs, too.  Then I'll feel better.



  1. Happy to hear that you're getting back to the person you want to be... here's hoping you'll have time for those long runs and other leisure time activities :)

  2. That article sounds familiar to me. I have been like that and feel like I am headed to the dark side. I hope the positive side comes back soon!

  3. Thank you for this post. I found it incredibly inspiring. I appreciate your honesty and your sense that optimism will prevail! It is so helpful for me to know I'm not alone in what I'm trying to accomplish (40-something, parenting, working full time, going to school, training for a half marathon, etc.). And it is helpful to know that I'm not alone in feeling absolutely depleted and defeated by what my life feels like at times.

    Thank you for helping me feel more hopeful, especially during my last few days of the semester. I wish you the same, along with the time and activities to nourish your body, mind, and spirit!

  4. I totally get how one ting can alter your life (your school semester). Thanks for sharing and heres to a return to the up and up. Cheers!

  5. Life can be like that sometimes.....glad to hear you're feeling like you're coming back. Also might be worth a check of your thyroid and adrenal levels, given some of the stresses you've been under. Best :)

  6. Amazing how the removal of that stress of a ridiculous schedule can bring you back to what is really important and what is your true self.

    I know every time I get to the other side of one of those crazy semesters/years/seasons I think "I am never f-ing doing that again! So not worth it" Yet, I seem to do it again. And again.

    Maybe this is the year we learn life is not a race, and she who dies with the most letters after their name does not necessarily win.

    On the other hand a life not fully realized is wasted as well. I guess it is all about that ever illusive balance.

    As always thank you for your honesty and making me think about how I am willing to use (or waste)the precious commodity I can not buy back, time.

  7. I can totally relate...the lack of rest and over-filled schedule are things I try so hard to avoid now. I hate losing myself. So glad to hear you've crossed back over to the half-full side...enjoy your runs and welcome back :)

  8. I think we all get this way sometimes. I know I do. Times when life can just suck the joy right out of us. Mine usually comes from an adopted child who has been a constant challenge for six years now and some days I just don't have it in me to be level headed or understanding, so I just close off. Then a few days later, my emotions blow over and I can start again until stress rears its ugly head again. Don't feel alone and try to find one thing of joy or beauty in every day. Glad you are coming back.


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