Has it really been four months since I've posted here?
Why so long?
The usual reasons--teaching, writing, grading, family. Agonizing self-consciousness, since it seems that some of my relatives check in to read this, which I'd never expected. Grinding doubts about the project. (How many blogs do I still read with any regularity? Who does this one really serve?) Conference-going; post-conference scrambling; extra committee work. The allure of the 143-character tweet.
Also, though, another reason.
Since mid-April, more or less, I've been wrestling what I guess you'd call a mild case of depression. I had to take a lot of pseudo-ephedrine to deal with a sinus problem, which screwed up my sleep, and somehow things just snowballed. For six weeks, more or less, I would wake up scowling and cursing, still exhausted, and my mind seemed tuned to what Annie Lamott calls KFKD, that inner radio station that broadcasts, nonstop, that everything you've done and are doing is wrong. I'd spend most of the day the same way.
I call it "mild" because I held it together for my classes, usually. But before and after them, I was a wreck.
One result of this was a sort of grim, determined pulling back from social media--and from social activities more generally. I told myself this was about the workload, an effort to be more efficient, but in retrospect it seems more a sort of electronic version of curling up in a corner of the closet. (If you could see my closets, you'd know why I had to do this electronically.)
I actually hadn't thought anyone noticed the change. Until, that is, a couple of weeks ago, my wife asked me, "who are you, and what have you done with my husband?"
Long story short, I've been making some changes in the sleep regime, the exercise regime, the medical regime. Lots of regime change all around. Aside from one or two crashing returns to the blues, things seem to be getting better, so I'm giving these shifts a few weeks. If they work, fine; if not, don't worry, I'll get professional help. (I find it hard to imagine that they won't, as my natural state is so buoyant--but then, maybe that natural state is changing as I age? Well, we'll find out.)
And since one effect of the downward slide seemed to be a lack of posting here, I figure one way out might be to start sending these little messages out into the ether again--not so much about myself, I hope, but about what I'm reading, writing, thinking, doing this summer.
My first in a decade without teaching, by the way. And the kids off at day camp. Time to get something--finally, finally--done.