Journal

Task Lists, Fall Ennui, and the Influence of Fiction

Well, it’s the start of a new week, and hopefully it’ll be a more productive week than the last two. This past week, I primarily focused on getting back on the horse. I made sure to keep up my reading of one short story per day (best habit ever!), and began the hunt through the moving boxes for the notebook that contains several hand-written rough drafts that need to be converted to Word documents. I’ve just about burned through the Sims fever, which feels good, and I did manage to get some other must-be-done tasks checked off my list. I also attended the Zoom Write Place meet up to update my goals, which I’m trying to keep moderate moving into a new month. (How is it already September?! Where did August go?)

I’ve been wondering how much this sudden ennui is related to the start of the change in season. In the past, Fall has been my favorite season, in part because that’s when my birthday is, but more generally because I love the crispness in the air and the leaves and apples and costumes and the smell of woodsmoke. Fall in New England is an enchanted time. Some people have always found Fall depressing, and in the last couple years, I’ve noticed that the change in season also accompanies a downswing in my mood. It was in November a couple years ago that I realized I really, really needed to see someone about anxiety and depression. I don’t suffer from clinical depression, as some of my colleagues and friends do, but there’s a decided pattern to it, which over the past year I’ve done some good work on. This year, with all the present weirdness due to plagues, etc., I’ll need to find a new counselor, since my old one is Massachusetts-based and can’t see me now that we’ve moved. I’m still figuring out how I feel about that, and wondering where I’ll find a counselor here in NH. But so far the need hasn’t been dire, and in the past year has been pretty mild, so I’ll probably wait and see how it goes. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on CBT, so I still have a lot of those tools in my back pocket should I need them while looking for a new counselor.

I’ve also realized that other than short fiction, I’ve been remiss in reading much fiction. So yesterday, stuck under Goldbug while he napped, I ordered some novels I’ve been meaning to read (along with several short story collections, too, why not?). So we’ll see how that goes. I need to be a tad careful in the type of fiction I read at this time of year, because a heavy/depressing read can really drag me down. So I’ll have to keep an eye on picking some lighter, major-key fiction to focus on. Maybe reread Hitchhiker’s Guide or something like that: my mood-boosting go-to since college. Come to think of it, I’ve always had periods, even in high school, where I had to watch what I read, because grim/depressing books at certain times of year could tank my mood. Interesting… I’ve never realized about that before.

But it’s a beautiful day here, and Goldbug’s awake, so I’ll leave off here. We need to set up B-Bug’s remote-learning space today, and good grief I need to find my notebooks!

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