Thursday, July 23, 2015

Casting a Long Shadow

7:46 a.m.

I follow my shadow West on our morning walk,
When we head South, the shadow (attached at my feet) is beside me.
When we turn again the shadow chases me.
Sometimes the shadow is obscured 
by more dominating shadows of trees and buildings,
but I know it’s always there.

Nurses ask, “On a scale of one to ten how do you feel?”

A graphic designer asks, “On a gray scale with white being exquisite bliss and black being a black funk, just how funked up are you?”
Gray Scale
  •  Sometimes 60%, sometimes 80%.

So what are your symptoms?
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Eating too much.
  • Starting projects and not finishing.
  • Staring at the wall.
  • Starting to do ordinary paperwork, like recording bills and filing and then stopping to stare at the wall some more.
  • Watching Netflix ALL DAY.
  • Being tired.
  • Forgetting things. I just thought of something I forgot, but now I can't remember what I forgot.
  • Feel redundant.
  • Not doing anything (Did I say that already?).

Sounds like some depression (I saw those symptoms on a pill commercial).
  •  Hmm, but what if it’s alzheimer’s or dementia? 

And why do you think this is happening to you?
  • Maybe it’s an “after a big project is done” slump?
  • Maybe I’m sick of trying to promote my novel?
  • Maybe I can’t figure out what happens in the next novel? 15,745 words in, and I don’t know where I’m going.
  • Maybe I’m just tired?
  • Maybe I’m eating too much sugar?
  • Maybe it’s old age? Please not alzheimer's!

So what are you doing to fix the funk?
  • Taking a two-mile morning walk with John (and our shadows) should help. But then I come home exhausted and sweaty, and need to watch Simon Baker in “The Guardian” for a couple episodes. I doubt if that’s fixing anything. Everyday, I say I’m not going to turn the TV on, but then I’m tired, so I turn it on. Tomorrow, I promise not to turn the tv on.
  • During previous summers, I discovered that walking did something good to my brain--plot issues would get resolved. So I'll keep walking everyday. Physical activity is good for your mood and your brain and maybe your plot.
  • The garden helps, like digging out weeds that have been hogging the raised flowerbed for years. But I have to focus only on the shovel and the immediate weeds. If I look at the rest of the yard, I get overwhelmed which leads to an 80% black funk.
  • Focus on one flower. Make my eyes like a camera lens and let all the background go fuzzy.
  • Read more of Super Brain and learn just how our amazing brains can be.
  • Should I try yoga? More organic food? Less sugar?
  • Talk to friends. That really helps!
  • Write a blog to myself, maybe I’ll find answers...