I don't know what I have been doing this Fall. It hasn't been much blogging. Nor has it been going to the gym and certainly not writing. All I know is that when I stepped outside this week, it colder than I had remembered it being in a long time, a cold that declared to me: It is no longer fall.
I've been completely oblivious. Barely know what date it is on the calendar. One weeks blurs into the next. On Tuesday, I walked out of the house with a light coat, sweater dress, bare legs and boots. On my way back from work, shivering and walking from the subway, a man passed me and said, "You are in a worse shape than most of us this evening. You must be freezing."
"Yeah," I replied. "I made a really bad decision this morning."
I don't know when it started, but also noticed in this time frame, that there has been a shift in my brain that I am not so happy about it. Let me call it: The "I don't feel like it."
Dark mornings leave me in bed instead of running on the treadmill. The other day, I forced myself to run in the park and despite the fact it was a beautiful day, after five minutes of running, out of breath from lack of recent activity, I just stopped and started walking and thought to myself, "This is absolutely MISERABLE. How--in the last 15 years of me being a runner--did I ever think this was FUN?" I ran and walked the next four miles and was immensely relieved when it was all over. I haven't run since.
Well-intentioned diet strategies laid out on Sunday evenings are foiled Monday at lunch with a cookie shoveled into my mouth. Yes, I have begun eating sweets again at work. Even my photography class is starting to lose its appeal. I still like it, but last week I didn't want to leave my apartment to take pictures and so I didn't take any pictures. Most of my classmates must have felt the same way because only five people showed up to class.
My work day is pleasantly not difficult, but I've noticed that if I don't have a lot of pressure on me (like, "we need this by end of day!"), it takes me twice as long to do something. My work assignment is ending in the middle of December, for the first time I am legitimately wondering if I will find freelance work easily in the New Year. January is a slow time for freelancers, but with the state of the economy, I wonder if this January will be standstill. Despite hearing about magazines folding every week and nearly every day reading about hundreds of media people losing their jobs, the only comfort I have is that had I taken the "secure" route and taken a permanent job back in January instead of going freelance, I would be unemployed right now. That magazine has since folded.
And as Dan says, "Well, if it gets really bad and you can't find work. Well, that will just give you the motivation to seek out what you really want to do."
And maybe that is what this "shift" is really about. Being that it is fall, I am constantly reminded that one year ago, I was in Europe, having the time of my life (literally). If I look in my calendar or someone says a date, I think to myself, "a year ago today, I was in Poland...or Croatia...or Germany." My life was just so exciting and so productive then. I came home from my travels with so much to show for it. With this year nearing an end, I think I have this sense of disappointment in me that I don't have much to show for it. I managed to have a successful freelance career, I got engaged, I traveled to some great places....for everyone else, sounds perfect. But remember, I am high maintenance in the personal expectations department. I have one chapter in my "novel" written, a bunch of crappy photographs, and no closer to knowing what I want to do with my life. Despite my lack of interest in doing anything, I feel a little bored. Disappointed. Resigned. I think I am living this Fall a little "out of it" because I don't feel like dealing with my feelings.
As our society heads toward the next "Great Depression," I wonder if I am somehow getting swept into it.
But wait! There is photographic evidence that I have been doing SOMETHING this fall and I have been happy doing it. Despite the depression (both economically and personally), my social calendar has still been full. This week:
No! Your eyes are not deceiving you. That is Geneva-resident Emily having a drink with Adam at Baby Bo's in midtown. Emily had a business trip which conveniently dropped her in the city for a few days, so Dan, Adam, Nell and I took advantage by having dinner with her at Nell's favorite Mexican restaurant. It was great seeing her, so weird to think of her coming as a visitor, not a resident.
My old roommates Meagan and Julie and I have started a monthly dinner to stay in touch better. I hosted in September, Julie in October and Meagan last night. That's me and Meagan.
Meagan is the type of girl who only has energy drinks and a tub of cottage cheese in the fridge, so the fact that she made us dinner, including these desserts (low-calorie, low-sugar of course) was pretty impressive.
Julie was into it.
No photographic evidence, but we're also starting regular Sunday get-togethers with our friends Adam and Nell. Last week, Nell cooked us some Italian spaghetti and meatballs and we watched the Godfather. We'll be hosting the next one. Menu and movie to be decided.
So believe me, it's not all bad. On the surface great. Under the skin, slightly irritated.