Tired and Uninspired

Trent Ernst, Editor

It’s gonna be a long winter.

That is, if this is SAD. You know, seasonal affective disorder, where the lack of sunlight starts to get a person down.

I’m not sure that’s it. Not sure what it is, but I’m feeling uninspired.

I signed up for the National Novel Writing Month, which happens every November. Basically, write a thousand words a day over the course of the month, and by the end of it all, you have a decent sized novel, at around 30,000 words.

So far, I’ve written maybe 150 words in the first seven days. I’m thinking I’m not going to hit my target.

I’m just not feeling it. I’m not feeling inspired. I just feel … blah.

Lisa, our ad sales person, said I should get out walking more. I pointed out that I went and delivered papers for my daughter who sprained her ankle, and still feel pretty bleh. She said I need to get out into the green, so I went out on the weekend and snowshoed up Babcock.

It worked. Until I got a nail in my tire on the drive home. Great, and I just had to replace my summer tires a couple months ago, and suddenly any gains made in my mood were lost.

I blame it on America.

Elections tend to get me down, and not just because it seems like America has got itself into a situation where it has to choose between the lesser of two evils and not the better of two angels.

No, it’s all the sniping and bitterness and backtalk and insults and barbs that get traded.

We try and teach our kids manners, teach them to treat others with respect, then you turn on the news and what’s the point? This is how the prospective leader of the world’s largest democracy behave, why should we expect better from our offspring?

Don’t fight, unless you play hockey, then kill that mutha. Don’t lie, cheat or exaggerate, unless you are running for public office, then all bets are off. Sigh. At least the whole thing’ll be over by the time this paper comes out.

Or maybe I’m projecting here. Maybe my life hasn’t been as bad as all that.

Sociologists will tell you that, when you think you are having a bad year, focus on the facts. It probably hasn’t been a completely bad year. Maybe you just are having a bad day.

In fact, break it down ever farther. It’s probably not even a bad day, but a bad hour, a bad minute. Sometimes we allow five seconds of our day to dictate how we view the whole thing. Yes, I realize that some things are truly awful and need some time to process. It doesn’t matter how little doggie doo you put in the batter, it’s still going to ruin the whole cake.

But if we can focus on saying “I had a bad moment there, a bad few seconds,” we can start to bracket off the bad parts of our day, and maybe, instead of letting the bad bits cast a shadow over all the good bits, or even all the average bits, we can instead recognize those bits for what they are: tiny anomalies in our day/week/year/life.

And rather than wandering around moping all day/week/year because we got a flat tire or because one candidate or the other got elected, we can just move on with our lives.

Note: I’m told that, despite there being a motion and a vote, what happened at the Policy and Priority Meeting on October 11 wasn’t actually a final resolution, but a recommendation to bring it to a Council meeting to vote on the issue of a moratorium on retaining walls and other construction on the houses along the hill on the top bench.