Sunday, October 01, 2006

Musings on motivation

I think if I had to pick an adjective to describe the last 18 months of my life, I would pick amotivated. I simply didn't care about improving my life or the world. I just wanted to get through each day and I didn't have very many goals or ambitions, no real concern for what the future would look like.

Thank God that's changed. As my most recent bout of depression is lifting, I'm starting to regain some of my ambition and spunk. Doing that is harder than it might seem and I think that one of the most trying aspects of coming out of a depressive funk is looking back at your time and kicking your own ass thinking about all of the things you could have been doing and how much better your life would be if you had done them. For example, if I had say, volunteered, instead of holing myself up at home, then I would have a better work history to show a future employer. If I had put a greater emphasis on eating at home, we might have a) more money and b) I might be a better cook. And believe you me, there are thousands of examples of this here phenomenon of the if only.

If I would dwell on that, I think I would sink right back into being depressed. It's like quicksand trying to suck me down and there's only so much I can fight that. Right now, my strategy is to silence that particular thought process. I think it might be better to just ignore all those things I could have done in favor of becoming more undepressed so that I can start doing things. And then, hopefully by the time I start thinking about those things again, I'll be able to say, yeah, I wish I did x, y or z, but at least I've started doing q, r and s now. Does that make any sense?


I have to say that one of the more frustrating things about coming out of this depression is that my attention span is WAY shorter than it was a few months ago. I mean, I don't have any problem watching a movie or what not, but when I sit down to write or to blog, I lose my focus after about 20-30 minutes whereas when I was in the throes of my latest funk, I would literally write from the time I woke up in the morning until the time I went to bed. Given, my stories were nothing brilliant but my output was undeniably prolific, in excess of 1000 pages. A part of me misses that, misses getting entirely lost in a plot that had nothing to do with my everyday life. Twas a beautiful escape.


I have a feeling that in a few years, I'll look back at this time in my life and think that there is something significant in the fact that my favorite part of my day is my morning commute. I get to see the sunrise over the misty corn fields and I confess that this is the most beautiful commute I've had, far prettier than the trek I was making in Phoenix this summer to retrieve Brendan. My commute to and fro ASU in grad school was also very beautiful; if I was driving home at sunset, the fading light would illuminate Red Mountain, Four Peaks and the Superstition Mountains. I hope that wherever Brendan and I end up, I'll have another pretty commute. It makes the morning so enjoyable. I can't wait for winter when the sunrises promise to be pale and the roads miserable and slick.