It’s been just over five years since I wrote this journal entry and it’s crazy to think of all of the changes in my life since then. There have been lots and there are more to come, even in the near future. It’s good to know that we can continue to change ourselves for the better, becoming happier, more aware of other people, harder workers, and even understand ourselves a little more. Some things, on the other hand, don’t change—like actually hanging up clothes right out of the dryer.
I’ve been reading a book called Emotional Intelligence and as I read in the chapter titled, “Managing Melancholy,” last night, I noticed that I was relating a little too well to the subject matter. In the past several days, I was allowing myself to sit around in a sad state of despondency. However, I didn’t realize what I had fallen into until I realized I was reading about myself in this book. Initially, the author wrote about strategies to get over melancholy that don’t work, although many people try them. First, it talked about “simply staying alone.” However, I would like to blame my recent loneliness on the recent failure of my phone’s text messaging abilities. I’m sure that’s why I had no choice, but to hang out at home with my sister’s cat. Next, the poor strategy was ruminating—specifically, “focusing on some aspect of the depression itself—how tired we feel, how little energy or motivation we have…” My thoughts as I read this, “Oh, I totally agree. I just feel like blah.” All week, I had intentions to go to the gym. (Except for Monday night—let’s be honest—I counted soccer as my workout.) I never even made it so far as to get into gym clothes. “Maybe later” is my greatest argument. Continuing the ruminating topic, the author includes that the thoughts are not accompanied by “any concrete course of action that might alleviate the problem.” Sitting on the leather couch, mindlessly switching TV stations wasn’t alleviating my unnameable boredom? That’s no good; because I really didn’t want to do anything about it except pronounce how bored I was. As I read, I eventually came to the section: “Mood Lifters” and was determined to follow the directions. I write to you today to tell you that I did it. I followed the strategy of “positive alternatives,” and “engineer[ed] a small triumph or easy success.” Today, after work, I cleaned up my room. That mostly consisted of hanging my laundry that has been wrinkling in a basket for the last week and organizing some financial records into a binder (although they weren’t going anywhere in their neat pile on the floor). Although more tidying up then cleaning, this was my small triumph, which I followed with a positive alternative at the gym. My next small triumph: getting up tomorrow morning—climbing my mountains one snooze button at a time.