February 11, 2010
The professor walks in and starts a discussion about dreams, specifically nightmares where some thing is chasing you - a monster, a demon, an unknown - and you feel terrified. Everyone's had them. For me, there's always the feeling that my legs are frozen and just won't move right. The prof (and this is from my undergrad, not med school) throws out the question "what do you do?" "Wake up" "Turn on the lights" "Run faster" The class shouts out the answers (there are some great advantages to a small liberal arts school) but the prof keeps shaking his head 'no'. The class quiets as it gives up and he gives his answer, "you turn around and ask it what it wants." Indeed. Probably some of the best psychological advice I've ever heard and I learned it in a literature class about fairy tales and fantasy. Go figure. So I've been in a funk lately that started right before exams but then promptly got shoved right back down again to prepare for exams. Tick, tick, tick, tick. Thing is, the monster keeps after ya....or the bomb goes off. So afterwards, I decided to turn around and ask it what it wants. The problem is listening to the answer. It's not like going up to someone and asking if they're hungry. I'm essentially asking one part of the cacophony of inner voices what's bothering it. And that part may have wants that are at odds with other parts of me. And none of them will shut up until they've all been listened to. I think I heard it but one can never be quite sure until the funk dissipates. In studying from home, I first found it great not having to drive downtown anymore. But staying at home, I started to get distracted from studying. But that's not what the funk wanted. I was getting distracted from my diversionary time. Instead of studying hard for an extended period and then being free the rest of an afternoon to read or go kayaking or putter in my garden, I'd slowly get around to eating breakfast, dink around the web and before I knew it, I'd wasted half the morning. I'd then have to make it up by studying and by the end of the day, I didn't get enough studying done or enough hobby time either. The funk was pissed about missing out on the fun time. So this week, I've been better at getting down to business....and fun. I decided to start blogging again about my garden to force myself to be creative in other ways. Now I just need the weather to let up or I'll be kayaking in the cold rain.