I've been spending a lot of time in the shower lately. Ever since finals week, I've been taking lengthy hot showers that usually involve me sitting on the floor of the tub for a period of time while water streams over my face and shoulders. The other night, I laid on my back with my hands over my face (so I could breathe) and pretended I was in a warm rain shower. The shower is my combo being-at-peace-with-my-body time and my think-about-nothing time.
Life has been okay 'round here. I started my second semester of grad school and, so far, things are going well. I've been making a concerted effort to do my homework in small bits so that I don't become overloaded and rushed. My Medieval NOLA class seems like it will be very easy--a handout here and there, no textbook and lots of information about New Orleans-based medieval musicians, architecture, rare manuscripts, etc. Alyson is also taking the class with me, which will probably make it a lot more fun.
Justice, Law and Public Policy might be a little more trying. I'm curious to see how I'll end up acting in this class. Last semester, I rarely spoke in class, mostly out of hesitation to get in some involved argument with people whose minds were obviously not going to be changed by anything I had to say. B is taking this class too, and I wish Alyson was also taking it so we could have our Tuesday night trifecta, but she's busy with thesis work. The class involves discussion on topics like abortion (our next class), affirmative action, the death penalty, etc. I get the idea that much of the class isn't so liberal minded as I am, so I'm not especially looking forward to these discussions, but the argumentative part of me sort of relishes it.
I'm mostly excited about my independent study. I wasn't sure how it would be structured, but for our first class, the other student and I just spent an hour discussion Foucault and batting around various ideas and theories. This class involves a fair amount of dense reading (next class is Derrida "That Dangerous Supplement" and Book 3 of Rousseau's Confessions) but it's rewarding in the sense that we're really getting into what we read (as opposed to a glossed over lecture that hits the high points) in our discussions. After the first class, I walked into the library to visit with Alyson and she was visibly surprised at my good mood. She told me I looked happy.
I guess I have been in a fairly shitty mood for awhile, as is probably obvious by the past blog posts here. I actually looked into seeing a counselor but I don't think it would fit into my schedule (oh, irony.) I need to figure out something to do about my anxiety, but I don't want to be on medication for it because a) that sucks and b) I think a lot of it stems from depression, for which talk therapy has always been very helpful. Part of me kind of hopes it'll just pass and I'm trying to do "positive things" (oh, that sounds so cheesy) to keep my spirits up and my sanity intact.
One of those things is being really careful about what I eat. I have to remember that depression is also symptomatic of the PCOS and is not helped by eating a bunch of crap. I've been doing a lot more cooking at home lately, getting back into a cooking routine that I was accustomed to when I lived in BR. I spent a big part of the weekend on food: buying good foods (chard, kale, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, persimmons, fresh peanut butter, honey), making a big batch of granola for breakfasts, cooking a stockpile of black beans in the crockpot my grandma gave me, making a big pot of my favorite lentil soup. I give myself one off day a week (to do things like eat Pinkberry and drink beer and Jagermeister), because otherwise I crave bad stuff, but I've done pretty well so far. Tonight, I made boiled kale over wheat toast and topped with a poached egg, with honey and chipotle mashed sweet potato on the side. I didn't finish it. I get full a lot faster lately, it seems. I also notice that things I think I crave don't taste so great anymore--the other day, I really wanted a Symphony bar, so I gave in and ate one and found it sort of bland. Same thing with some chocolate chip cookies. That said, I'm pretty sure if I gave into my nagging desire to actually bake something, I'd probably enjoy the results a lot more (which is why I haven't given in--I would go into a brownie-induced coma).
I've also been exercising more often and am slowly, but steadily, losing weight. The downside of this is that my clothes aren't fitting anymore. Sunday, I went to BR, wearing a pair of skinny jeans and a shirt I bought maybe a month ago and I noticed that all my clothes were too big on me, something Christie confirmed. But, I'm happy with the weight loss and I'd rather my clothes be too loose than too tight, so this isn't really that much of a complaint.
I've also just been trying to do little things to make me happy: I donated a bunch of stuff to Goodwill. I went to see Brass Bed at Blue Nile (by myself; a shocking accomplishment), I bought new sheets for my bed, I visited with my neighbors. I try to keep myself from brooding. It's a bit "fake it 'til you make it" but it works.
P.S. Look, I know I've probably lost my entire readership (what little of it there was)...I'm sorry all I write about anymore is work/school, food and depression. I feel kind of boring too but it helps me to read back over this stuff and track progress. Maybe one day I'll start posting sexual anecdotes! (no I won't.)