I’ve been under the weather pretty much all week, between the onset of a cold over last weekend followed immediately by a stomach virus that is a bit on the painful side. This was my first week back in the saddle in an academic setting, so I taught through it, but fortunately only had to push through two days at work. It has also been pretty much a solid gray week, with one morning where the sun poked out for about an hour, and rain off and on for at least the last three days. It’s starting to blur. Today was a sad day all around what with the orange man taking office and immediately removing the climate change, LGBTQ and civil rights pages from the White House web site. I’ve been trying to stay away from the book of face, but that has been difficult. All and all, it has been a pretty dark week and the stomach virus has pretty much eliminated seeking succor in food. Tomorrow there’s a women’s protest march in Chicago that my wife wants us to take part in as a family. My daughter wants to make signs, but doesn’t want to be in a crowd of 50,000 people, which I understand. I’m not a crowd person in the slightest and I have some safety concerns, but the cause is just. I’m also concerned about whether I’m going to feel well enough to do it.
I am having difficulties with mood management this week due to all of this. First, it has been so dark around here for the past seven to ten days that it is taking its toll despite the morning use of the “happy light.” It is our breakfast companion. It has been positively dreary outside between the constant overcast skies and the constant damp wetness of everything. Even turning the lights on inside only helps a bit. I could pull the drapes and drop the blinds on it, but then I’d really feel like I was living in a cave, something I don’t think would help. Then there’s the whole being sick thing, and while I am thankful that the cold aspect is over, this stomach ailment is a major drag that is also affecting my intestinal tract, which probably isn’t helping my serotonin levels either. I’ve been able to eat very little over the past three days, haven’t been able to stomach coffee, but have managed to keep up with my meds. I’ve stopped taking the fish oil though until this passes. It’s too unpleasant. So the lack of sunlight combined with physical malaise has been making things rocky on the emotional front.
The advent of the orange man’s reign is also a major emotional drain that I haven’t come to grips with as of yet. I’m not saying that I’m going to be okay with it, because that is not something I can foresee by any stretch of the imagination. I simply cannot come to grips with how this travesty occurred, and it is plaguing me to no end. This is a waking nightmare for me largely because I can find no evidence of a shred of decency in the man. We’ve gone from supreme class, intelligence, and a dedicated civil servant to this narcissistic sociopath. I’m grieving heavily for my country, and for all those people who will be harmed by this administration that has been dubbed the least qualified cabinet in our history (one of the nicer things that has been said about it). I keep thinking that I’m going to wake up any moment and it’ll have simply been a really preposterously horrific nightmare. Unfortunately I’m not sleeping.
One of the benchmarks of character is how we handle adversity. Do we cave in, assume the fetal position and wait for things to pass? Sometimes it feels like the thing to do, and I’m sure that all of us have wanted to at some point. Right now I’m tired, and I don’t feel well both physically and emotionally. What I really want to do is crawl off to bed, pull up the covers and go to sleep for a really long time, at least until the sun decides to shine again. But I can’t. I have to do, not check out until things get better. I’ve got performances to give, lectures to teach, a family to care for, and an innate desire to resist tyranny, injustice and bigotry. Even if I’m depressed, sick, or tired, it’s my duty as a decent human being. So I’m resisting.