mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF anxiety & ennui

August Restlessness

One thing about people who keep journals: we can't get enough of ourselves. Yesterday was restless — that "between projects" feeling I get when I've finished one thing but can't quite get my claws into the next. Or is it just "end of summer" syndrome — a vestige of a time when I couldn't wait for the excitement and new beginnings that September always brought?

Anyway, for want of something better to write about, I'm looking at what I was doing last summer at this time... and the summer before that.

Last summer about this time I was diagnosing myself with "midsummer affective disorder."

[8.6.05] Some people complain about a winter syndrome -- the depressive effect of long gray days. But I think there is a summer syndrome too. We're all under pressure to "make hay while the sun shines." Do something! How many people have said this week: "Oh, I can't believe it's August already! And I haven't even done [whatever]." ...But the syndrome is more than about "going out to play." It's really about "making hay." Being productive. Maybe, for some, it's about gardening or dealing with the house exterior. Or it's about using the "slow season" to get ready for the fast pace of fall.

[8.22.06] Now I've recognized a variant of M.A.D. -- or maybe its sequel. For me there comes a point in August where it feels too late to worry about the summer and I start anticipating September. It is anxiety, whipped up with a little excitement, which translates into the restlessness I referred to yesterday. There was a squirrel furiously digging in the grass out back this morning. Maybe he was beginning to bury nuts for the winter. That's the instinct I'm talking about.

I was also fussing with ebay postings and preparing for what I thought would be a big lucrative sale of Hollywood studio portraits (which never came to pass). And we were anticipating our big kitchen renovation. My restlessness also got me going with reorganizing Redesigning.Org and posting tutorials.

In 2004, I was finishing up our anxiety video. As a stress reliever, I spent a lot of time writing my Green Valley memoirs, which has yielded a lot of interesting email as former students and staff discover them. But on Aug 16 I wrote:

So the ANXIETY project is just about over. Only a few details left. I took a lickin' but I'm still tickin.' I'm a fish flopping on the bottom of a rowboat. A car gunning its engine in a snowdrift. All energy, no forward motion. I keep sitting here at the computer trying to launch myself into another creative orbit, but instead I have backed up files, removed old versions of programs, and defragged my hard drives.

Some things never change.

8.15.06

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