I suppose it’s a human thing to always drift towards routine. Routines are comfortable and reassuring. One can mechanically move through a day without a lot of effort with a routine. But they’re so damned sticky.
My routines have always gravitated to sedentary pursuits and dark interior buildings. Right now I’ve gotten myself into the most exaggerated form of that rut. I literally spend 10-12 hours a day sitting at my computer in a basement. I rarely leave the basement, not to the mention the house. I climb the stairs a couple times a day to eat and maybe to shower but other than that I sit at this computer.
I sit here because it’s my job. I goof off a little, too, but mostly I work. It’s a good environment for work but not that great for thinking happy thoughts. No sunlight, no exercise, no human interaction… It’s a pretty good recipe for downward spiraling depression.
An acquaintance called me on Saturday to confirm plans that we’d made. I had completely forgotten about them and was on the tail end of this cold. (I just can seem to stop coughing!) Anyway, we’d agreed to drive to a nearby city to drink beer and listen to live music at a blues/jazz club he knows. My wife didn’t want me to go because of the cold but I’d bailed on this friend before so I didn’t want to again. I think that she was also a little pleased to get me out of the house both for my sake and hers; she rarely gets the house to herself.
So we went. The time wasn’t really all that extraordinary. We went to the bar, drank beer and listened to the music. But I had a remarkably good time. It was a very refreshing deviation from my routine. Could it be that not acting depressed helps one not be depressed? If I inject things into my routine specifically designed to counter depression, will my depression lift?
I’ve said this before and I’ve silently made this promise to myself hundreds of times but I am going to start walking tomorrow. It will be the first thing that I do tomorrow after waking up. I've tried this before and it really seems to help. It's just hard to do every day. Once it becomes routine it will be easier but until then it will be an effort.
Hold me to it.