I had every intention of writing a monthly letter to Nuala on the 26th. I was at Mom and Dad’s, I was on break, I had a profusion of opportunities to do it, and it didn’t get done. Oh well, at least there was this:
We were lucky to have just enough snow for sledding on the 26th and 27th, and luckier still that we were at Mom and Dad’s, which is just about the best place I know to go sledding. I mean, if you ignore the half-frozen piles of horse poop and the pond at the bottom of the hill. Hazards increase the fun quotient, yes? The big girl hopped on a sled with me, we flew at immoderate speeds all the way to the bottom, and then she asked to drag the sled all the way back to the top of the hill because it’s what grownups do. BEST KID EVER. Remind me to fashion a toddler harness so she can pull me next time.
Besides the snow, I was distracted by lots of thoughts going in lots of different directions about an utterly horrifying event on the 14th of December. I wanted to write about it, but I still don’t know what to write. I suppose I am inclined to wish that I lived in a country where civilians could own only hunting rifles and shotguns, and where each gun was registered and regulated with the same care that we use for cars. But I don’t live there, I live here, and I don’t know how to get from there to here. My training has taught me to embrace what another historian calls “informed befuddlement,” but I’m finding it a lot more gut-wrenching to settle into uncertainty with personally relevant policy matters of contemporary American society than, say, 150-year-old disease epidemics. Maybe I should’ve written about it. Maybe I should still write about it. Maybe I will.
Besides the snow and varieties of hysteria related to guns lately, what else is new? I have some more answers about the state of my health. I wore a portable EKG for a couple weeks, then returned to my doctor for some interpretation. No cardiac abnormalities. After a brief intermission announced by Nuala (“Mom, I gotta poop!”), my doc, who fortunately has a 4-year-old daughter who has done the same, asked very gently whether I was amenable to attributing my heart-thumpiness and general malaise to a psychological cause. I wonder whether it came as a relief to him when I waved my hand with a “Psshhh, of COURSE!” or just creeped him out a bit. Who knows, who cares, but I am back on the Prozac after about a year’s hiatus. Am I feeling better? I think so. There’s been no magic light-switch moment like the first time I took Prozac during/after a really awful period of depression in my early 20s. I feel more physically resilient. I’m not sleeping as soundly as I would like (most pernicious side effect), but I’m running better and I haven’t had that pesky dizziness in some time. I don’t know how to explain all of the last nine months or so, but I’d hazard a guess that it was a combination of a bad cold virus, overtraining, and treadmill-induced vertigo topped off with bouts of anxiety. Just add bourbon and you’ve got a great cocktail, right?
And besides all that, what else? On Monday, we closed on our house in South Bend. Buy low, sell lower, I always say. Whatever. It’s done.
In any case, I’m looking forward to the coming semester, when I’ll get back on track with my running plans (shorter distances, faster paces), teach a new class, and begin grappling with my dissertation again so it can spread its wings and fly away as a real live book one day. Let’s do this thing, 2013.