The power of exercise

I'm always surprised somehow by the power of exercise to give me hope.

I've had a rough couple of days. I've had another stretch of bad nights at Court Square Tavern brought on by a complete lack of support from management. I'm contemplating moving on because it seems like it's time to do so. The situation is more or less untenable and there's no end in sight unless I simply walk away.

And that thought creates so much stress in me that I can barely think straight. I need the money, and I suspect if I do leave the tavern could end up closing for a while. So I've not made up my mind on that yet.

But, I have made up my mind regarding one thing. Exercise is the most positive force in my life. All morning I have had nothing but darkness in my soul and I could not fight off the negativity. But, once I got on the stationary bike to do my warm-up, I could feel it lift. I could feel me becoming myself again.

I went to the gym at 2:30 today, just as a whole group of young school children came in from Buford. I wasn't annoyed at all. I was inspired and worked out even harder, though I had to break my routine a little because it was so crowded. But, I worked out harder, and felt great, and when I left the gym I felt happy again.

I recommend exercise for anyone feeling the pinch of stress and depression. It's hard sometimes to fit workouts into my life, but worth it.


Evacuating the sadness

The cloud descends on cue.

I know by now what makes me sad. I know the symptoms. And I know not it is best to not blame others and to deal with the storms that hit by myself.

Sometimes the cloud is so thick and so large that I feel like I'm going to buckle. Thankfully I've worked hard to keep my legs in shape so I can stand up straight.

Music helps. Hearing a favorable pattern over and over again reminds me that I can make my own noise and that will make me whole.

Running helps. Knowing my body is conditioned to travel through the world at a fast pace fills me with confidence.

But today, I must continue on with work even though I am currently in the clouds. It's conditional. I know exactly why I'm sad, and I will keep the reason to myself. I feel, though, I have to write something down in order to distract myself from the cloud.

And then it passes, or at least thins out.


In a hallowed place

I'm alone in City Council chambers, waiting for photographs to be pulled off Charlottesville Tomorrow's camera. I have one image I need to illustrate tonight's story but this isn't my usual computer so I'm having to wait until it pulls all of the images into Photoshop.

It's almost ten. Council ended early tonight. I filed right at the deadline and now I'm waiting to finish up my night. I don't know what I'll do next.

I could go out for a beer and to hear some music, but I did that last night.

I could go to my house, but I really don't want to. My housemates are there, and I suspect they may be in a fight and I don't want to go there. It's not home.

Court Square is closed tonight, so I can't go there. The owner may be there, but I don't really want to hang out with him. Likewise, I don't want to go to my office because I spent the end of my evening there last night once a dinner party concluded and I had to take care of a few things before the work week began.

So, I'm sitting here and I'm not in any particular hurry. Council is in closed session to discuss the cost-share agreement for Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority capital projects.

How many things have been decided in this room? I've been witness to so many milestones in my four and a half years of reporting on local government, too many to name and I'm not too terribly interested in writing about those. How many people have I seen here, waiting for their turn to speak?

My favorite time was on a night I didn't come here at all, but covered it from my house. A woman and her friend got up with a guitar and sang a song to convince the city to adopt a peace resolution. I remember joking with reporters about Flicker the Flame, the mascot designed to raise awareness of how dangerous natural gas can be if it's not used properly.

I'll likely spend a lot more time in here. I enjoy covering council, as I enjoy all of these various things I do in the name of reporting the news. Sometimes it can be frustrating, but for the most part 21-year-old me would be glad I'm doing what I trained to do.

How many more stories, how many more characters, how many more themes? I guess the only way to find out is to keep writing.


The problem (and bounty) of Sundays

Sundays are the ones in which I basically try to recover from all the other ones, and also I have the most amount of time with my children.

This Sunday, however, I only slept five hours because I worked until quarter til three and then felt the need to watch a television show. I worked that late because a wedding party ascended to the Tavern at 12:45 and I had no other choice but to show them a good time.

Which I did. The pictures will prove this.

But, this post is about Sundays. Sundays are the days that are so out of synch with the others. On the one hand, I should be recovering from the long week. This should be the day in which I clean, organize and strategize for the coming week.

It never works out that way.

Tonight I had in my mind that I would finally paint my room to get rid of the pink walls that my ex-wife placed there when we moved in. It's not fitting for a bachelor to live in such conditions, but I've only recently noticed this. I also only just recently realized that it's possible to purchase paint.

But, Sunday was supposed to be the day I was going to actually apply color to the walls to launch my bachelorhood into a new era.

With half an hour to go, dear reader, did I actually do this chore?

Of course not.

I went to a dinner party.

I went a fantastic dinner party with my ex-girlfriend. That in itself is somewhat problematic because our relationship is an impossibility, but yet we still see each other all the time. Sundays have been the days we've spent together for quite a while.

I wasn't going to go. I had intended instead to paint those walls. I felt that was the only way I was going to be happy. After all, I have destroyed my bedroom in order to prepare for the change and wanted it over. My next guaranteed night off is next Sunday so I thought I would get the painting done.

I even canceled, but reconsidered when I thought instead it would be better to socialize and have a great meal with friends.

So, that's Sunday for me, in a nutshell. Practical things that should be done take a back seat to living life. The details? They'll hopefully take care of themselves somehow. I will go to bed tonight in a disjointed room lined with blue tape.

And, that's okay. I learned a ton about Hawaii, about trees in Albemarle County, about New York, about journalism from someone who left the practice. I lived. I lived. I may not have painted, but I lived.


An October surmise

The white space beckons and waits to be filled with something that might approach meaning but won't actually touch it. There's a gap that has to be filled and I'm no longer sure I know how to do so. Where would the aggregate come from?

In other words, I no longer know what to write when I open up this conduit to the world. There is so little happening in my life that's worth writing about, at least not to a general audience.

But now it is October and I want to challenge myself to something new in anticipation of another challenge that shall commence 31 days from now. I am going to post to this blog once a day for the next four and a half weeks. This task shall serve as a pacemaker and shall force me to open up my eyes and ears. So many of my synapses have collected dust.

Let's set the scene. I've been prone to negative thinking of late, but have been fighting off the dark forces with as much energy as I can muster. I've carved a new place for fitness amongst the hours I must provide information or provide drinks to people. I'm not quite where I was at the height of my physical training, but I am on the right track and sacrifice a lot of social time in order to take to the streets or walk to the gym.

I'm also plugging away at the guitar, and going through hours and hours of recordings in the hopes of seeing if any of the ideas I've come up with might be worth something. In the near future, I will reach out to others in the hopes of meaningful collaboration.

At the heart of everything right now is this war between the part of me that wants to revel in the negative and that which wants to blossom in the light. Looking back at my life, I can see this tidal pattern has crushed many of my hopes and dreams.

So I am trying to harness it, somehow, and by enforcing 31 deadlines I will see what happens. What will I have written about? Will I have carved a few more pathways?