Brief updates in relationship to several recent comments:
a. I have not seen much sunshine, as it is very scant in my neck of the woods at this time of year. Typically I arrive to the U in darkness, and leave either at dusk or in darkness. But, I can see hints of a return to a more light world, and know it is coming. I have often wondered if some of my "issues" about saddness/worry/anxiety/rumination may in part be a touch of seasonal affective disorder?
b. I have contemplated the potential benefits and risks of one of the various SSRI medications, and talk and teach my students about them in most of my courses. From what I have read, and to my manner of thinking, the Prozac variant seems the least problematic, has a neurological etiology that seems least likely to permanently alter in a negative way the neural pathways in the brain, and is also the oldest form of SSRI. At this time, I feel that trying to fix/work through my saddness/worry/anxiety/rumination issues without medication is the route I feel most comfortable with.
c. I have never tried cannabis in any manner or form. In some ways, I regret this lack of experimentation that has been such a part and parcel of all generations since we "Boomers" arrived on the scene. I never tried it, not because I wasn't curious. Instead, I did not try it because I KNEW how much I relished and enjoyed pipe tobacco. And, I had goals and ambitions that I was not sure I was truly capable of attaining in my youth (graduate school, Ph.D., professorship). I did not want to put further at risk, my potential ability to attain those things by trying cannabis. I thought often to myself... well, it is probably nice, but nothing too amazing or difficult, but.... but.... what if I really like it? What then? Would it end up being something I became heavily involved in, and if so, would it alter my path and goals? Additionally, since I KNEW I liked smoking (pipe tobacco), I thought there would be a good chance I would enjoy cannabis. And, at that stage in my life, did I want to ADD something to my routine that i) would be problematic to obtain, ii) was illegal. Even though I think it is foolish for it to be illegal, the reality is that it IS illegal (except now for Washington and Colorado), and that very fact of its illegality would complicate my life. So, I kept postponing trying it. In the modern world of today, I do think I would be willing to give it a try now at my older state, but, it is unlikely that I will ever do so.
d. Potentially having my saddness/worry/anxiety/rumination be in relationship to a physiological withdrawl from pipe tobacco... could potentially be occurring. However, if it is playing any role, I suspect it is rather small.
So, what am I doing? I am increasing the vigor and intensity of my exercise. I am trying to physically exhaust myself prior to getting into my office at the U each morning. Today, I did a 7 mile walk (getting up at 4:30 to help accommodate the time), Worked through 50 repetitions of every weight machine for upper body strength at the U gym (normally, I have been doing 10-15), and I ran (jogged) 1.5 miles on the indoor track. Hell, if I keep this up, MAYBE I will get to look like Paul Tuetel (shown in the picture above). I wouldn't mind that.
While getting to look more massive like Tuetel is a pipe dream, I do think that this effort will have physical benefit for me, and I also do feel the exhaustion from the added workouts have helped me to reduce my saddness/worry/anxiety/rumination.... at least I feel better during the last few days when I have boosted this exercise effort.
On the "worrisome, two-good-choices" department.... my wife and I have been doing some additional "figuring" of finances, future goals, potential choices and risks, and so, we are still both ruminating (but I am trying to only do positive rumination), and we are hoping to make the final decision soon.
Today's (Thursday's) Goal = 0 bowls
Wednesday's [2/19] Goal = 0 bowls
Actual consumption (Wednesday) = 0 bowls
Walking Day 1614 / SOPS Day 9