It’s been a good week. I’m sleeping a bit better and feeling more content with myself despite not getting much done at work. My wife and I even had sex twice in the past week! As an aside, it’s kind of sad that we have sex so infrequently. For the first few years we were dating we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. The illnesses earlier this year didn’t help, but still. Anyhow, back to my mood, I can’t pinpoint what the cause is but I have a hunch it is related to supplements, learning a new manual skill and surfing.
First, I started back up on my 5-HTP. I have been taking it for awhile, after reading The Mood Cure last year. I don’t wholly agree with everything going on in there, but I tried taking some supplements and some diet changes. I started with the 5-htp and L-tyrosine. Eventually I ended up only taking a single 5-htp tablet in the evening. I’ve been on it consistently but I ran out and hadn’t taken it for over a week or so. I figured I would see if it was doing anything for me. After not taking it for a few days I started having problems with insomnia and a more general depression set it, I finally got off my ass and ordered some more and have been taking it since last week again. My sleep improved pretty quickly as has my mood(although that might be related to the stuff below as well).
Last Saturday I had my first experience doing upholstery. We have some antique furniture we inherited from my wife’s grandparents. Two pieces, a chair and a bench, developed problems with the springs supporting the cushions, some were poking out the bottom. I had looked around into getting them fixed but realized it was going to be really really expensive to do so. A friend who is doing some occasional upholstery work offered to take a look at them, but she started a new job and never got around to coming over, also she wanted to replace the hand-tied springs with foam while I kind of wanted to keep the original setup with the hand-tied springs. I started looking into upholstery classes and quickly realized that, at least where I live, they are hard to find. One community college offered a class via their continuing education but it was filled by the time I found it. On a whim I googled “upholstery” in my direct area(vs the major metropolitan area) and found a listing for upholstery classes(by the hour) at a woman’s shop not far from where I live and it was much cheaper than the community college course! I called the number a few days later and it rang without ever going to an answering machine. I tried off and on for a week with no success. I had kind of given up but then late last week I tried again and finally got through. Anyhow I went last Saturday morning and really enjoyed myself. I had stripped the cushion piece the night before(wow, that took much much longer than I had guessed), but during the class I attached new webbing, and hand-tied the springs. I have a lot left to do(going again this Saturday), but the act of learning something new and actually making something with my hands makes me feel so good.
The last piece of my mood change this week has been surfing. My advisor and most of the research group are out of town at a big conference this week. I took my surfboard to work and managed to get out on Monday and Tuesday during my “lunch break”. The conditions were okay, but I just felt great being in the water, and getting some short rides in. Today the wind was howling by the time I got into work and it’ll probably continue through the rest of the week so I probably won’t get anymore surfing in, but those two days were great! I realized once again how out of shape I am, but I was okay with that. Rather than beating myself up for getting so out of shape, I was able to register it as something that I need to be aware and perhaps figure out ways to get in shape even if I’m not able to surf very often. I also realized that I should take advantage of my work’s proximity to the beach while I still can, I live too far away from the beach to go during the week otherwise.
So here I am, wondering what to do with this information. I still don’t see a lot of options for me work-wise at the moment, but it’s not really getting me down too much right now. If I let myself daydream I envision a scenario where I live near the beach and go surfing in the mornings before work. I wish I could figure out how to get closer to the beach. I think I’ve mentioned before that wanting to be near family and friends, which is very important to us, pulls us away from the beach. We could move closer to my in-laws but other than them and the beach I don’t like that area so much. As for my daydream work, it would consist of lot’s of learning, and I would get to do things with my hands. I like technology and that’s a real possibility but there was something so grounding and satisfying in my brief exposure to upholstery that draws me to the the idea of having trade or skill that I could do. The pay sucks, but this is a daydream right?