At some point I seem to have forgotten that I liked writing. I’m not sure when, why or how that happened, but it did.
It dawned on me a bit the other afternoon when I came home from work. I was in a grumpy mood. Work is busy, there’s lots on the go and there’s pressure, but I’m not sure if that’s the reason I was in a bad mood. Winter is settling in, so you have to be well into the mental process of realizing it’s going to be three months before you get normal daylight again. And with neither one of us likely travelling outside the territory again until April at the earliest (maybe not until July), there’s also the process of making your peace with that.
Cathy and I have lived in Iqaluit for more than 10 years now. We’re familiar with all of this. It’s almost reflex at this point. And yet, I’ve been in an off mood the last week or so. Which is weird, because this has been mostly a good year.
But I think it started to click in a bit that something is off when I read this article. Now, understand, most of it is crap for me. I’m not about to start skiing or anything along those lines. Let’s not get crazy. But it is a reminder. It’s a long, cold winter in Nunavut. You have to do things that bring you some happiness. Some mental stimulation. Something that prevents you from sinking into ruts and getting depressed or grumpy. It's very, very easy for me to slip into ruts.
Because it’s the easiest thing in the world. I had a chat with our financial advisor the other night, and he was talking about when Cathy and I will retire in 15 years (doable, by the way) and that produced a whole range of emotions that I’m not going to go into here.
Basically, I need to start doing some things for my mental health. I need to start going to the gym four days a week again. I’ve slipped out of that habit since the summer. It’s not just to knock off the weight that’s crept back on with predictable speed; it’s also just good for my mental health. I started going to the gym not just because I needed to lose weight, but because I was depressed after a friend died. It helped clear my head, which I needed.
But somewhere along the way I forgot to write. I used to be half decent at this. I’ve won journalism awards. I wrote respected editorials and columns. I was a well-read blogger, both in Nunavut and Newfoundland. I actually had a not completely sucky novel about two-thirds finished at one point.
But I just got out of the habit. I got bored. I couldn’t think of anything to write about, or the stuff I did write about people didn’t seem interested in. I couldn’t write politics anymore because it was risky.
Well, screw (some) of that. Change in government or not, I’m still not writing federal politics. But I am going to start write what I feel like. That means not checking the stats. If you don’t want to read movie reviews, geek stuff, travel or whatever I feel like writing that day, then you don’t have to. I just need to start writing again. A lot of it, I suspect, is going to suck very badly. Because that’s what happens when you start using muscles that haven’t been used in quite some time. It doesn’t get any stronger sitting down whining that you magically wish it would get better. It gets better by doing.
So this is me doing, or trying to. It may not be pretty, but here we go….
1. Girls in the summer clothes - Bruce Springsteen
2. Jealous guy - Youssou N'Dour*
3. Mosquito - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
4. Irene - Beach House
5. You're crashing, but you're no wave - Fall Out Boy