The one thing I’ve learned about fending off depression is that the only way to combat it, if you can, and most of us can, is to just keep swimming with as much bravado as we can muster.

I’ve been teetering for a while, but keeping my head above water. I’m pretty sure that as long as I continue to invest herculean efforts into my life, that I will make it to spring, unscathed by the dark months that can really bring a person down.

But it’s very cold outside right now, and I have taken on a lot.

I made the mistake of weighing myself yesterday at work and let’s just say…I was less than impressed. This coincided with me having tried the Salmon with Dill the night before and let me tell you – it was absolute shit. Which really sucks because, not really being a meat eater, I bought a lot of the salmon.

The younger me would have called off The South Beach Diet Delivery Plan right then and there. Mentally, in my head, I’ve already decided that I’m not doing another month of this. The packages are losing their novelty and luster.  But I’ve already got the “food” and the phat to lose. So I’m not quitting.

The biggest mistake we make after we set a goal or an intention is that when it gets hard, we negotiate with ourselves. And we are good little negotiators. There’s a reason why “Just DO It” became such a powerful slogan.

It’s very easy to talk yourself out of something. Especially a sleazy meal delivery service. As you can tell, I’m pretty off the food at this point. Beyond the fact that it gives you a way to not think about what you’re going to eat  (it does keep you full-ish) – It’s cat food at best. Where’s Myrtle? Actually Myrtle probably would turn up her nose.

Yesterday I went to a voice lesson at lunch, but I really had to fly to make it there on time. There is always a really sick kid who comes in right before I’m about to run off and do something personal and yesterday I heard Teresa on the phone with a kid who was wheezing and I said….bring him in immediately, knowing that this would bleed into lunch.

Still,  I got there on time, sang with Suzy which was super fun, and got back to finish my afternoon. Then because of my lunch thing, I had tons of charts to finish. They’re still waiting for me, because taking time out to do something personal does cause other things to back up. Patient care doesn’t suffer – that’s nonnegotiable. But paperwork can stack up fast.

At 4pm I realized that the pig still had no food and that we’d gone through everything we could possibly feed him, besides bacon. Um, no. So I panicked and asked Teresa if she would go to Alamo Hay and Grain for me. Of course she would! My coworkers are delightful.

Meantime I had to get in a run in with Garth. Actually, he runs around and I hike. I love being outside on the trails right by my work. I’m very lucky that they are so close by. But when the days are short, fitting in a hike can feel a bit forced. So, I make myself do it. Poor me taking in beautiful views and getting some exercise with my gorgeous Bully-Aussie Shepherd mix. So hard.

I couldn’t do all my charting, because I had ballet last night.

I didn’t play banjo or violin because by the time I got home, actually by about noon, I was exhaust.

I didn’t write 500 words of my book a day, but I did over the weekend, so fine.

I did 15 mins of Spanish on the way to work before my Pimsleur wouldn’t load. I was supposed to do a lesson a day but it’s the 22nd and I’m on lesson ten. Less than 50% nailing it.

So with all these balls in the air, the balls that are keeping me from falling into a hole (depression), the balls that are making it tolerable, and even exciting I might add, to be single, with ALL this shit to do…I’m hitting it less than fifty percent.

I already mapped out my ideal life: up at 7, write book and blog for one hour, shower and to work with Spanish in the car, run Garth from 9-945, play violin and banjo between patients and at lunch, stay after work to finish the day’s charting, then my evening class of ballet or violin, with banjo and voice at lunchtime Tuesdays and Fridays.

Simple, right. Except that so far I haven’t been able to get up that early, especially with insomnia. The insomnia seems to be abating, so yay on that. But I still have trouble moving before nine. I can write in bed from 8-9 which I am doing right now, but I don’t seem to be able to shoot myself out of a canon quite the way that I used to. I have no idea how I ever got my kids to school by eight, and I did it for twenty years! Jazz Band was at 7:15 am! WTH???

It sounds doable, with little time to brood and that’s intentional. But with that much going on, if you forget and call a friend while driving to work, out goes the Spanish. If you don’t have time between patients – there goes the music. And blogging is fine in the morning, but really writing this book I want to write..it’s challenging to do it half asleep.

But I’m not negotiating myself into quitting. I’m going to eat the dang South Beach Diet crap, dance even when I am sore (which is pretty much always) and keep plugging at my hobbies. I shredded it on my violin – ok fiddle – over the weekend, well kinda.

I’m not going to quit, because as best as I can tell, that’s the one thing you must do – not quit – if you want to have a good life.

I just realized writing this post why being single pushes a person to pursue a good, full life.  Having a partner keeps us so soothed that we just don’t typically do all this shit. We eat a cheese plate in front of Netflix with our honey and we’re damn happy to just do that. I miss that kind of cozy, but as a Spanish-speaking banjo and fiddle-playing, singing Ballerina on a diet – I’m rockin it. Even if I can barely lift myself out of bed.

Shit, I forgot knitting. And pottery. blogI’ll leave that for next year, after I finish the book, if I’m not on a publicity tour by then.

Somewhat delusionally yours, but keeping it together,

Dr. Maria