Prospects of Sudden Disaster

“There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody’s expense but his own. However, nothing dispirits, and nothing seems worth while disputing. He bolts down all events, all creeds, and beliefs, and persuasions, all hard things visible and invisible, never mind how knobby; as an ostrich of potent digestion gobbles down bullets and gun flints. And as for small difficulties and worryings, prospects of sudden disaster, peril of life and limb; all these, and death itself, seem to him only sly, good-natured hits, and jolly punches in the side bestowed by the unseen and unaccountable old joker”–Moby Dick, the beginning of Chapter 49.


It was one of those weeks where from the very start, everything was off. Not that it was completely horrible, just that little things kept going wrong. Mixed with a pile of homework (although, now that I think about it, there wasn’t actually that much homework, but last Monday it felt like Mt. Rushmore) and an incredible lack of motivation, the week ended with me coming home from work, crawling into bed, and taking an hour long nap.

I don’t usually take naps, so this signaled to me that my weekend needed to be one of recuperation. Recuperation from what, I have no idea, because I am not good at pinpointing why I feel bad when I do, it just sort of happens.

Which leads to this series of things I do after a stressful week, as well as a list of ways to get my motivation back.


1. First thing Friday morning, I went for a run in Central Park. Exercise is number one for de-stressing because all you can really think about is pain. Also, it was the perfect amount of cold outside, to where I wasn’t debilitated by frostbite, but instead was invigorated by the feeling of cool air rushing into my lungs, making my brain feel crisp.

Running is also a great way for me to gain back my motivation because if I can run four miles then surely I can give a ten minute presentation in French, right??

Bien sûr (with a hint of French sarcasm) !!


2. The second thing I did after my energizing run, was to go to the craft store, buy yarn, and start knitting a scarf. To me, winter never really arrives unless I am knitting something that I can (hopefully) have finished by break and wear to Christmas parties and such.

Unfortunately the knitting did not help my motivation because now all I want to do is knit while watching Supernatural reruns, but what can you do really.


3. Another way I de-stress is by doing something new and kind of odd, like attending the Moby Dick Marathon, down at the Sea Port Museum. They were around chapter 50 when we got there, which I have to say is an incredibly good part of the book to start on. None of the boring details about different types of whales and etc.

IMG_8998(Caitlin wore whale socks in honor.)

I was hoping listening to various people read Moby Dick out loud would instill in me the desire to sit down myself and start reading it. It did not. But maybe one day (like when I’m retired, I feel like that is the appropriate age to read Moby Dick).

To be honest, the rest of the weekend I’ve been milling around drinking Christmas flavored tea and eating chocolate chip cookies, so I will keep you updated on whether or not I become motivated again. (Now I’m just getting all existential: what is the true meaning of motivation, etc, etc.)

But my weekend was very restful, with very little obligation, and I think it was exactly what I needed.

I hope you all got some rest this weekend, too.


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