Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Date with Myself and Other Thoughts

Rob is in the thick of finals right now and they are pretty intense. I’m actually stressing out for him because he doesn’t stress about anything, and god dammit, with a neurotic dog and wife one of us has to stress to keep this family grounded.

Or something.

Tonight we were engaged in our typical Sunday-night routine, which is comprised of me on my computer watching Sunday-night Fox shows and Rob on his computer, except this time he was knee-deep in an excruciating Physics final. He kept asking, “Can you turn that down?” even after I’d turned it down twice, so I figured it was time to get out and give him a good half hour or so to work on his final in peace and quiet.

So I convinced myself to go on a solo gelato date!

Last year at around this time a new gelato/café opened up in the next town over. I almost peed myself in excitement when I saw that ON THE WINDOW they announced that they had gluten-free gelato and food! Turns out the owner has celiac disease and is therefore very aware of gluten and cross-contamination. Epic win for my upper intestine and immune system!

Anyway I made the trek to gelato magic and ordered myself a combination of orange and chocolate sorbetto. I did this in honor of my dad, who is the best father any girl could ask for, and who loves the strange combo of orange sherbet and chocolate ice cream:

The gelato store has this map in the corner of the store with a sign asking each person to pin a piece of paper on a place they’d most like to visit, along with 3 words or less describing why. I saw some pretty cool ones and some pretty pretentious ones (we do live in a college town, ha) but in general I thought it was a pretty awesome idea.

Here is my extremely enlightened pin pinned on the great country of Russia:

Mine's the one on the right, though I'd like to meet the other peson, since she was the only other person who chose Russia (and Regina? HELL yes).

And here is something cute I found on Antarctica:

Ahem, the rules were 3 WORDS OR LESS.  College kids.

It felt really good to get out of the house on my own. While my husband is lovely and awesome and while the majority of activities are better with him, with the exception of, say, a pelvic exam or while using the bathroom, it felt nice to just be alone with my thoughts for a bit. I woke up in the morning in a severe funk, exacerbated by my ever-worsening allergies. I felt like I just wanted to curl in bed and not face the day; every tiny disappointment, from learning I have to travel for work one week or feeling like my blog isn’t interesting enough, turns into a giant weight on my mind and I feel as though I can hardly breathe.

I’m having a hard time actually tracing the funk. I think in large part I’m just kind of bored…we’ve been living in this part of Maine for 3 years as of May 20, and I’m getting antsy for what’s next. Because we live in a rural area, most of our days are spent at home or walking the dog in one or two locations. As I mentioned in my previous post, I don’t enjoy city living so I’m not sure that would actually fix the boredom either.

Ultimately I think what I need to do is to learn to be happy in the present moment. I am quite guilty of always looking ahead, a recurring symptom left over from Rob’s time in the Army when we spent 2-hour phone conversations fantasizing about what our life together would be like in a few years’ time.

I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression over the course of my entire life (as you have read about over the last few days) and only recently ceased taking medication to treat both. I decided that I would take the opportunity to start fundamentally changing myself, how I think about my life, and how I choose to live my life. It’s been a difficult road and I often have difficulty prying my mind out of the worry-rut that it so easily falls into, but I think that I have gotten a little better with time. Some days like today, however, the depression overtakes me and I need to reevaluate my thinking all over again. It’s a process. By the way: I don’t mean to speak disparagingly of those who choose to take medications for anxiety and depression; this is only my experience so take it what it is worth.

Anyway, my “date” was lovely and I’m glad I got the chance to do it. Truthfully I think that I should do it more often to spare my husband the constant back-and-forth of my inner dialogue. He’s been pretty amazing, I should say—it’s a wonder he hasn’t left me with the constant indecision, anxiety, biting of lips, and tears.

As part of my exercise to focus on the now, here are some things that made me happy this weekend:

1) Seeing my older sister, who I rarely see and with whom I have much in common.

2) Tons of quality time with my husband.

3) The look on Cypress’s face when I picked her up at daycare today.

4) Cypress playing with two of her “best friends” at a local field-slash-informal dog park.

5) Black cherry Calypso lemonade sold at the gelataria.

6) Eye drops that help make my eyes stop itching from all the pollen in the air.

7) 60 degree weather and sun.

8) Fun blog posts and comments.

What made you happy this weekend? Do you find it easy to live presently?

Also, this is my 100th post! I’m sure that means something somewhere, right?


  1. That gelato looks amazing and what a neat idea! I'm about to start doing some pretty hefty (within the US) traveling so I'll have to think of something fun like that to do. =]

  2. "lets pretend we don't exist...let's pretend we're in Antarctica!" love that song.
    solo dates are fun-i try to take myself out to a cafe every now and then, to clear my head and have some alone time. i think it's a necessity!
    it sounds like you had a wonderful weekend, and it also sounds like you have some big life changes headed your way, which is a great thing! proud of you for making the first big step towards changing yourself! :)

  3. I found this post funny because of the similarities we currently share. My husband is finishing his phd in Material Science (altho he was in Physics for undergrad and his master's) ... so yes, I stress out for him, and he shows no stress as far as I can tell. We sit on the couch as well - I sketch and he writes a thesis.

    Keep your chin up! You are not alone.

  4. Caitlin, your blog posts have quickly grown on me :-) so glad we had the chance to meet each other. As my FB status reflects, i find myself watching my 3 year enjoy things we as adults take for granted or simply don't take the time to enjoy. Eating ice cream from a cone, smelling flowers, bubbles...take some time, the pleasures of enjoying the here and now will come. Believe me, i struggle daily - with my dear and loving hubby out of work for almost a year, i find i have to remind myself DAILY of what's real and important :-)

  5. I really love the honesty of this. Listing what I love and what makes me happy (be it in my head or on paper) helps me stay present. So I like seeing your list. And rock on with the solo dates, I'm definitely going to try and do one of my own. I'm always wanting gelato, so I think I might just steal the idea entirely. Have a lovely day, Caitlin!

  6. i just randomly clicked onto your blog and i have got to say that i'm glad i did. i really enjoyed reading this!

  7. Caitlin, I love your openness and honesty. You're very brave. And I really enjoy your blog.

  8. that serving stuff sort of looks like yogurtland! i love that place...we don't have one anywhere near us tho :(


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