I realize I have no current goal for this blog; at various times I’ve had various ambitions for it–build up a big readership with frequent posts, etc. For a while, it was heading in the direction of commentary on cello, musical, and political issues, with occasional personal vignettes.
But I just haven’t had the energy for that. Since last summer, I’ve had bouts of depression and insomnia, some quite intense. Some diet-related (i.e., first way too much sugar, then once I went low-carb, perhaps too few carbs), some writers-block related, and some from being overwhelmed with responsibilities. And it’s been difficult to get things accurately diagnosed and get really appropriate treatment/assistance.
There’s paying for my son’s college-which is actually a joy, but money has been tight. I have too much debt, because I bought some cellos with the intention of reselling them for a profit to help pay for the restoration of my 1790 Pallotta cello, but it turned out I’m not really that much of a salesman! So I have too many cellos now. And not much time or energy to try and sell them (and perhaps some internal blocks, too).
A top DePauw administrator comments frequently that a typical faculty member is expected to work about 50-70 hours a week during the academic year, including professional research or artistic projects, and countless meetings. While his comments are meant more as a description of what actually happens than as a prescription of what each of us “must” do, the workload, and the stress of worrying about challenges one’s academic unit faces, really takes a toll. One colleague once said to me, “It’s not the time so much,but all the worry.”
And my parents moved to Greencastle in late September. We thought it would be great; but my dad has chronic congestive heart failure as well as problems with his blood pressure suddenly dropping (the treatments for which cancel each other out, so it’s very tricky to manage), and my mom has some health and memory issues of her own. So while we all thought that they’d move here, start getting to know people in the community, connect with a church, etc., it’s turned out that they are pretty much house bound. So I’ve been their main, and pretty much only, “psycho-social support system.”
I love taking care of them, but at other times I resent it, because how do you work 50-70 hours a week and provide a social life and good energy to your aging parents in declining health? I am a care-taker type person; part of me wishes I had the financial resources to take a year or two off or just greatly reduce my teaching load. And at the same time I love teaching, and I love, more than anything, making music.
What’s the point of this post? To vent a little, to explain a little to those who follow the blog and used to enjoy regular posts why I’m posting only rarely. And I know there are many other people in what’s often called the “sandwich generation” who are finding it a challenge to manage caring for parents, maintaining a career, putting kids through college, and more-or-less failing at having much of a personal/romantic life!
Meanwhile, my weight is down to 209, so I have lost at least 55 pounds since I started keeping track last fall. Over 60, according to my doctor’s records. Increasing the amount of carbs I eat to about 15/meal, 60 or more a day (from the 20-30 total I had been eating), seems to have helped my moods and ability to sleep, as has a new anti-depressant. (And yes, there’s less libido, but I feel so much better overall that it doesn’t bother me!) People are constantly complimenting me on how much better I look, and that’s nice.
And today someone sent an email complementing me on how organized I am. I think I’ll frame it, because I am chronically, even comically, disorganized in most areas of my life!