Thursday, October 20, 2011

October: when all the little demons come out to play

October is the horriblest month of the year for me. It always has been. It just sucks being in my head in October.

It's not some irrational dark sea of depression. It's not the Big Demons, the ones who ask what you've accomplished with your life and why are you such a lazy/evil/incompetent person. It's the Little Demons, the ones you can usually ignore - but they are relentless. It's like playing a nightmarish game of Whack-a-Mole with a neverending stream of minor-league bad thoughts.

Since the end of September, I've wanted to go ride in the Sierras. I have not yet. There was the Toe Thing, and G was home for a week (YAY!), and I twisted my ankle, but what about all the OTHER days? I'll think "tomorrow I will go ride!" then here's my thought process:

Where should I go?
I pick some place from the Tahoe Rim site.
Let's go to Spooner!
What if there are mountain bikers and we plunge off the side of a mountain to escape them?
Shut up. Don't borrow trouble. There are no-bike trails and the horse is 1000x better than she was three years ago, the last time you saw a bicycle.
What if the trailer leaps off the ball, breaks its chains, and plunges off the road?
Shut up. It's a brand new trailer.
Why do you want to go to Spooner, anyway? It's halfway down Tahoe. It's 60 freakin miles one way. You're gonna spend three times as long trailering as you will riding.
... Cause it's... pretty?
A lot of frantic searching reveals that everything else is either further away or kind of vague on directions.
What kind of idiot hauls alone, into the mountains, in October, to someplace she's never been? You're going to have a Donner Party.
Well... there's no snow now, that's why I want to go...
You are SO spoiled. There are starving children in Africa and starving protesters in New York and it's probably peak oil and you just want to zoom off and terrify your horse with bikes and probably re-pull her tendon and permanently lame her? What is WRONG with you?

At that point I give up and vacuum (futile: it just gets tracked in again, and the fruit of laziness: why didn't I do that yesterday) and sulk. At night, the little voice pops back up to say:
Why don't you ever ride your horse? Poor thing. Pining away. Deserves better than to stand in a sand lot for the rest of her life.

Repeat every other day for two weeks.

Similar internal dialogues follow for just about everything. Doing stuff with friends. Declining the chance to do stuff with friends. Agreeing to do stuff, then canceling. Emailing friends. Failing to reply to emails from friends. Having nothing to do on a particular day. Having too much to do.

But it's almost over! It's a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point, but I know things will be better in November. I actually have a kickass Halloween costume picked out for the NEDA ride next Saturday. Sneak preview:

This too shall pass. It'll all be ok again soon. :)


  1. Shit. If I wasn't in "transitioning to a new job, WTF am I going to do!??!" mode at work, I would take tomorrow off and we would go ride at Spooner. This weekend is hay on Saturday and a ride at Washoe on Sunday. You're welcome to come to Washoe... ?? Next weekend you have the parade (yay!). Soon - hopefully the weather will continue to hold.

  2. I hear you too. What is up with those voices? They are tough to deal with sometimes...

  3. Totally understand what you are saying, kind of been doing it myself.

  4. Know what you mean . . .

  5. Hang in there. You're not alone. Big smile for Halloween around here, too.

  6. WOW!!! thought I was the only one that had a million crazy thoughts!! Glad to know I am not alone. But after life beats you up a few times takes a lot of guts and strength to get over it and do it. But believe me it is a struggle!! Glad you are looking towards november and halloween. That is my favorite holiday:)

  7. Been there, bought the t-shirt, refuse to wear it.

    Unfulfilling job? Check
    Too lazy to clean but feel bad about it? Check
    Totally bummed that it's getting dark now by 6:30? Check

    The list goes on and on...

  8. I do the same thing! I want to ride, but BP has this weird fear that Casey may bronc or something and he won't know I'm injured. So, I'm supposed to wait until he has time on the weekend to come out while I ride. But when the weekend rolls around, I'm too sore with weather changes (fibro) or I didn't sleep well, or the weather is bad, or I've got other things to do, I'm too nervous, what-ifs attack me, or, or, or, or!

    If I do not ride this weekend, I will ride this coming week, BP be damned.

    In the mean time, you can do what I do until the Little Demons pass, go read a good book. Can I recommend "Phoenix Rising" by Pip Ballantine? It's Steampunk and I think you'll love it!

    PS Please pull me out of my doldrums come Xmas-Bday time.

  9. Those little demons haunt me too... except they come in months other than October too. Sounds like you have some fun stuff coming up though. I can't wait to see your costume!

  10. It's a horrible time of year seeing the light fleeing and snow/mud besieging our circled wagons. Sometimes I feel like shutting my mind down for the next few months...then a sunny day makes life seem better. Well, it's best to be honest, that way we know these demons by name and can face them off.

  11. It's ok to get in a rut sometimes. Like you said, it will pass.

    Can't wait to see this costume!

    I have left an award for you on my blog. :)

  12. Yuck! Hope you feel better soon. Can't wait to see the costume.

  13. I have an off and on again fear of May. Bad things seem to occur around May in my life... so I understand.

    I too find myself having interesting conversations with myself about riding. Dawson is only 7 miles away, Jake/Bull 40... but why don't I just drive two hours and ride with friends? And then that whole money thing jumps in.

    Ride your pony. Its one of the biggest thrills we have and it's means you have a reason to keep spending all your money/time on her. If you need bike desensitization just haul over here to Georgia. We always seem to encounter a dozen or sixty bikes a ride. Georgia's big bike race training ground with our humidity and hills. Rose is totally not concerned about bikes. She can model for Dixie. =)

  14. Oh my, you got the dreads covered...and the responces. You have plans though..can't wait for the costume reveal. Sounds Luke there is one gal that you can ride with nearby. Sometimes just another to help momentum is the trick! Other than that ...some downtime is normal after hitting it hard or injuries. Give yourself a break. October is almost over too! Yea.

    Well, I do understand. I've got the voices going on for my saddle delima. It's my turn to lobe a response to the Co. And I've been so frustrated with a voicestream of negative.....


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