how was seattle, how seattle was

more than anything it reminds me of a veterinarian's office

This is a post I was meaning to write for a while. It was going to be the post of “where did my Summer go?” and then just about the time I got motivated enough to start typing, I was off again, and then I was down again.

The short story is that in mid-May my friend and good family friend Pat died. This was the most recent event in what has generally been a somewhat down year including dating a third year law student, breaking up with a third year law student, my Mom being sick, me having miscellaneous mystery ailments and a good dose of hypochondria, and this rainy swamp that passes for Summer around here and my everdamp and moldy basement. I’ve been okay but I haven’t been great. I’m usually great. I was exercising a lot, all the time, and I knew it was going wrong when I realized that I’d already swam a mile, my third or fourth that week saying to myself “gee, I don’t feel tired at all, how strange. I must be getting better at this…” but in fact, I was getting worse.

I torqued a few muscles including one chest-wall muscle that set off a “go get a mammogram!” scare and one groin-area muscle that I kept poking to make sure it wasn’t a swollen lymph node. I have a good doctor who set me up with a good physical therapist who has been my coach and companion in getting better. Meanwhile I’ve been out of the pool. I just started getting back in it last week.

I don’t think there’s been a week that I haven’t been travelling in at least 18 months where I haven’t been in the pool but this kept me out for a month, even a little more. I had gotten used to the release valve that was regular aggressive exercise and without it, things got a little discombobulated. I got depressed, anxious, moody. I slept well for the first time in a while but also too well. I had a hard time getting up and when I got up I didn’t feel truly awake. I didn’t feel sad or depressed, I just didn’t feel … anything. Wasn’t hungry, didn’t want to see friends, didn’t want to do anything. This lasted for weeks. As my body healed, so did my mind. I just started, over the past few weeks, feeling like myself again. I was in Seattle raring to go, and I got hit with a big Summer cold that flattened me out for a few days on a friend’s couch, but I managed to get my ass on to the plane and get home on schedule. Just gives me a good reason to go back to Seattle again.

So, it’s been an odd Summer. I feel like I’ve missed some of it. I’ve been doing a lot of the things I norally do, it’s just taken a lot more effort and seemed a lot less rewarding. I didn’t really want to say anything until I knew I was putting it at least somewhat behind me, which I think I am. I’m now solidly behind in my quest to swim the length of Lake Champlain and I haven’t decided yet whether to give myself a break and add a month on to the end of the challenge or just push hard once I think I’m ready for it.

Thanks to everyone who has given me maybe a little more slack than usual. I have a hard time admitting that maybe I can’t do everything and this has been a pretty humbling experience. I’m typing this up after getting off the redeye flight back from Seattle this morning. I’m just waiting until it gets a little darker and then I’ll be sleeping the sleep of the newly returned home, coupled with the rest of the “yay I’ve got my brain back.” Welcome back brain, I missed you.

Here are some photos from Seattle
. I didn’t get out as much as I’d wanted, but I still saw some nice stuff.

What do you think?


  1. Hey, Jessamyn, you’re a dynamo, and we in libraryland love you for it. But I know there are also a lot of people who love you for just being you, and that youness is not defined by swimming the length of Lake Champlain or traveling every week or being an awesome writer and an incredibly helpful person. Those things are all part of it, but they’re not all of it.

    I’m not quite sure how much sense this is making, but anyway, I just wanted to say I’m sorry things have been not so good, and I’m glad to hear they’re improving.

  2. Hi Jessamyn,
    Sorry we didn’t get to hang out while you were in Seattle, but I hope you are feeling better. Hopefully Todd and I will make our way to Vermont next year instead for a visit. Also, really loved your SPL photos and comments! Take care <--- Maggie

  3. Ah, familiar plights. I too have lost my way of late, and only now am figuring out how to get it back.

    That thing about it being just OK to live is true, as well, hard as it is to accept sometimes. Getting back on track feels good. Hope you continue to feel good, good, good.