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Seasonal affective disorder Tue, Sep 25, 2007
Seasonal affective disorder is one of those newly-invented diseases that sounds made-up because everybody has the symptoms.  "Most SAD sufferers experience normal mental health throughout most of the year, but experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer."  Not to minimize what's likely an actual disorder, but who doesn't feel sad in the winter when they have to walk out to their car in 7-degree weather to scrape the ice off their windshield so they can spend another dangerous commute on the snow-covered, idiot-filled roads and sit in a cubicle for 9 hours? 

I'd say I feel most "SAD" at the border of summer and fall.  As much as I like football season and milder weather, fall has always brought with it three terrible things: 
  1. The end of lazy summer days, beaches, vacations, free time, and any fun whatsoever.
  2. The beginning of cold weather, ice on your car, extra blankets, and no more sandals.
  3. The start of school.
And that last one is what I think really makes the difference.  Even now that I'm out of school, that dread of starting things up again, being forced into an uncomfortable routine, and introducing an untold amount of stress into my life is built into the core of my being.  It doesn't matter that I graduated college over three years ago.  It wouldn't matter if it was 30 years ago.  That feeling, that pit in my stomach, is so ingrained into who I am, I doubt it'll ever go away.  Plus, I still know people who are in school, and I'm sure I'll always know people who are in school.  I feel bad for the people who are still entrenched in the education system, and I accept their pain and discomfort as my own. 

But anyway, thank God for school, summer, fall, and the ability to feel, because without any of it, we'd all merely be moist robots. #psychology

Relative regret (2) Tue, Sep 25, 2007
I think I do certain things because I'd regret not doing them more than I regret actually doing them. 

The perfect example is grad school.  I can't put into words how much I hate school and learning.  I can't wait until I can sit around and bask in my stupidity, without even a thought as to when the next assignment is due or how I'll find time to do it.  But at the same time, I know that if I didn't get my graduate degree (which is provided freely and conveniently by my employer), I'd regret it even more. 

Getting graduate degree:  Regret level = 6/10
Not getting graduate degree:  Regret level = 8/10
8 > 6 → get graduate degree

When things are broken down into numbers, they make much more sense to me. #psychology