Sunday, December 31, 2006

Depression open house, a new year's tradition.

Hi, I'm stressed, depressed, and sick of war.


Come on in and sit a spell. Tell me what's on your mind. It'll be a late night, waiting up for the teenager, so let's talk.

3,000 + 600,000

Three thousand Americans and 600,000 Iraqis dead.

We rightly worry about the former but history will judge us on both.

Don't worry tho, next year we'll be using a lot more foreign mercenaries. No security problem there right?

So foreign people killing other foreign people. Like the good old days of the Cold War. Scarcely our problem anymore.

Happy New Year--NZ, Aus, Japan, China, Russia!

Here's hoping we get our collective act together in 2007.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A marriage proposal

My niece got engaged yesterday! Her young man got down on one knee, with roses and candles all around.

That takes care of my June vacation planning!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Too much painful news: how to cope

Re how to handle all this terrible news.

You have to compartmentalize. Most people handle this by glancing at the headlines and then going about their business.

We have taken a deep plunge into learning about what is being done by the government in our name. It's painful.

To keep sane, which I know a little bit about, it is necessary to retreat from this knowledge often. Time to rest, think about children and beauty and life, build up energy for one more foray.

Passion is the driving energy, but we must be able to take a step back and consider things intellectually. This is what we do in surgery at the children's hospital in Russia where I work, where a nearly dead child has her heart cut open in front of us. Emotions? Not so helpful at that moment. Need to focus on what to do.

World's largest eraser

World's Largest Eraser:

What Bush needed to ask Santa for Christmas.

I make a lot of mistakes. On puzzles I can erase and start over.

So that got me thinking about how big a mistake the Iraq War is.

If I was clever I would find a photo of this for you. If I was ambitious I would post this photo here on mcegregious and write a long clever post and oh well just too early in the morning.

Besides, I have no idea how to post graphics on my blog.

New Year's Resolution?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Learning curve...sloping up?

Thanks for your patience as I learn how to run this site.

In particular, sorry for the delay in posting your comments on the previous thread.

Now back to Holiday Mental Health--Or Not--Open House.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Holiday depression open house

I've got seasonal affective disorder and 'tis the season.

What's on your mind?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas survival kit

Get out into the sunlight for 10 minutes a day.

Eat one serving of protein and a multivitamin.

Clamp down on your anger and your despair, they will still be there in January to fuel your work. In the meantime don’t let them destroy you.

Call your mother and your siblings. It’s Christmas.

Vastly reduce your expectations. For me, I am thrilled that I can now solve a puzzle while looking at the answer; a couple of days ago I couldn’t even do that.

Be very open about how sick/different/disabled you are in December. When you make a mistake or can’t do something, explain: “It’s December, and I’m not thinking clearly because of seasonal depression.”

Eat rather than drink.

Hang on with your fingernails til the 27th, that’s the day that I can FEEL there is more light. ymmv

Friday, December 22, 2006

I miss my brain.

Tales of the dark December. We are past solstice but I need a few days to understand that deep down. In the meantime, I miss my brain.

Yesterday, I had difficulty completing a puzzle while looking at the solution.

Today I very nearly put my cup of orange juice into the microwave. Undercaffeination, or December?

Yoo hoo, brain? Lost and found?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

In search of Atrios?

Atrios is en route to the New Improved Blogger.
But don't panic, you can get your Eschaton fix

And a Merrygregious to all on this ?sunny solstice.

Me, I'm a radical, just gonna go ahead and say
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Grinch has seasonal affective disorder?

This is the big week for those of us with seasonal depression. I start going down in mid-October, accelerate the week before Thanksgiving, and just live in dread the entire month of December. By the second week in January I start feeling better.

Am trying to get outside, ’sun on skin’ as recommended by a commenter here, to eat protein in place of starch, and to stop worrying about the entire world. Well that’s easy since things are going so well in our nation :o

All 3 kids will be home for Christmas so that’s one joy. Am trying to keep my to-do list to a minimum, like only one thing a day that has to be done. Then trying to rest and not be anxious about everything. It’s hard because I have no defenses and no reserves this time of year.

‘Touchy’ would cover it. I had to stop answering the phone because of being so grouchy.

Maybe the Grinch had seasonal affective disorder….

Friday, December 15, 2006

Art teachers: crush yr students' spirits

Speaking of seventh grade, during which my “art” teacher gave me a C for my ultimate opus thereby crushing all further non-musical art efforts for 30 years not that we are still bitter, HA! I spent the day making lovely construction paper chains. You CAN reclaim your childhood, and it’s really fun.

More thots on creativity:
There are many of us Celtic descendants who are stormy redheads. Clearly we have something going for us biologically. Beauty, brains such as they are :) and intuition/second Sight. We are the ones who will first hear the mountain lion ready to pounce. World: you need us.

Sibling rivalry never really ends.

Speaking of family, I have been thinking about siblings [I have 7] and sibling rivalry.

It is my observation that sibling rivalry never really ends. It continues on, gracefully or not, into old age. When it works well we scamp around like puppies, when it doesnt…well the literature on alcohol abuse covers a lot there.

I wonder if siblings fight with special fervor because we are so much alike.

In my current family there are 5 of us, the children are extremely strong-willed. Where the **** did that come from? :) The parent-child pairs where there is the most similarity are the ones with both emotional intimacy and open fighting. Not a coincidence.

Finally, an analogy from our Russian work. In the original mother organization there have been 5 or 6 people who have quit in disgust and formed their own charities because they couldn’t work with the founder. I am one of the spinoffs. My insight is that this kind of personal conflict is inherent in the situation. The very people who would decide that working in a country 5,000 miles away under awful conditions is a GOOD idea, are the same people that are strong-willed, stubborn determined, and prone to fighting with each other. Only people like us are willing to do this work, and such people are destined to fight with each other.

Just my dva kopekii.

Snoopy dance

Here's my Snoopy dance at firedoglake upon the election of Senator Webb.

Senator Webb! I just like saying it.

Senator Webb. Senator Webb. Senator Webb. Chairman Leahy. Mania in December, it’s really a first, usually I am so depressed I can hardly open my Christmas presents. Sometimes the gyroscope sets the world right.

I’ve been trying to find a copy of Bulwer-Lytton. Someone must keep the flame alive of the Worst Person Book in the World. Mom and I did stumble upon his grave in London, I wanna say St. Paul’s, we burst out laughing when we saw the name.

Edit: Kind commenters at fdl inform me its Westminster. So be it.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

We must try something new.

I am feeling sad that people are so unable to connect with each other. Gaining power by killing others far away. Saving face by refusing to admit that we might be one tiny bit at fault. Collateral damage = dead children. I spend my days trying to save the lives of children and my nights trying to persuade others to act to prevent the deaths of children in our various wars.

Is there a higher way? Not my way or the highway? Can we find some common ground, United Nations, grace and forgiveness, looking at oneself in the mirror and seeing humanity, looking at humanity and seeking forgiveness and justice?

We must try something new, tentative, fragile, and tender. We must SEE each other and try to love each other. Across the continents. Across the room. We are on the verge of seriously messing up the American experiment. Let’s try the new way.

I could come to hate the word 'surge'

I could really come to hate the word ’surge’ because it will mean more deaths, the deaths of tens of thousands of human beings, the beautiful sons and daughters of mothers who will never recover. And fathers. Grandmothers and grandfathers. Children who lose daddy or mommy forever.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, you are now a gold star family. Or simply one more anonymous and therefore invisible Iraqi family caught in the crossfire of greed and arrogance.

And FOR WHAT? So the Republicans can save face? Pretend to have a strategy? Pass the problem off to the Dems in ‘09?

Coming to a funeral home near you soon.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Loss of a child, the nightmare scenario.

Loss of your child. The nightmare scenario.

Listening to Matthews and Edwards at UNC. Edwards had a child die, Matthews talks about a lost child? I don’t know the details.

Gore had a serious incident with his son. Bush grew up with the ghost of his lost sibling, and was arguably emotionally deformed by this loss and his parents’ distance and grief.

People’s lives are shaped by the loss or the immanent loss of someone in their immediate family. I have dedicated my adult post-kid years to helping save the lives of young children.

I work with newborns because my older brother died at age 3 hours of prematurity and atelectasis. I have had 8 miscarriages to produce these 3 lovely children. I know about loss.

Am I trying to address too fine of a problem? Should we instead focus on trying to stop our government from setting into motion the circumstances resulting in the killing of people by the hundreds of thousands in places like Iraq?

I personally experience the loss of small numbers of babies and work from there. I intellectually understand the loss of many more; the loss of hundreds of thousands of people weighs on my conscience. I have worked to make peace with a nation that over the decades was our likely enemy in WWIII.

I feel that I am one war behind. Hope that younger people are motivated to work for peace in the middle east.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The true meaning of Christmas.

Ya know, I don't always agree with posts at the motherblog.

In the bah humbug category,

your recommendations for gifts which will destroy the spirit of Christmas

Honestly this is not where I am. I am FOR the spirit of Christmas, which is to think about things eternal, give to the poor, forgive people that have hurt me, reach out to those who are estranged from family and friends, show great tenderness to those who are facing extreme old age and death, and consider how I might contribute to REAL peace on earth.

My idea of a Christmas present is to fly hundreds of miles to take my 78 yr old aunt, who is losing her mind, to her very last Messiah concert. This at a time when I am supposed to be resting and recuperating from the elections and trying not to drink so much. But my aunt will not always be here.

Sorry that I cannot help here with demonizing Christmas. For me this is real.

Sorry not to pile on to the anti-religious theme, but my faith is something alive and real. It calls me out every day and makes me paradoxically more active and more humble.


You know, there are a lot of Americans, I’m gonna go ahead and say a MAJORITY of Americans, who are concerned about the direction of our nation, the war in Iraq, loss of Constitutional rights, et al.

But we are going to lose them if they think we loathe and disdain their basic belief in God.

Crashing the gate/coalition building, you want to be serious about this? Then stop demonizing people who believe in God and want the country to live up to its original ideals.

Being scornful of people who celebrate Christmas? Oh, clever, very clever, and very short-sided if you are truly interested in changing things in this country. The majority of people are real Christians, unlike Haggard and the like, and do not take kindly to having their beliefs mocked and ridiculed.

Want to be a tiny group laughing about what’s going on, with no power to change anything? Keep it up.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

And yet...

"Yet" is one of my new favorite words. It contains so much hope.

I can't do that -- yet.

I don't understand that -- yet.

This problem* cannot be solved -- yet.

[*Ok fellow math geeks, yes there are some unsolvable math problems!]