On depression and grace

23 February 2012

Another week and a half, another absence from the blog.  No matter how often this happens, I never seem to get used to it.

I know I should be more consistent with this.  For one, I have plenty of things to say.  For another, people seem to like them (or at least read them).  And I know the best way to “build traffic” to a blog is to post something, anything, every day.  So I know these long absences are working against my best interests.

And yet they still occur.  The reason they still occur, while simple to state, is not so simply remedied.  Basically, I find it hard to write when I’m depressed.

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So hard to get started in 2012

6 February 2012

It’s only taken me five weeks to write my planned New Year’s Eve post.  Impressive, huh?

In all seriousness, I didn’t plan a month-plus layoff from this blog — it’s just kind of happened.  Every time I went to write something, there would be a distraction, or something else would come up, or I couldn’t get the words together, or I’d be too depressed, or … well, you get the idea.  Writing is not easy for that exact reason: it’s too easy to be taken off-track by almost anything that comes along.  It takes a discipline that I haven’t been exercising, or at least not exercising enough.

And then there’s the depression thing.  I’m thankful that (these days at least) I don’t get depressed seriously enough that I just quit functioning, or require medication to get moving again.  But something about the calendar turning over to 2012 really sent me into a funk.  Mostly, I suspect it was thinking back and realizing that I was barely recovered from the events of 2009 — Sean’s illness, my mom’s death, my continuing unemployment, my wife’s job difficulties, etc.  It’s a lot to move on from (especially when most of them have still-ongoing repercussions), but now I’m finally able to start working on the on-moving.  (Thus, the Churchill quote.  Seemed to fit.)

And so it goes, as Linda Ellerbee used to say. But at least, thank Heaven, it goes!

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Cleaning out the closet — December 2010 edition

5 December 2010

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a post full of random bits & pieces that aren’t big enough, involved enough or (let’s be honest here) important enough to rate their own entry.  Given that I have the ADD kid’s classic short attention span, this needs to happen every so often.  But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun for both of us.   Consider it a peaceful ride through my mind, in a glass-bottomed boat.

So … please take your seat, fasten your seat belt, and enjoy the ride …

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Is this why I’m here?

9 July 2010

Shared pain is diminished, shared joy is increased. — Spider Robinson

I had a blog post all ready for Tuesday — still do, in rough draft form — but found that I didn’t have enough energy to flesh it out that evening.  (Incidentally, if 36 hours go by here without a new post, and I haven’t said I’m going to be absent, assume I’m just exhausted.  And, ideally, pray for me.)  It’s happened a lot that way: wanting to write, but not having the get-up-and-go to get the words out.  Part of it is physical — as you know if you read my stuff, I have a lot going on.  Part of it is mild drepression, which I’ve had to deal with my whole life but which gets tougher with … well, all that I have going on.

And part of it is wondering if anyone’s reading.  Seriously.  WordPress tracks how many looks my blog gets every day, and lately the numbers have been low — single digits, usually.  I know how important it is to be faithful even when you see no results, to trust God and let him bring the increase, et cetera.  Heck, my hero from the Bible (after Jesus) is the prophet Jeremiah, who preached for forty years and only saw one convert result from it.  But I’m human, I want to be liked.  And it’s hard to spend an hour or two on this — on anything — every day when you’re not getting much feedback, when it can be empirically proven that few people are noticing it.  And I’d been wondering if I should continue, though I hadn’t actually gotten to the stage of asking God if it was “time’s up” for this project.

And then, on Wednesday night, I got an e-mail …

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Them’s the breaks

8 May 2010

(Blogger’s note: don’t tear up, M. — this has a happy ending …)

I feel a little sad for how dour most of my last several posts have been.  I wish I could give you a lot more sunshine, light and slapstick humor.  Alas, that’s not what I have in supply right now, so I have to make do with what I’ve got.

And what I’ve got right now is that I’m broken.

I think it happened a bit before Easter.  It wasn’t anything in particular, just the effect of all the events of the last year or two exacting their toll, a piece at a time.  It happens.  I’m not sure what broke, or how I would even go about fixing it, but my emotions are on a more consistent low, I’ve been lacking in energy, and it’s been harder to get going on the things I need/want to do.  I’ve dealt with depression before, but this is something different.  And as much as I’ve done my best to keep a-soldiering on, as loath as I’ve been to admit it (even to myself), I really haven’t been the same since whatever snapped, snapped.

Sounds pretty bad, I imagine.  Well, maybe it is.  And then again, maybe not.

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Almost seven months later …

3 March 2010

August the thirteenth, 2009.  That’s the date on my last entry here.  It’s been almost seven months since I’ve been in this space.  Almost seven months since I’ve been able to be in this space for longer than a few minutes.

It has been la vida loca at Chez Anselmo for that long.  Things have happened that we didn’t think we would ever have to bear, that we would never have thought we could bear, and we’ve borne them nonetheless.  So many things, in fact, that there is no way I could get all the pertinent details into a single blog post and not give up a good chunk of sleep.  (Lost enough of that lately as it is.)  But I wanted to give you all at least an overview, and I can expand on any or all of them at later dates.

That work for you?  Okay, strap yourselves in, and please keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times.  Here we go …

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Managing the lawn: a life lesson

31 July 2009

Gardening is like doing a jigsaw.  A pointless way of passing time until you die. – Jeremy Clarkson, The Times (London)

Yesterday, the Supermodel and the kids were off in the San Jose area, visiting my in-laws (“Grandma G.” and “Guy,” as the kids call them).  Having a little extra time on my hands and the weather being agreeable, I chose to spend a couple good chunks of the day catching up on the yard work — specifically mowing the back lawn.

One of the reasons we moved to this house over five years ago was that it had lawns, front and back, and we wanted our children (our daughter was 2½ at the time, our son was actually born a week before the move) to have their own space of grass to play in.  Previously we had been renting part of the first floor of a drafty old Victorian that was surrounded by fruit trees and rose bushes in various states of repair, but no real open space to speak of.  Our current locale has a substantial back yard with some trees (oak, almond, olive and one we can’t identify), and a front yard with plots of grass broken up by cememnt walkways.  Plenty of soft green for the little ones to gambol.

Of course, in this fallen world everything has a downside.  The downside with a lawn is that you have to take care of it, or pretty soon you don’t have a lawn, you have a weedy patch of dirt.

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