1. My new antidepressant and my not-quite-as-new drug for rheumatoid arthritis are working together to get me back to “ME.” I feel like Robin again and I’m very grateful. A friend told me yesterday she was glad I was back. I said, “Me, too.” I told my therapist I thought I might be on a “pink cloud” and she asked if I meant euphoria. I said, “Yes!” and that I was afraid it wouldn’t last. She said she thought maybe I just felt good and I said, “Oh, you mean I’ve reached a level like normal?” She said, “Yes” and we both laughed really hard. I look back now at how I felt in December and January and recognize I have an illness that, untreated, depresses my spirit and takes away all joy. I choose today to do all I can not to live that way. I choose to step fully into each unique day..
2. My current book is “This Is The Story of A Happy Marriage” by Ann Patchett. It’s a collection of essays by a novelist. She writes some about writing and a lot about her life. I love to read how she puts words together. In the essay that gave the book its title, she describes the deterioration of one of her marriages. A friend asked her, “Does your husband make you a better person? Are you smarter, kinder, more generous, more compassionate, a better writer? Does he make you better?”
3. As I get some older–I’m 62 today–I have less physical and emotional energy. I treasure my energy on any given day. I had none when my depression was at its worst. It varies now from day to day. I think I will use the questions below when I need to choose how to use my time and energy:
Will _____ make you a better person? Will you be smarter, kinder, more generous, more compassionate, a better writer? Will ______ make you better?
4. A week ago we had an ice storm. Actually, we had a sleet-snow-freezing rain storm that took away the power of 143,000 in our county alone. The retired man I live with and I lost our electricity for 34 hours, but we have gas logs and a small generator to power tv and lights and the microwave. Our daughter, son-in-law and their chatty 4-year-old and their constantly moving almost-two year old endured 4 days. My daughter sounded worse each day in the very brief conversations we had because she had to turn on the car to charge the phone. She got excited about doing laundry when it finally came back on.
5. Afterward, we talked about those days without tv, internet, iPad and readily available phone. Besides the quiet, she noticed her kids playing together more. She read. And they all cuddled a lot because the house was colder inside than it was outside some of those days. Maybe we should have national No Electricity Weekend each spring and fall, with a guarantee of a high temperature between 63 and 78 and no rain so we can go outside. I bet we’d all read more, play together more, and cuddle more.
6. I googled “how to be a friend” recently because I’ve been thinking about how I would like to be a better friend to some people I really like, like Kim and Lisa. My google choices included: how to be friends with a guy, with a girl, with a friend who is sick, with a friend who is depressed and how to be a friend with benefits. (Google that yourself if you’re not sure what that means, Aunt Nadine.) I looked at the friends with benefits one, of course. It was a slide show format that wouldn’t go past #4 (of 10) for me. I’m not sure what that meant. The 1st 5 links for “how to be a friend” were from wikihow.com, amazon, selfstairway.com (?), tinybuddha.com, and realsimple.com. I clicked on tinybuddha.com (here’s the link) and got a list of 25 suggestions that were actually quite good, though not really anything I didn’t already know.
7. I noticed a behavior pattern of mine while on my “how to be a friend” internet journey. I’m quite good at finding sources of information about how and why to do stuff (meditate, exercise, pray, write, be a friend/parent/grandparent, eat more fruits and vegetables, not eat sugar) and I enjoy learning, but there is a disconnect in my brain between learning and doing.
8. I’m going to read about motivation and procrastination. I’ll get back to you.