Thursday, March 30, 2006

Even the computer thinks I'm depressed

Feeling slightly better than the other day. Had a couple of little talks with my partner, which were upsetting and somewhat frustrating, but also encouraging on a certain level. At least I was able to express some of my core emotions in a way that I felt was understood, so that was a success in of itself.

Today while surfing around on a quick break, I found this colour test which analyzes your emotional state by the order of coloured cubes you pick. My dad had a book about this type of analysis (one of those great 70s self-therapy deals) and my siblings and I used to have a lot of fun picking out coloured cards and telling each other how mental we were. My results today were scarily on target:

"Life for some time now has been somewhat depressing and you feel 'under the weather'. You are looking for a means by which you can escape from all the pressures of everyday life. But you must remember that the 'Past does not equal 'Tomorrow'. You are seeking a way to escape from all the trials and tribulations that oppress you at this time, but at least you haven't given up - if one pattern of behaviour doesn't seem to work then you'll change it for another.

You haven't been feeling that great lately. Both physically and mentally you are exhausted. To your best friends, those who know you and love you, it shows. Your self esteem has been reduced almost to a minimum and in order to recover - and recover you will - it is necessary that you get away from it all, even if it be only for a few days.

It is amazing that you yourself believe that old 'adage' that you are a misunderstood person - and you feel that because of this you are being left out in the cold. It is because of this lack of believed understanding that you feel the need to conform to society in general - but this situation leaves you 'cold' knowing that you are not appreciated for your true self. Any relationship that you are developing at this time does not seem to involve any true emotional commitment, you seem to be just playing along.

The stress and tension that you are experiencing at this time is perhaps due to your inability to achieve security and appreciation from those closest to you. This is resulting in considerable pressures. You find the situation as it stands most frustrating. You are the sort of person that would like to experience all and everything very intensely but unfortunately you are not receiving the warmth and understanding that you feel you are entitled to. Matters are not going too well. You seek a sympathetic ear but it is not forthcoming. This situation is extremely nerve-racking - and what is more humiliating is that no-one seems to care and you are powerless to do anything about it.

Matters are not all that they would appear to be and you are critical of the existing conditions which you feel are confused and disorganised. You are therefore looking for a modus operendi which will simplify the situation so that you will be able to see the 'trees in the woods'."

I hate it when a computer program can peg me so accurately! It makes my neuroticisms seem so pedestrian. I want to be creatively and uniquely depressed!

Anyway, time to get back to work. If I make some more money and we start pulling ourselves out of this debt maybe I'll be less depressed. Or maybe matters are really not as they appear and I will soon find out that I really the long-lost heir of an ex-patriated European royal family. Not very likely, though...
:: posted by Ann Howell, 1:53 PM | link | 3 comments |

Saturday, March 25, 2006

So much for winding down...

I must admit that I'm having a bad day. The project from hell (trade show) threatens never to end, my dog ate the heel of my good boots for the third time in a month and I've got a raging headache. I dcided to try to unwind a bit between coming home from my client's office and starting work again, so I cracked open a beer, put on Radio 4 and settled down for 20 minutes of solitaire. But as I listened to the radio, I found myself tensing up even more than before. It should have been a harmless program, the reading of the memoires of the wife of a British minister (politician, not cleric) during the war. She started off talking about her early years, teaching in a London girls' school, then meeting and marrying her husband. But then of course almost instantly after marriage she found herself "encumbered" by a new baby, and then the two more that quickly followed. This is a story that the whole world seems to take for granted and that I will never be able to tell. There will be no light-hearted remembrances of the carefree, happy times before the children just "happened" to come along. Everything will be planned and calculated and ... well, what am I talking about. It is very probably that none of this will happen at all. That I am doomed to be childless and at the rate things are going, alone.

Fuck it, I am in too bad a mood to do this right now. I'll try again tomorrow...

(On a side note, I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post. It has been a busy week, but that's no excuse. Especially since the change of season has put me in a rather reflective mood lately, tonight aside. Now that the snow is finally almost all gone, little sprouts are starting to poke through the matted wet leaves that cover my flower beds. The lawns, on the other hand, are a sea of mud, but that's another story.)
:: posted by Ann Howell, 1:01 PM | link | 2 comments |

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Thinking of Thomas

Another beautiful Thomas had a birthday yesterday. Thinking of him, his parents and sister and the new sibling who is about to join the family. May you all find some peace.
:: posted by Ann Howell, 12:59 PM | link | 1 comments |

We are the world...

Putting aside my own dire straits for a moment this week, I followed a link that someone sent me about a charitable resource for American teachers: DonorsChoose and was pretty impressed. It seems like a great way for teachers to find funding for special projects. Potential donors can browse a list of projects that needs funding and give accordingly. I think it's a great idea that could be possibly spread to other areas, although as my brother is an elementary school teacher in the Bronx, I understand how strapped teachers are for sometimes even basic supplies. So, if you've been looking for a worthy casue to donate to, check it out. It's a fully recognized charity, as well, so everything you give to the site is tax deductible.

I don't mean to sound all "Mother Theresa" here, but despite how bad things are here right now (the mortgage is two payments behind, if that's any indication), I try not to forget how fortunate we are, really. Somehow we will get through this -- one way or another there will always be food on the table. Other people live like this all the time, with the constant anxiety of not knowing where their next meal is coming from. This is a walk in the park compared to what a great percentage of world goes through on a daily basis. So, for everyone around the world living in need, I will not complain about my own meagre setbacks anymore.

So, come on, everybody, do your best Willie Nelson: "There's a choice we're making, we're saving our own lives..."
:: posted by Ann Howell, 8:49 AM | link | 2 comments |

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The agonies of defeat

It's a financial Black Wednesday here at our house. Because we each got short checks last month, we got hopelessly behind and now we are, to put it bluntly, screwed. We'd been living on the edge for quite a while and now it appears that we have fallen off. Luckily, the fridge is stocked and I have enough gas in the car to get me to my next interview and back (if I get one), but otherwise things are pretty grim...

So, I've got to pull myself up from my bootstraps! It's sadness and a sense of despair that have gotten me in this horrible mess, and I've got to snap out of it and figure out a way to start bringing more cash in. If I were back in Boston, I'd take a cafe job or something, but here I'm held back by my rather tepid French. I mean, I could probably get by alright on the job, but I get nervous and I'm sure I'd stammer enough through any interview to get myself disqualified from the outset. Anyway, I've got a few ideas, although it's questionable whether they'll bear fruit in time to keep us afloat.

That's all I can think about right now, so I must sign off and get to work. Maybe I should go outside and look for leprechauns...
:: posted by Ann Howell, 8:56 AM | link | 4 comments |

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Saturday Post

I just saw that this is my 59th post... pathetic! Lorem celebrated her first blogging anniversary recently and she had over *300* posts. What have I been doing with my time? It's not like instead of blogging I was busy drafting a Middle East peace agreement or studying for my medical board exams. I've been frittering away my time, that's what I've been doing. Writing posts in my head and never bothering to publish them. It's shameful, really. Okay, from now on I am going to try to write something every day, even if it's just "I'm too exhausted/hungover/emotionally drained to write today. Tune in tomorrow..."

Well, the well wishes for my interview must have had an effect, because it went rather well (three wells in one sentence -- that's quite an achievement!). They're sending me over to the client for an interview next week. It's a regular corporate job, 40 hrs/wk, 3 weeks vacation (that is going to be tough), but it sounds like a good team and the job seems varied and interesting. Maybe going in to an office every day will help my mental state. At any rate, the regular paycheck certainly won't go amiss.

Just heard an exasperating program on the BBC (Radio 4) about a woman who's trying to get access to her frozen embryoes, despite her ex denying permission (story here). They took listeners' reactions on air, and there were a couple of -- I want to say "idiots", but let's just say less enlightened folks -- who were completely against assisted reproduction, in any shape or form. According to them, children are a blessing from God, and if God deems you unfit to conceive (or carry to term), then that's just the way it is. The logic here is just so full of holes, it's pointless even to mention them, but it still gets my goat. I found myself turning the volume off as soon as I heard a warbly elderly voice start railing off on "women who want it all". I don't want it all, I just want a baby. Anyway...

Well, I've been up for 3 hours and all I've accomplished is making coffee and ironing a few shirts. I've got an exciting day ahead of me, full of chores, errands and boring web work... I guess it's no wonder that I'm putting it all off. At least I managed to post today. By my calculations, I'll need to post 6 times a day until June in order to catch up to Lorem. I'm tired just thinking about it!
:: posted by Ann Howell, 8:49 AM | link | 2 comments |

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Happy Birthday, Thomas

Thinking of Kristin and her family today on Thomas' first birthday. Were that he were here in more than just spirit.

:: posted by Ann Howell, 10:30 AM | link | 1 comments |

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I gotta wear shades

I wish I felt so optimistic about the future and my life in general that I felt I needed protective eyewear to shield me from the stellar brightness of it all, but I can claim to feeling slightly better this week. It started on Sunday evening when I was watching T.V. and feeling rather sorry for myself, when it occurred to me that I didn't have to be sitting there blankly at the screen, that I really could do something more interesting or at least productive. "But what?" I found myself replying to myself, "I'm too tired and too depressed to do anything else right now." So, I tried a different tack, namely thinking about what I would like to be doing if someone were to walk in with a movie camera documenting my life. Would I really want them to come in and have to park the camera in front of the sofa, with me staring lifelessly at the T.V.? And tomorrow morning, would I be proud to be found in front of the computer playing endless rounds of solitaire or aimlessly surfing the net, or could I possibly get up to something more worthy of documenting? I thought about all of this for a while (while still half-watching whatever it was on T.V.) and though it didn't incite me to jump up and start renovating my basement or get to work on my long thought about novel, it did make me feel less depressed, or less obligated to be depressed, anyway. It wasn't an incredible epiphany, but I guess the idea of living more consciously gave me some sense of purpose.

And so, Monday morning I awoke feeling vaguely hopeful for the first time in weeks. And since then I've been more productive and positive and on the way to feelin' groovy. Of course, this could just be the other side of a mild case of manic depression, but I'm not going to question it for the moment.

The universe seems to agree with my mood, because I got an unsolicited email from a headhunter yesterday regarding a senior marcomm position that sounds right up my alley. I've got a phone interview with him later today, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Now, it's time for the documentary cameras to follow me to the laundry room where I'll be sorting through my lights and darks. Better find my sunglasses first, or I may be blinded by the excitement of it all...
:: posted by Ann Howell, 10:50 AM | link | 4 comments |

Friday, March 03, 2006

May 2nd

That's the earliest appointment I could get with the fertility specialist my doctor has referred me to. Why would I possibly go ahead with fertility tests when my marriage is in such a precarious state? Hmmm... many sarcastic and flip answers come to mind, but in reality I think it comes down to this: I am 36 years old and have no time to waste, so even if (god forbid) things don't work with my husband, I would still like to find out what's going on with my body and take any small, non-invasive steps I can to get back on track. The fact of the matter is that that I've had only a handful of periods that weren't artificially induced since Lydia was born almost 21 months ago. And I'm also getting more frequent and more severe hot flashes (the kind that I used to attribute to the Clomid), which leads me to believe that either I'm peri-menopausal or at least I have some major hormone imbalance. Anyway, I've got two months to change my mind about this appointment. At least the consult itself is covered by national health insurance.

Otherwise, it's been a shitty week in Lake WoeismewhatahaveIdonetodeservethis. I've started getting some light counseling from an acquaintance of mine who has a side business in something called Imago therapy. I say "light", because I'm really doing it as a trial so that I can write some marketing material and do a website for her. She can't pay me much, so since I'm going through a bit of a rough time right now, I offered to take part of the payment in trade. Anyway, it's been a surprisingly enlightening exercise so far. I don't want to go into details about it right now (mostly because it would be deeply boring to anyone but me, I think), but I'm learning how to be more conscious of my emotions, needs, and desires, which I think will prove to be helpful as time goes on.

I've pretty much decided that I need to get a regular full-time job, at least for a while. I don't have the emotional countenance to market myself properly right now and I need a routine that gets me outside of the house on a daily basis. So, now it's onto Project Get A Job.

After a brief respite yesterday when the mercury creeped above the freezing level for a few hours, it's back to being cold, windy and miserable. Sometime I really think that my moods control the weather...
:: posted by Ann Howell, 3:14 PM | link | 8 comments |