World Traveller…..ie All over the Map

Now there’s a figure of speech that works for me, “All over the Map”. It’s what best describes my writing style of late, so much so I’m thinking of changing my tagline to “World Traveller”.

My mind wanders. It frequently wonders too but mostly it just wanders, jumping from thought to thought without settling on any one thing. Perhaps it’s like being a kid in a candy store, so many choices that deciding on just one is onerous.

I think of blogging. I think of things in my yard or in my house, tasks, responsibilities. I think of friends, both current and past, and right now I think of my last counselor Elly. She was my favourite.

Not that Gloria was not good, or anything remotely like that, Elly was just more ‘into me’ if that makes any sense. Elly was like the friend I never had. I felt more open with her, more real. And that’s not to say I could tell her my most inner thoughts, my darkest quirks, those things best left unsaid. Those things or thoughts that should never be let out. Things like…….
(more here http://wp.me/p8mDx0-vc)

Blog Withdrawal

I’ve been going through withdrawal lately (always thought it was spelled “withdrawl” until spell check corrected me). I’m not talking the chemical kind of withdraw’a’l, I’m referring to the emotional and intellectual kind. The blog withdrawal kind. I need a fix.

I try to write but my words seem perfunctory. I blather on, spitting words on the screen like a wet-mouthed close-talker. See, here I go again. I feel like I’ve lost my edge. I want it back, if I ever really had it.

I began this blog to talk about my experiences with depression, hence the sub-title “Then, til Now”. While I suspect one never beats depression, nor is ‘cured’ of it, I do think we adapt and it becomes part of who we are. Anyway I digress.

Read more here: http://wp.me/p8mDx0-tj

My New ‘Holy Place’

My mind is blank, or blanker, than normal. My desire to post something appears to be stronger than the actual ability to say something of note. I will push forward though, I want to be in my Holy Place.

As I sit on my backyard patio where the desire to post first struck me I can smell freshly cut hay. Across the street from our house, from our backyard, are fields. Some are planted with hay and many are full of orchards. Some are in the midst of construction, of what I’m not sure.

Occasionally I hear our chimes ring out. One set is of a low and church bell-like gong and the other a tinkle and soft sounding note. Both I like, but perhaps they’d best be represented singly, alone in their sounds of breeze. Unfortunately in the complex in which we live they are not allowed in the front yards. Don’t want to upset the neighbours I guess. Chimes are not the only thing banned from the front. Any kind of gew-gaw (always thought it was ‘geegaw’), lawn ornament, name plate, any signs of personality or individuality are frowned upon.

Not that I’m bitter, cuz I’m not. I understand rules but I know there’s always someone willing to break them or at minimum push boundaries. In this case that’s us, but we do it discretely. All our gnomes, pots, trinkets and misc. stuff are placed in such a manner as to….(read more here:)

http://wp.me/p8mDx0-s0

Some thoughts…

As if it hasn’t been said enough “Time flies while you’re having fun”, or something like that. And time has flown.

I believe it’s a function of aging, that time flies. I read somewhere that the perception of time passing faster as we age is due to the lack of originality in our lives. And by originality I mean that there are seldom any new experiences in our lives as time goes on. As a rule we continue to do the same things month over month and year after year and so our perception of time flattens, it compresses and it becomes more difficult to differentiate one year over another. Time becomes all the same and in doing so it ‘flies’.

So, this theory being correct it would only stand to reason that one way to slow time down would be to do different things, to have new experiences, to make each week, month, and year different. Not a new theory but important nonetheless.

Now I don’t profess to have all the answers but it’s clear I have opinions, lots of them. Perhaps too many.

Life has been generally good to me over the last number of months. Being that it’s so long since I’ve updated this site I may repeat myself in what I say here so I will apologize in advance.

My health, both emotional and physical, has been good. Aside from the usual colds and one episode with the flu I am doing well. I have gone back on the meds  with my Doctor’s blessing and only at a half dose (10 mg Citalopram). I feel much better. Prior to that (about Dec.) I was once again back-sliding and feeling depressed. I had little motivation, was easily angered and frustrated, my emotions were all over the place and I just plain felt emotionally shitty.

I’ve tried to explain it away saying it was the weather or some other such excuse but the facts and history just don’t support that. I just have to accept it and resolve myself to the possibility that I may have to use meds to support my habit, that of feeling well.

The positive in the whole thing is that after my Doctor’s visit he suggested I start off with a lower dosage than before. This was a newer Doctor mind you, an international Doctor in training in my clinic, but he was/is very interested in my health and his suggestion had merit. As such I gave it a shot and haven’t really looked back.

This was done in concert with a new counselor as well. I began seeing her just before my first appointment with the Doctor and as time has gone on I’ve appreciated her more and more.

Her name is Elly. I decided to try her instead of going back for a 3rd time with Gloria. Elly is going for her Masters in Counselling and is doing her practicum in that clinic. So far I like her a lot, she is open and approachable, has fresh ideas and a perception that is refreshing.

She is a proponent of Art Therapy and has offered me the option of trying it. Art therapy sounded/sounds strange and while I am generally resistant to change I thought I owed it to myself to try something different. It was different for sure and some aspects of it were not comfortable for me. As an example she asked me to draw something, anything, on a paper covered table. All manner of pencils, felt pens, crayons, and paint were available to me, in all colours, so the options of media were essentially unlimited. It was all up to me as to what I chose to draw, and how to draw it. Once complete she asked how I ‘felt’ about the drawing, both in topic and substance.

The next session she again asked me if I wished to draw and this time she suggested I draw a Mandala. She gave me a 10″ circle of paper to draw on and again I could choose any media. In this context I must clarify that what she was asking me to draw was not a Mandala by it’s true definition. There was no religious significance to the drawing, more what she was asking was for me to draw a free form design on the circle of paper. Again, once the drawing was complete we chatted about the how and why of the sketch, and how I felt.

Part II

Because I seem to be long winded, and due to the fact my welcome wore out at Bagel’s and Brew (not really) I’ve had to complete this post the next day. I started writing Monday morning and here we are Tuesday, same coffee shop but different table, completing the saga.

At any rate my drawing experience was/is very interesting with it reinforcing some things I probably already knew about myself. In my first sketches, particularly the Mandala format I strived to be organized, symmetrical, accurate and somewhat precise. When I created a new drawing being more carefree, unorganized, non-symmetrical, in a word MESSY, I felt more free, more relaxed. In short it felt good.

That feeling was one that I was, and am, trying to replicate. I asked Elly if perhaps that was a state that I could develop through writing or photography. If I could bring my artistic and feeling side (less structured and rigid) more to the forefront by focussing on my artistic side, more right brained activities. She wasn’t sure but suggested I try by using my photography in an ‘out of the box’ fashion, taking photos in ways and of things that I normally might not. In fact she suggested this just before we went to Hawaii. I’ve tried and would have to say it’s not as easy to accomplish as I thought it might.

Some of the appropriate photos, and any drawings I completed while there were brought to my next session where we discussed my goal and any progress I made. Again, this was more difficult than I first thought.

So to be blunt one of the purposes of going to counselling was to get the stick out of my ass. This wasn’t necessarily the original reason, nor the only reason, but in talking with here I’ve come to realize that it was one of my personality traits that I desired to change. In effect I want to loosen up and have more fun, be more relaxed about things on a day to day basis.

This has been a long and likely boring post however it has also been done as an effort to begin writing again. I have been journalling fairly consistently but that method has become repetitive it was time to mix it up. Elly has suggested if I do journal that rather than the wordiness of it that I should use only descriptor words about how I feel at the time, no structured sentences. I would still like to sketch and may incorporate that as well.

So, ‘nuf said, Too much perhaps. See you on the flip side.

Build It, They will Come

I can’t explain it, and maybe it’s foolhardy to try. Can it be so simple as to ‘Build it and they will come’?

The quote is a derivation of the famous quote from the movie “Field of Dreams” and in the show the “it” they are referring to is a baseball field. Kevin Costner, as the central character, builds a baseball diamond in the middle of a corn field, in order that dead baseball heroes come back from the hereafter to play.

Field of my dreams
Field of my dreams

The quote used here, in this context, doesn’t relate to any out of world sport. What I’m thinking of here is this blog, these posts. The same posts and blog that often surprise me with readership, and followers. Now not to look a gift horse in the mouth as it were, but I wonder ‘why’?

Call me a cynic but I’m surprised if it’s my exhilarating wordsmithing, or the subject matter. I would like to think (optimistically) that it’s my writing, my style or patter. The whole exercise just makes me go ‘hmmm’ that’s all.

Again being the cynic, the perpetual doubter, I’m drawn to the theory that a number of these followers have a somewhat ulterior motive, perhaps that of drawing attention to their own posts. This technique is oft touted as one to be used to garner more traffic. You know, I will ‘like’ your posts if you ‘like’ mine. Sort of a digital ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’.

And this may often work, just not generally for me. Not at this time anyway. I’m quite sure there are tons of great, even superb, posts out there, many written by my followers, but it’s unlikely I’ll see them as I’m so wrapped up in my own sh** that I have no time nor little energy to read them. Just look at my posting frequency. That’s likely my loss.

So I’ll continue to build my field and if the readers come out of the corn to read and follow then I count my lucky stars. If I build it, will they will come?

Grand Central Station

It’s like Central Station here. I came for a coffee and some quiet but so far only the java has been found.

My car is in for repair, or rather my wife’s car, and to kill some time I walked to our local plaza to spend the hour or so the repair should take. I had a couple errands to run as well but my goal was to find a subdued atmosphere to sit and ponder life, and my role in it. I chose here, a coffee shop called ‘Common Grounds’.

I certainly don’t begrudge them the business, it’s good for them, and us in the long run. It’s just a bit too active for my taste (today). It makes my pondering, and writing, and more pondering a bit more challenging.

Oh well I got this far, Grand Central Station or not.

No News is Good News?

While it has been a while (again) since I’ve posted it seems like little has changed. My blogging life has waned a touch but my online life has not.

There is still a web presence to maintain on a couple sites and since my last post here I’ve acquired the duties of webmaster for a local photo club. This is something new for me but fits somewhat with other ‘net stuff. It does take my attention away from the blogs however. Add to this scanning photos and transcribing printed works to post on my personal site and my hours fill.

I have been writing though, a bit, and just took a one day writing course at the local college. It wasn’t quite what I expected but it’s a start eh? The point is to write, regardless, or so I believe. Just like Julia Cameron said in “The Right to Write”, you need to write every day. I fall down there unfortunately.

I am feeling a bit better lately and am not taking anything but vitamins, and booze of course. I jest about that, the booze, and maybe shouldn’t but it is just that, and it is also something I watch. I’m fully aware of the effect addictions can have on lives.

I do some exercise and am walking most days too, today as an example. My distance today will be over 3k but some days I’ll do closer to 7k. I stopped part way to pen this. I’ll enjoy a nice cup of ‘joe’, blog a bit, and move on.

My next stop will be the computer store. I seem to have developed some computer issues that are impacting my productivity in so many ways. It’s amazing how tied to that damn thing I am, hell any technology. Something to ponder.

Improvements Needed

Improvements are needed, and although that could also be said for me I’m really only referring to the website at this time. It’s looking a bit dated and tired, again how I feel at times but not really relevant now.

I’m actually feeling a bit better now than I was a few weeks ago. I can’t really speak as to why, whether it’s more exercise, just quiet time at home, or just a cyclical thing I don’t really grasp yet. I have not gone back to taking meds of any sort so I can’t give credit there, maybe it was just time.

So with one issue ‘fixed’ I will need to focus on another, or two, which will likely be web related. I finally got my other blog and website almost to where I want it so some fine tuning is in order. (fat fingers involved, I hit ‘publish’ instead of ‘save draft’)

I can hopefully get back into some writing as well, that area of my life has been sorely missed. I want to be optimistic, send me good vibes.

Is it True Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

Is it true that absence makes the heart grow fonder? I sure hope so, I want you to be as find of me as possible, and I’ve been absent for a bit.

It’s been a while since I’ve written. I have missed it, I won’t lie, and there are no excuses, my bad.

You know how sometimes you just never seem to make it to the things you like? Despite your desires things just don’t transpire like you want. It’s kinda like that, and that sounds suspiciously ‘excuse-like’ doesn’t it.

I could talk about the weather (gorgeous), or life with my grandson Madden in it (blessed), or the potentially rich life of a retiree (outstanding), but I won’t. I’ve said enough on that.

I’ll post a couple photos instead, way easier.

20130507-093234.jpg

20130507-093354.jpg

20130507-093459.jpg

Life is pretty good if we can appreciate it.

Recalibation Required

winter, snow, gray, trees

I’m in a quandary, but then you that know me will say “so what else is new?” I believe a re-calibration is required, ‘How’ is the question, the  ‘why’ not so much.

I won’t belabor the point so I’ll cut to the chase.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this blog lately, in fact I talked about it a little in a previous post called Moving Forward, and a number of others. I guess the bottom line, where the rubber hits the road, is that I no longer believe I am suffering from depression. Whether I’m kidding myself who’s to say. This is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Perhaps I am deluding myself, maybe this is somewhat symptomatic of the illness where one feels healed  and so takes on their previous life without medication only to find they are not as ‘well’ as they thought. I suspect a relapse may be a result, quick or otherwise.

Or, maybe, people such as myself think they are fine but their partner or those close to them indicate that the diagnosis is still valid, they are still exhibiting outward signs of the mental illness. I asked, this doesn’t seem to be the case with me.

In fact I asked me wife that very question this morning.

“Have you seen any changes in me lately, some indications that my moods or personality has changed?’

She pondered the question for a moment and then replied,

“No, I don’t thinks so. If I’ve seen any changes is you it’s been only since you’ve retired.”

Well, that supports my perception of the situation as well.

What brought that question up was a deep conversation I had with a friend a few nights ago. He, Dan, has been diagnosed with depression for more than 4 years, and has been on at least 2 different medications. After taking pills for the first year or so he determined he felt better, and as such he wanted to distance himself from the meds. To stop taking them seemed to be the logical solution. Whether he tapered off or went cold turkey I’m not sure, fact is he quit. (Interesting topic for a conversation isn’t it, not sports, not women, but depression meds. Such is my life)

Shortly after that his wife asked him specifically if he was still taking his meds. He was surprised, and answered No, he had stopped some time before. She replied that she thought so, there were changes in him that led her to think that.

Hmm, I thought, I wonder if similar changes have been seen in me? Thus the question to my wife, and in this case No, she hasn’t seen a noticeable change or regression in me.

Back to the topic at hand, is a re-calibration required? I was going to say ‘should I rethink my blog’ but that horse is already out of the barn. So what kind of changes, if any, should I undertake, or do I leave things well enough alone?

Should I even continue to blog, period? Should I continue to write but choose another topic(s), and alter the Theme, Name and/or tagline? How about starting a new blog, with a different frame of reference or mindset behind it?

Maybe a photography blog, perhaps just a blog where I can write and continue with thoughts that hold little interest to the general populace. You know, kinda like it is now LOL.

But enough of the self-important, self-indulgent prattle, I think a change is in order and it’s only a matter of  How, or what.

These are the questions I am struggling with. Is a re-calibration required, and assuming Yes, then in what direction?

I’d be pleased to hear any input from followers.