So, no blog posts lately because I’ve been busy with mundane items on my to-do list.
It’s funny. I had a wonderful high school psychology teacher who compared depression to viruses. Everyone gets them. Sometimes it’s a three-day cold (or you’re a bit blue for a couple of days), but you shake it off and life moves on. It can run the gamut, though, and sometimes you’ve got viral pneumonia (or major depression) and you’re in the hospital with doctors prescribing meds.
I think recovery from depression also resembles recovery from viruses. I probably had a flu-level depression this time and, as after the flu, I felt better, looked around, and realized a Crap Ton (that’s a standard American measurement) of tasks had backed up while I wasn’t feeling well. Like after the flu, I’m still a little shaky, but I feel so much better than when I was sick that I plunged into catching up.
Well, it’s not working for two reasons. One, because I just plain always overestimate myself. That’s me, my Achilles’ heel, my fatal flaw. Two, because there’s no grace in this world. I’m currently obsessed with this idea, so I’m sure you’ll read more about it later, but for now, I’ll just share the definitions I’m talking about—Merriam-Webster’s second definition, meanings “d” and “e” if you’re counting.
--a disposition to or an act or an instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
--a temporary exemption: REPRIEVE
What am I talking about? Here’s a simple example. My dad talks about how folks used to send business letters. He’d have a day or two—a grace period, if you will--to think about a reply and then send a letter back. Can you imagine that today? Seriously. Can you imagine regularly taking a day or two to think before you reply to an email or voice mail now?
I get worked up about vacation days, too. A lot of folks in Europe get six weeks of vacation time every year. Why? Because we’ve proven people produce MORE if they get that much time off. How many of you get six weeks of vacation time? Can you imagine being gone from the office for two or three weeks all in a row? Do you even take the time you have as vacation or does it get sucked away in kids’ programs, field trips, and sick days? Or maybe you spend it doing big projects around the house? Do you spend it traveling to visit family for family events?
Or do you somehow, miraculously manage to regularly do something purely for pleasure and rest for a week or more? If so, tell me how!
And don’t even get me started on parental leave….
I have no idea how to fix this, save to cry out to you, my loyal two dozen readers. Maybe if we all yell loud enough some bureaucratic Horton will hear us and lobby for more grace in modern America. I do know that I’m surviving by giving myself mini-grace periods. I did not answer a work email last night; I went to bed instead. I have some low-priority tasks that are still piling up. And I listen to my “Help” playlist a lot. Everyone should listen to spirituals at times.
But that’s a topic for my next post!