This week I’ve been putting significant effort into exercise and scripture study. Instead of motivating myself by promising myself a million dollars (my usual form of self-bribery—I mean, nothing really works, so why not be extreme?), I decided to try the opposite end of the pendulum swing.

Why not exercise and read simply because I said I would? (See this talk, “A Sin-Resistant Generation,” by Sister Joy D. Jones. “‘But if not.’ Consider the meaning of these three words and how they relate to keeping covenants. These three young men [Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego] were not basing their obedience upon being delivered. Even if they were not delivered, they would keep their promise to the Lord because they said they would. Keeping our covenants is always independent of our situation.”)

Well, it’s working. It’s Thursday and I’ve exercised and read every day so far. It’s interesting to me that I have an even harder time getting myself to sit down with the book than I do getting myself dressed and sweaty.

Even though this blog post appears to be about scriptural things, it contains a very, very useful message (at least, I think it’s useful), even for the less-spiritually inclined. Read More →

en- — prefix . . . forming verbs with the general sense “to cause (a person or thing) to be in” the place, condition, or state named by the stem

Joy — noun — the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying

I have had a joyful week. And it’s only Wednesday night (technically Thursday morning, but I’m still up . . . as usual. I’m too happy to go to bed).

Nothing gives me greater pleasure—or joy—than helping other people. The joy piles on when I get to use my creativity and talents and, more especially, when the help and creativity required gobs of difficult but exceptionally satisfying work. Read More →

“We but half express ourselves,
and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents.”
(from “Self Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson)

A week-and-a-half ago I wrote a post I could have called I Am a Writer, and said how I anticipated that embracing that fact would . . . well . . . make all my wildest dreams come true; the main wild dream being to escape immobilizing depression.

I mean, really, don’t you get sick of fighting it EV–ER–Y day?

Apparently writing isn’t the omni-cure I had hoped it would be. (It has its depressing side too.)

The other day I was skimming through my daily feed (think about that term for half a tick: “daily feed”) on Facebook. and saw a lovely face. She’s a painted drawing by Katie Kendrick, friend-and-artist (whose classes I’ve taken).

painted drawing by Katie Kendrick
(25 Feb 2017)

Something about her delicacy, wistfulness, the hint of wind (maybe she has a windswept mind as well) . . . . Also, the glints of light—particularly the one in her bouquet—said something to me.  “Whispering Hope,” maybe. I liked her and made inquiries. Katie meant to paint her, but I was graciously granted permission to purchase her as is. Read More →

A place to write, a stack of scratch paper, and a cupful of pens (and a dog–Polly in this case)

So, I have a theory.

A few theories.

Abstract

This past year is probably the most difficult I’ve gone through since I was diagnosed with depression.

Summary: Twenty years ago, I tried meds. They helped for a few months, then turned on me (which is not the same as Timothy Leary’s recommendation to be turned on by drugs; depressive episodes often result in my dropping out of just about everything though, so maybe they’re related after all). After the drugs went south, I got some alternative and effective help. For many years I lived a life almost free of the disease. But like cancer—does it really go away? In the past decade I gradually became accustomed to summer SAD, then autumn SAD, holiday SAD, Spring SAD. This year it was finally difficult to find a significant number of SAD-free hours almost every day.

Theory 1

It’s important to keep busy. Read More →