Honesty is Next to Thankfulness

anigif_enhanced-buzz-14562-1385488927-8.gifMy best friend goes to Thanksgiving dinner at her in-laws’ each year, and this year they decided that dinner conversation needed to be more even more awkward than normal. So they sent out discussion topics ahead of time that everyone would “get” to share with the group. My best friend has an acerbic wit behind an angel’s face, so she passed them on to me, along with the answer she would like to give her in-laws. These included such gems as “How is your life different than it was last year?” (“I have a lot less sex”) and “Tell us about a vacation you went on this year.” (“We’re just trying to make rent but I can’t wait to hear about your six week trip to Spain”).

Bless her heart, she’ll make up something suitable to tell them on the actual day. I’m not sure I’d have the patience. I can just about deal with the inevitable “What are you thankful for this year?” question that has to be recited. Just about.

Brooklyn99Insider-Rosa-Beatriz-Trainwreck Thanks 1.gifBut really, it’s not like you can actually be honest with that one either. You have to be thankful for the right things. Acceptable subjects of gratitude include family, significant other, friends, health, basic necessities, and a job. Full stop. Try mentioning at dinner that you’re thankful for your vibrator and see how quickly conversation grinds to a halt.

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How I Monitor My Depression

p5pnnvj5mvc1oeb9wlem.gifI recently wrote about how I’m managing my depression at the moment, and it made me think of another topic that’s equally as important: monitoring my depression. Depression is a sneaky bastard. You might be chugging along, thinking you’re doing okay and then one day you wake up and realize you’ve not gotten dressed or showered in a couple of days and that you’ve crossed the line from functional to not. It’s surprising how it can creep up on you when you aren’t paying attention. This happened to me in the early fall. I thought I was fine at the end of the summer, but as our Comic Con (which coincides with my birthday) approached at the end of September, I didn’t start to work on a costume or plan anything for my birthday even though those are both things I really enjoy. I bought fabric for the costume I wanted to make, but just… didn’t start it. For me, that was a huge sign that the seasonal depression was kicking in early, as well as maybe a bit of feelings about turning the age I am.

me-partyEveryone’s depression signs are different, so it’s important to know yourself well. I have friends for whom becoming anti-social is a major warning sign. Not so much for me. I didn’t (willingly) speak to a single soul or go out for most of this past weekend, and it wasn’t a sign my depression is getting worse. I just really treasure my alone time – I got a ton of chores done, caught up on some TV shows, ordered some food I love, read, and went to bed early. It was incredibly relaxing and I felt much better for it. If I had stayed in all weekend and still felt miserable, that would probably have been a sign that something bigger was going on.

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Five Good Things for 11/17/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

giphyI was a bit of a nervous wreck last night, as my husband was driving back from California through central Utah, in the middle of a blizzard, with a broken phone. So I had no way to communicate with him. I became a little anxious, to put it mildly, once he was over two hours late (although watching The Rescuers helped), but he made it back and only spun off the road once (!!). All is well and we still had some evening left to enjoy. Here are your very relieved Good Things for today.

78701) One of my favorite comfort foods is curry puffs from our local Thai restaurant. I may have indulged while I was home alone this weekend, although I’ve always wanted to make them at home. The sweet cucumber dipping sauce goes incredibly well with the rich puff pastry and curried potato filling. So satisfying!

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Undercover Heathen: Tales from a Baptist Christmas Party

first_baptist_church_lakeside_city

“You should pull up your top, you’re showing too much cleavage,” my mom said, eyeing me critically.

I knew then I’d made a huge mistake. But it was too late. I’d been trapped. I was was on my way to a party at a Baptist church dressed, apparently, like a small-time prostitute.

The hook had been baited earlier that week when my mom suggested we should have a girls’ night together soon. So I’d invited to her over for Sunday evening to watch Inside Out and eat sandwiches, since my husband was out of town and my father would be completely unable to comprehend an animated movie starring anthropomorphic versions of a young girl’s emotions. It sounded about as relaxing as an evening with my mother could possibly be, and like the introvert I am, I planned on making it an early night and probably not changing out of my pajamas the entire day. Well, except to change into fresh pajamas after my bath – I’m not a barbarian.

Two hours before our movie date, my mother called.

“Hi, honey! I’m so sorry but I completely forgot that I had a work party scheduled for tonight, since we hit all our sales goals for the last six months.”

My mother works at an evangelical Christian bookstore, a job for which she is more than suited. In fact, it might be the only job for which she is suited, since she would be immediately fired from any other sort of employment for rabid proselytizing.

“Oh. Okay, well we can watch the movie anoth-”

“I’d like you to come with me and meet my coworkers.”

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How I Manage My Depression (at the Moment)

3171464462_0bdb6c51c7_bAt various times in my life I’ve been diagnosed with mild clinical depression, moderate-to-severe clinical depression, situational depression, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I’ve been on and off various medications for it, and while I’ve been lucky that it’s almost never made me completely unable to function, it does seriously impact my life, particularly this time of year when the SAD (most apt acronym ever) compounds whatever else is going on. Right now, I’m managing it without prescription medication and am doing OK, but before I talk about how, I want to stress that you should always consult a doctor before making any big changes to how you manage your depression, especially before going on or off any medications.  I am not a doctor and am not providing medical advice or treatment. Got it? Fantastic.

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