Monday, February 09, 2015

Type B vs Type A personalities

I am obviously a type B personality who has accidently subscribed to a few Type A blogs. Every once in a while I read a post that is so foreign to my world and my way of thinking that I have to share my comments on it – just to put things into perspective. Here is a list from I joined the blog, because I did want to walk more and it was one of their challenges. I do need to be challenged out of my comfortable rut from time to time, but I also need to keep a balance. Some of these people can be a little over the top.

Here are several suggestions for kicking yourself out of a little depression: Their suggestions are first, my comments follow in italics.

1.    Stick your body out of a sunroof while the car is driving 
I can tell you first-hand this one is a lot of fun. If you don’t have a sunroof, a window works just as well. Speeds of 40 mph+ make the experience much more invigorating.

OK, this I will never do. I have in my mind a vision of a low bridge or the sunroof snapping shut and Bingo, yes you are no longer depressed, because in fact, you are no longer.

2.    Go experience nature Being outside just feels right.

This I can do and it works!

3.  Destroy an inanimate object like the printer in ‘Office Space.’

I’m not sure that I could actually destroy anything. I did have a neighbor that used to chop up concrete with a sledge hammer, whenever he was mad. No, I just clean.

4.     Dance! Remember that one time you got a bit tipsy and ACTUALLY danced and didn’t care about everyone watching? Go do that again (being tipsy is optional).

If I’m depressed, I’m usually too down to get up and dance. I may turn on some music, as a starter, though.

5.     Exercise
 Hormones are the best legal drugs out there. Pump some iron or go for a run and get that adrenaline pumping.

Now I do go for walks and they help.

6. Watch the sun rise
 You can’t argue with this one. Wake up a bit early and remind yourself how refreshing this experience can be.

I’m sorry, if I’m down, I generally stay in bed. If I’m up, figuratively, I am usually awake and up and about. It’s dark in the morning anyway and the day just sort of creeps up on you.

7. Scare yourself
 Are you deathly afraid of spiders? Go touch one. Pick a fear and go check and see if it still freaks you out ;)

Sorry I am not going to keep a few snakes around just to scare me out of a depression. I would be freaking out all the time. No, looking in the mirror in the morning is all I really need to shock the B’Jesus out of me.

8.     Run around in the rain
 Haven’t you seen ‘Singing in the Rain’ or ‘The Sound of Music?’

Again, sorry, I hate getting wet. If I’m going to go out in the rain, it has to be a very warm rain, after a very hot day and well, this usually doesn’t happen in November in Toronto.

9. Blast your favorite badass song
 My favorites are Bliss by Muse, You and Whose Army? by Radiohead and Without a Face by Rage Against the Machine.

Again, my favourite music happens to be folk music, which my husband calls, music to commit suicide by – not a good idea!

10. Do something outside of your comfort zone

Now we are back to cleaning again. I do it a lot, but most of the time it is out of my comfort zone. And I know that I am not going to do rock climbing, swim in a cold lake, or even take a cold shower for that matter and I am never going to own a reptile of any sort!!

11. Scream at the top of your lungs 
Like in all of those cliche movies where they yell in the rain on top of some mountain… except do in right where you are, right now.

Then the neighbours or my family would come running and I would have to explain that I was just bored and needed a release and then they would be upset and I would have to comfort them and say everything is fine, but they would know it wasn’t. I think that depression is  less complicated.

12. Meditate Google “meditation techniques” if you’re unsure of the best way to do this.

Most of the time I am meditating on all the negatives in the world and that’s why I’m down.

13. Do something spontaneous 
It doesn’t have to be crazy or dangerous, just fine. Stepping outside your normal schedule and throwing responsibility to the wind feels great.

No, I will not clean the house naked, spontaneous as this may be. My motto – clean house, clean mind, take your pick.

14. Practice an act of random kindness Giving feels really good. Sometimes we forget exactly how good it is.

This I could do.

15. Get to know a stranger Truly connect with another human being. Skip the small talk and ask about their goals and ambitions.

I get enough funny looks from friends, when I ask these questions. I am not going to ask a stranger.

16. Do something illegal 
Oh my gosh, did I just tell you to break the law? Hell, yes. I did. Laws are made to be broken and it feels great to do it.

Let me introduce you to our mayor. He does a lot of things that are illegal and maybe he feels great about it, but we don’t.

17. Drive fast…really fast
 Think ‘The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift.’ If you have a Prius, maybe you should just skip to the next one…

This is illegal too and dangerous. Maybe I could just walk fast, really fast and hope that I don’t trip and fall, then I would be really depressed.

18. Get Mad!
 Anger is a gift. If something is getting you down, express your frustration about it! Just getting your feeling out can feel amazing.

I usually enjoy a rant now and then – delayed shipments, inappropriate charges, big business bullying the little guy. Yes I do this on a regular basis, depressed or not.

19. Attend a funeral It’s been said that nothing makes you feel more alive than death.

I attend funerals for the sake of other people, not myself. These are very sad occasions and the fewer the better.

Obviously, differences in age, sex, culture, I’m not sure what else, has a profound effect on how we see things and our reaction to these things. For me nature, walks and acts of kindness, are better depression routers than dangerous, illegal or disturbing acts – just saying.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Sign sign, everywhere a sign!

Winter seems to bring out the signs. You know, the ones that say, "Wet floor, be careful." It's wet, no doubt, from all the slushy boots that melt, as people stand in line for coffee or something dryer :) Or the signs, that say, "Use at your own risk," for all those stairs that are never cleared in winter, because people aren't supposed to walk in winter, right? And then there is the sign I saw yesterday - "Watch for falling snow."

It is both hilarious and totally absurd. I walk to work, so I constantly have my eyes on the ground looking for black ice. That's the ice that masquerades as, "hey, I'm just your average sidewalk," until you slide all over it!! So I'm not really in a position to be looking up for all the snow and ice that may be falling from the buildings above. Anyway, how many people have you seen lately walking around with their heads tilted back looking for falling snow. I can tell you, no one does this in a snow storm and if it's after the storm, you still look ridiculous looking up for what may, or may not be, snow that's falling down.

You also look particularly ridiculous, if while looking up, you fail to look down and well, you know, fall down!! I think there must be an Ogden Nash poem about this. It's the one right after the one about  "pushing doors marked pull"  -  "looking up, when you should be looking down, may make you a bit of a clown" -  or something like that."

Insurance companies probably note, in the fine print, that, in order to be covered by the policy, policyholders need to warn people about all the dangers inherent in daily living, that may occur on their insured premises. These insurance companies, though, fail to realize that people don't normally go around in a multitude of twisted body shapes just to appease an insurance adjuster. OK, even if he is the Johnny Depp of insurance agents, I am not going to get whiplash from jerking my head up and down to minimize the danger of falling snow, while maximizing the danger of sliding on slick ice.

Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Have a safe day!!

Monday, February 02, 2015

Three Charlottes, Four Marys, Five.....

I was reading a post the other day that began "Three more Charlottes." The author, Charlotte Henley Babb, was researching famous women named Charlotte. One of her posts was about Grace Kelly's  mother-in-law - quite an infamous woman. But that's an aside. Her title, Three Charlottes, made me think of and old folk song entitled "Four Mary's" -  Mary Seton, Mary Beaton, Mary Carmichael and Mary Hamilton (other versions have Mary Wheaton, Mary Fleming, and Mary Livingston). These were all ladies-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots.

It's a sad song (what folk song isn't) sung by Mary Hamilton who is to be hanged in the morning. Wikipedia explains it this way.

The four Marys were Mary, Queen of Scots' ladies-in-waiting, but these were Mary Seton, Mary Beaton, Mary Fleming and Mary Livingston. There was no Mary Carmichael but this popular song was believed to be relating to Mary, Queen of Scots until it was traced back to the court of the Tsar. The ballad dates between 1719 and 1764 and narrates the story of Mary Hamilton, a Scottish maid of Peter the Great's wife Catherine, who was executed for the murder of her illegitimate child, product of an affair with the Tsar Peter.

The two stories of Mary Hamilton and Mary, Queen of Scots were grafted onto each other.

I didn't realize, that songs, like plays and stories also changed to suit the situation. So what might have started as a melody with Russian lyrics, was changed, when translated into English. The courts changed, the monarchies changed, what never seemed to change was the name "Mary."

It makes me wonder how many other songs began as someone else's story, but were updated to make them relevant today. Here is the song from Youtube. (It was also sung by Joan Baez). My husband calls folk songs - music to commit suicide by!

Well life was/is difficult and music, however sad, is a way of coping. Please post any interesting updates in books, music and art, that you know. We all cope on a daily basis.

Have a great day!!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Crepuscular Cryptics.....

I tend to write in the morning, very early. In fact, right now, it's just after 7:00am. The day will begin soon. However, I bask in the half light, that time after night and just before day - twilight in reverse.

Animals who are up and about, at this time are called crepuscular. Not actually nocturnal or diurnal, they feed, wander, muse, perhaps even write, for those of us who can read their tracks, in this eerie half light. Rabbits, for example, are crepuscular, as are deer, moose and bears. In fact, we can become even more definitive. Animals who are active only in the early morning are matinal and those, who venture out in the evening, are vespertine.

So, I guess I'm matinal, because I rarely write in the evening, though as words go, I would prefer to be known as vespertine. Matins, if you remember, is the morning prayer service and Vespers, the evening service. These crepuscular services were offered at a time when people prayed more often or on a more regular basis. In fact, I can remember reciting the Angelus, the prayer at noon, in school, for many years.

However, It's rare these days for people to actually set aside a time to think, meditate or pray. Yes, there is Yoga and I know of a few creative people who still take time to concentrate deeply on a single idea. In a world of multi-tasking, it's a challenge to try to focus on just one thought or to empty the mind of all thoughts, in an effort to purge the menial for the truly profound. Maybe the time for Matins and/or Vespers has come again - just a thought

Well, the sun must be up by now, though the sky is thick with a cover of grey clouds. Not only is it morning, it is also the first day of a new month, February, and I forgot to say "white rabbits." I guess it's time to go out and read his tracks. Now, we all know what happens to people who follow white rabbits. Wish me luck!

The picture? Rabbit tracks in the snow, messages from the half light.

Have an awesome day!!