Thursday, June 20, 2013

What Old People Do All Day

If you've ever wondered what old (or "older") people do all day, the answer is Maintenance.  And, believe me, the older you get, the more maintenance you need.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (1)

This is the first of what will probably be a number of posts on depression and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder -- problems that I have personal experience with.

It seems to me that there is a lot more to Seasonal Affective Disorder than the amount or intensity of light.  So there is probably more to the "cure" than using a light machine or moving south.

I tend to think of things in anthropological terms.  In anthropological terms, human beings have only "recently" moved out of caves and into modern cities.  Most of our past -- as a species or as pre-human primates or as other earlier forms of life -- was spent in much more primitive conditions than we have today.  But that's when we "learned" a lot of what we have to work with today.

For cave men (in Europe, for example), winter was probably a frightening prospect.  Winter would bring shortages of food, famine, cold temperatures, frostbite, and the possibility of death.  It would not be surprising to me that they would dread winter and feel "depressed" as winter approached, and as winter continued, before spring arrived.  So, it's not surprising to me that many people today dread winter and feel depressed as winter approaches, even though they might not have to deal with food shortages or famine or a real possibility of death.

So, that's my thought for the day . . .  just that it's not surprising to me that Seasonal Affective Disorder afflicts people today.  It's their heritage as creatures facing the terrors of winter.

Friday, February 8, 2013


For a while, "multitasking" was all the rage.  It seemed as if almost any amount of work could be accomplished if only the worker did multitasking.  (It's amazing that more of us weren't laid off, since a lot more work could obviously be done by far fewer people.)  But, gradually, most people realized intuitively or read the research that showed that multitasking was not the solution to everything.  Multitasking, in fact, did not work.  . . .  This leads me to the present day when I take pride in consciously "single-tasking" whenever I have a job in front of me.  I wholeheartedly recommend it, especially to those "middle aged" (i.e. older) folks like me.

How Therapy Works

This is how I think psychotherapy works.  It works by convincing you either that:
1) You're not as crazy as you thought you were (or)
2) You are crazy, but it's not really your fault. 

When Things Settle Down (WTSD)

Some years ago, I had a friend whose life seemed to be constantly in a state of chaos -- though probably not any more than anyone else's.  But she was always optimistic that, at some time in the future, things would be different; things would be better.  She would start many sentences with, "When things settle down . . . ."  At some point, she probably realized that life was always more-or-less chaotic and that things might never actually settle down.  At least I realized that, looking at her life, and eventually realized the same thing about my own life.  Nevertheless, my husband and I started to adopt her expression and state that we would do such-and-such, "when things settle down."  We said this so many times, and it seemed to use so many syllables, that we eventually adopted the shorthand way of saying this.  We would just say, "WTSD . . . ."  You're welcome to use this shorthand for yourself, if you want to talk about what will happen  . . .  when things settle down.