It's because depression has been kicking my butt to a certain extent. Part of it is the season, part of it is the weather, part of it is hormones, part of it is stress, part of it is anniversaries of the heart, part of it is just me being me... I have focused on doing the things that need to be done--schoolwork (which is going very well by the way; I have gotten amazingly positive feedback from my instructor), working, and meeting the basic obligations of the kids and Eric, but the rest has gone by the wayside. I really haven't stitched anything of significance in a couple of weeks (although I did get my second sock finished and it is very nice, and I have started crocheting a tunic for a christmas gift), I have been working on reading a library book for over 2 weeks, and I haven't done much for chores around here other than the necessities. So what have I done? Watched mindless tv, played on facebook, focused heavily on my schoolwork...
Not to worry, I am seeing my doctor in a couple of weeks for a med recheck; I had the labs all drawn on Tuesday morning, and I am going to ask her about adding back a med I used to take (but haven't for about 2 years now) that had been helpful to me. I am not dangerously depressed on any level, and my old psychiatrist told me I just have a chemical imbalance that sometimes needs tweaking when things shift significantly for me. I am self-aware enough to know that I am not functioning at my best right now, and I also know that since my other coping skills are no longer picking up the slack for me mood-wise, it's time to tweak my meds. I do know my hormones are shifting (stupid perimenopause...) and that increased depression can be a side effect of it. I have plenty of support and resources so it's not a "need for therapy" issue. It's strictly chemical as far as I can see. Until then, I have let Eric know why I have been so withdrawn and almost isolative (or needy in turn) and he is great about all of it, why I have been so emotional/tearful at points, or cranky/crabby, and he is very understanding and supportive, if a bit confused. And in the meantime, I am turning on lots of lights to combat the dreariness of the weather and the constant rain we have had, I am travelling the websites and blogs I enjoy to get psyched about my projects again, and I am trying to limit my time online otherwise to schoolwork, checking my farmville farm (and facebook), and doing other things. I know activity is important, and I will probably try to start going to the gym again on a regular basis to naturally boost my seratonin levels and increase my sense of well-being. Unfortunately of late it just "feels easier" to sit on my bed at home and coccoon... Not a good thing right now.
So I have spent part of this morning on the phone setting up appointments. I need to get my eyes rechecked because I am finding I have a hard time with sustained reading or close handwork. The handwork has been dealt with by using my wonderful magnifier on my Ott light, but the reading part is sucking when I have to read textbooks, highlight, and review... I have an eye appointment actually for tomorrow afternoon (they had an opening) and I *may* need to get a dedicated pair of reading glasses because what I think is happening is my vision field on the reading part of my bifocals isn't big enough for reading textbooks (my glasses are progressives--no line bifocals) and I get into that zone where it switches. I need new glasses anyway--my primary pair are all scratched up. It's been almost 2 years since my last appointment, so I guess I am due.
I also got Reimond's appointment set up for his follow-up ecchocardiogram and EKG with the cardiologist for the end of November. Time to get his pulmonary fistula rechecked. The assumption is there has been no change, so I am not terribly tweaked about it. It's just something that has to be done. It has been there in the back of my mind though. We are coming up on the anniversary of my dad's death on the 7th and I have been really missing him of late. Sunday was a bad day for me because we were singing some old swedish hymns, played on the piano, and it brought back so many childhood memories of singing around the piano with my extended family--my grandmothers and great-grandma, aunts and uncles, my dad. We would sing them in English, then switch to Finn for those who knew the words (my dad would sing harmony often) and I can picture Mummu sitting with her eyes closed nodding her head with the music, a peaceful smile on her face. It made me terribly homesick for my mom, my family, my dad. In talking to my mom yesterday I said most of the time it feels like 15 years ago, and it doesn't bother me at all, but then there are days when it is so real, so vivid, and so painful it feels like it was just yesterday. Sunday was one of those days. Reimond was named for my dad, and is like him in many ways; I want to be sure his heart is strong and healthy.
On the homefront beyond me and my moodiness, things are fairly status quo. The new term has started for the kids; we should have report cards in a few days. Aurora and the cross country team run in sectionals on Saturday, then we have to set it up that she can ride with another family from the meet to a marching band competition and parade three hours from where the cross country meet is being held. Which reminds me, I need to write her a note of permission, as I don't think Eric has done so... Aurora is supposed to be going to her mother's for the weekend next weekend (her birthday), and she is NOT wanting to go. She will not be running in the state cross country meet, although Mascoutah will be sending a couple of runners (we are assuming); she does apparently have a "model UN" event that she has to attend on that Thursday I believe, but at this point her mom is planning to pick her up Wednesday after school (no school Thursday or Friday), and keep her until Sunday. Eric cannot pick her up on that Sunday because he is working that weekend (and is back on overnights). I have asked Aurora repeatedly to talk to her mom about what is going on and to see if there can be arrangements made that suit both, but she hasn't called her. Personally (and this is gonna be uncomfortable to say) I believe Aurora should go. She really doesn't have anything pressing other than the Model UN thing going on, and if her mom is willing to work around that, then she should go. I have fully supported her staying home when there have been scheduled school activities that take priority, but in this case, her weekend is pretty open, other than the transportation issue. My guess is I will be working too over the weekend, as I have been scheduled for most weekends, and we start our holiday extended hours on Sunday Nov. 1st. I really feel for Aurora in her ambivalence, but I don't necessarily support it in all circumstances. I really do think she should spend some time with her mom, and that it's important to do so for both of them. As my mom often said about Jim's mom, she loves her kids dearly, even if she doesn't always show it the way we would have her do it. She is their mom, and she needs to be treated with respect.
Patrick is working some extra hours here and there and is loving having a paycheck, although we are not sure where he is at academically. we decided to give him this first quarter to sink or swim. Based on his report card, we will revise accordingly. Brie is still not working; she said she is going to go to work for the National Guard, doing something in their human resources department, but when (or if) that takes place is up in the air. She is going to be gone on a drill weekend next weekend (first weekend in November), and she *thinks* it'll get figured out around then. She has been working on cleaning her room a bit at a time, and she is making some progress... You can see the closet floor from what I have heard (I have not been in there as yet), but from the door it still looks like a tornado hit. Still, the boy's room doesn't look much better and I really need to start riding them too... Reimond goes in cycles, in that he wants to clean it, then he doesn't. Last time he totally cleaned it Patrick got upset because Rei wasn't careful with his things or putting them away as he'd like (Rei just boxed 'em up or stacked them) and yet when we have encouraged Patrick to take care of his own part of the mess (so it is done as HE would like), he hasn't done a thing... Very frustrating!
I have put the oven on "Autoclean" and it sure does smell something fierce in here. I have opened the kitchen window a tad to help air things out, and I have my bedroom window open a bit too (about 6"). Once that is done I will work on cleaning off the counters etc. and getting my kitchen back in order. But first, it is time to get my homework assignment written and posted. So I guess that is my cue to get going... I will try to post more frequently again in the coming month.