Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Depressed? Happy?

I realized earlier in the month as I was doing some movie screening that movies can depress me in a lot of ways. Depressing content. Bad movies make me feel queasy at the (to me) wasted money and the time I'm wasting watching them.

Gadgets depress me. Ones I have even when they work, but mostly when they start to fail. It wears me out upgrading programs on computers. Gadgets I've thought of getting but haven't depress me because of the confusion of thinking about them: smart phones, GPS devices, a new laptop, a new digital camera. Do I even need the last ones if I get a smart enough first one? When gadgets start to have glitches in behavior or their batteries quit holding a charge? That's depressing.

Cleaning depresses me because you have to do it over and over. Ditto cooking. (You have to cook then you made a mess you have to clean, then you get hungry again.)

The newspapers depress me with news of violence and hate and economic distress. They depress me when I pay for them and they pile up, unread.

And yet. I love newspapers. I like sitting down, folding one over and reading entire articles. Newspapers make me happy in a way nothing else does. Reading news and blogs online? I like it but it makes me nervous in a way and may depress me more and it is so hard to fall asleep at the keyboard. But in your chair with a newspaper? Yeah! Yep, a newspaper, a cup of coffee. Heaven. Add a notebook and pen and some interesting surroundings. Very cool.

I like walking around and taking pictures. I get depressed about organizing all my photos or finding something fresh for Austin, Texas Daily Photo after almost 800 posts. Plus tomorrow is a theme day. The theme? Empty? I'm kind of empty of ideas for it, too. I love my shop window pictures. They make me happy in a way that isn't even sensible.

It makes me happy to watch Wimbledon on my big plasma TV in an air-conditioned room. But a little depressed that I didn't get to play myself today (rain). But I'm happy it rained. We are in a long, long drought. That's a little depressing. When temps soar over a hundred? That depressing, too. Today the high was supposed to be 93. Depressing to think that it "doesn't sound too bad." And it actually, um, felt kind of cool when we walked to a restaurant to meet friends.

It makes me happy that we made a trip to NYC. It was so fun. More on that later. It depresses me that due to some watchful waiting on a parent's health and other duties we can't get away for another trip next month. It makes me happy that we might find time to do some of our volunteer work and maybe some Central Texas getaways.

Crossword puzzle and the new Ken-Ken make me happy. The time wasted on them? A little depressed.

I'm happy I'm retired. Depressed that I haven't done more with the time. My motto "Pretending to Write but Really Just Blogging" was funnier when I actually did blog and not just tweet. My tweets don't seem to excite much interest unless I misuse grammar. Typos, grammar errors, misspelled words all depress me. A well-turned sentence makes me happy. Learning a new word or usage makes me happy. The other morning a friend directed me to an NPR deal where you can submit "Three-Minute Fiction." I quickly wrote a story of about the right number of words. I didn't submit it. It was about writer's block and the things we do to displace the writing. I was happy to write it and not submit it. I was depressed to think about all the writing projects I'm not writing.

I'm happy I'm as healthy as I am. Depressed about some injuries and things that are failing. I'm happy I can exercise as much as I do. Depressed that I'm not more diligent. I love to eat. Eating makes me happy. I'm depressed that I don't manage to eat more healthy foods. I'm depressed at what I weigh, but happy I don't weigh twenty pounds more like I used to.

I go back and forth between the happy and the depressed. Everyone does unless their life is uniformly miserable. Even then?

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