Saturday, July 15, 2006

What's Wrong with Karen?

I have several things to cover tonight, and no energy for any of them, especially in my 90 degree office at 3:23 AM. So I'll try to be brief.

1. What
As I tried to type the subject line (Title: What's Wrong with Karen?) a few minutes ago, Blogger saved the new entry as a draft, either because my finger slipped or all by itself due to a glitch. The new entry just had the word What in the title box, and my refaul Technorati tags in the post itself. Nothing else. I thought about posting it that way, just as an enigma for you to puzzle out, but I decided to get on with writing the entry as planned. I added two photos, and was finishing up a commnt over on AOL when Firefox crashed. That put me back to the "What" version. Weird.

2. I Think You Ought to Know That I'm Feeling Very Depressed.
Have you ever had a day when you struggle to stop considering your faults and failures long enough to get some work done? That was today for me.

Yesterday evening, for a few hours, I was happy. Now, this is not so terribly unusual, although I'm convinced that people often don't notice when they're happy. In this case, though, I was actively enjoying myself, which is in marked contrast to the 24 hours after that.

Here's the story. Ignoring other obligations such as laundry, dishes, sorting the mail and so on, I spent much of the evening scanning a couple of Madeleine L'Engle dust jackets, cleaning them up digitally, and writing my second brand new Wikipedia article, on the L'Engle novel An Acceptable Time. Just as I finished, I got a reminder of a time-sensitive obligation that I should have been doing instead. I had totally forgotten about it, depite having discussed it at length the night before. In doing so I let people down, which is never a good feeling.

Then this morning, as I got ready to leave for work - late as usual, and with dirty hair - I got a call from a credit card company about a payment I'd missed. I scrambled to get out my checkbook, to get it paid by reading off the routing number. (Oh, boy. It just this second occurred to me that this could have been a phishing scam.) In digging for my notebook, I was reminded that I haven't ordered more checks yet. I've been out of them for some time, weeks and weeks.

The day at work was stressful as always. I was sleep-deprived as usual, and depressed over the last night's missed obligation, a near-argument with someone, the credit card bill, the fact that I haven't updated the church web pages or written an entry of The Jace Letters this week, and all the work I can't seem to get caught up on at the office. In my darker moments, like today, some part of me half-expects that someday my boss will fire me, and call security to escort me out the door. The fact that she likes me and says I'm doing a good job doesn't cancel this nasty little fantasy. Add to that the dirty hair, the dirty laundry, the dirty dishes and other stuff, my edema and my increasing weight, and I found I had plenty of faults and failures to think about. Lately I've been getting worse about such things, and I have no idea why. It's not that I've been terribly stressed or terribly depressed. I was very depressed today, but I expect I'll feel better tomorrow. I'm busy, but I've been busier. I'm stressed, but no more than usual. So what's the problem? People keep asking that, and I don't have an answer. The only thing I can think of is that my concentration is shot due to the lack of sleep. Hence the forgotten obligation. Also, some things are easier than others to do when you're really tired. It also messes up the motivation to do what I ought to do. Making myself do something like dishes at 3 AM on a week night is something that just isn't going to happen very often.

Maybe I have no right to put together a Wikipedia entry while other stuff remains undone. But listen, the chores will always expand to fill the time allotted. At least, I assume so. I've never testd the theory, but, you know, actually trying to get all the housework done. What I do know is that writing for Wikipedia, or editing an image, or blogging (when it's going well) is relaxing and enjoyable. It pushes down my guilt and worry and stress for a while, and makes me at least pseudo-happy. Must I give it up? Must I cut back? Every night I pray for discipline, to meet my obligations better. So far, I've failed to improve in this respect. I'm even way behind on my email on my main screen name, let alone the others. Well, I'll catch up this weekend. I'll also sleep in, wash dishes, do laundry, and work on my second novel - I hope Oh, and I promised to go in to work, somehre in there.

Think I can do all that? I'll let you know on Monday how I did.

3. The Best Place to Cure a Dry Throat.
I don't know about you folks, but I'm going through an awful lot of soda these days, mostly diet cola by day, mostly diet orange at night. I've also gone through a lot of jugs of apple juice, until I gave it up this week, ice tea and even diet Kool-Aid. I don't drink alcohol, but I imagine that in hot weather many people crave a good beer, or even a mint julip.

That makes this a a great time of year for the newest Round Robin Photo Challenge topic, as suggested by Maryanne of Inside the Gilded Cage: "Ye Old Watering Hole." I do most of my diet soda-drinking at home and at work, but I just admit that I'm often tempted to mosey over to Austin's East or Trevor's Ice Cream for an ice cream soda, a shake, a smoothie or a root beer float. I haven't succumbed yet, but I'm sure I will, if only for the sake of this Challenge. So the rationalization goes, anyway. Heck, I'd also love a virgin pina colada, or even a pina colada Eegee's.

So, what's your drink of choice this time of year, and where's your favorite place to drink it? Do you have a favorite neighborhood bar, or a place that makes really great smoothies? Is Starbuck's your hangout of choice, in winter as well as summer? Or do you prefer going across town, to that place where you can watch an indie band and sip an exotic cocktail at the same time?

If you'd like to participate in this newest Round Robin Challenge, Round Robin blog. There you can read about the topic, and updates on the rules, and leave your RSVP in comments. Be sure also to check out the Welcome and Rules of Play entry. The rules changed a little this week, and you'll need to know what the latest tweaks are about. It's nothing too hard, really! Mostly we're asking you to post at the proper time (in this case, no sooner than Wednesday, July 26th, or up to a week afterward), and not to paste anything from the Round Robin blog into yours, except for the Linking List and the fellow shown at right.

Now, go be photographers! Meanwhile, though, I'm going to bed!

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Shelly said...

I drink a lot of water. I always have a bottle with me.

And I have chocolate shakes for lunch a lot, or if I'm home, I make a chocolate malted.

Georganna Hancock said...

Sounds like you're just trying to do too much. Like me--selling a house and car; dealing with an attorney; sorting, picking, packing, and readying a household for movers to come to cart most of my mother's possessions back to San Diego; trying to decide what to do with the remains of 88 years of a life ... and all before the plane leaves Cincy at the end of the month. I do stop and have a beer, iced tea, sodas frequently. No watering hole here that I'd want to visit!

Go easy on yourself, Karen, and I'll do the same for me.

Chris said...

Hope you are feeling better today. The financial issue alone would have been enough to do me in. I beat myself up over missed obligations, time or financial.

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Becky said... many parallels between us. I'm convinced I have a form of ADD or ADHD. If I start a task, I MUST finish it RIGHT THEN or it will never ever get done. But I am so easily distracted that I find I've started 15 different things and accomplished nothing. The day is done and I have nothing to wear tomorrow that is weather appropriate. Heat wave and I forgot to wash shorts. Feh. I need a live-in housekeeper.

Pamela said...

Sounds like you just have too many demands at this time. Try and enjoy your Sunday today and relax.