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It was only a matter of time before Bobby called down his late-night spewing, wine-guzzling, vampire wife. He left for work this morning, then called the house with a very sincere, very nicely-worded, very well-deserved speech about how we’re not on the same page, not connecting, not working together as a team. We’re kinda like the McCain/Palin campaign… there’s the “Sarah Camp” and the “Bobby Camp,” with that thought of “hey, um, shouldn’t we be working TOGETHER?!” (Sorry to dredge up the politics again – the analogy was just begging to be made).

Speaking of analogies, Bobby and I are the king and queen of the poetic comparison. I’m a ship without an anchor. He suggests that I put up the sail to take advantage of the buffeting wind. I’m a rubber band that’s been in the attic, rotted and useless. He suggests that I take the dogs for a walk. Ok, that didn’t have anything to do with a rubber band, but still…. you get an idea of how poetic our conversation was this morning.

All jokes aside, though, things are just not fun here lately. I KNOW I’m being a useless blob. I KNOW that Bobby is frustrated and I don’t blame him, not one little bit. I KNOW I’m whiny and annoying. I know all of these things, and yet I’ve dug myself into a rut that’s only getting deeper the more I spin my wheels. Depressing, much?

I feel like there’s been a funk permeating the air lately. Several bloggy friends seem to be struggling, and I’ve talked with a couple of IRL friends who are feeling out of sorts as well. What is causing it? I know there’s no simple one-size-fits-all reason, but maybe there are a few common denominators.

I’m going to have some lunch and ponder this.

Ok, am back. I have a few ideas… and please know that I have no idea if this exercise will help anyone but me. I just like to label things and make nice, neat lists… it calms my inner control freak:

  • The Economy – This is a no-brainer, but it’s touching all of us. Touching, hell, more like smacking all of us. People are losing jobs, and the ones who aren’t losing their jobs are scared. People who don’t have jobs can’t find jobs (that would be me). Financial instability sucks ass – it causes anxiety, marital spats, like a little black rain cloud that’s hovering just out of arm’s reach.
  • The Presidential Election – Related to the economy, but more of a “big picture” anxiety for most of us. A regime change is worrisome.. thinking about who to vote for, knowing that it may not matter that much, fear of the unknown, and worrying how the inevitable changes are going to affect you and your family.
  • The Time Change – I know this seems like a minor blip, but I really do think that it’s depressing to not see the sun for days on end. Take Sue, for example… it’s dark when she leaves for work, and it’s dark when she comes home. How could that NOT affect your mood a little?
  • End of Another Year – I think that my birthday and the end of the year happening almost concurrently probably has something to do with this one, so I’m not sure that it applies to anyone else. But as the year comes to a close, especially the last couple of years, it dredges up the “highlight reel”… the good and, more recently, the not-so-good.
  • The Holidays – This is a biggie. Probably #1, in my opinion. Growing up, I was very fortunate… not that we had a mansion or tons of money, but we had a loving family, gifts, and more food than we could eat – things that I took for granted and didn’t appreciate as much as I should have. Seeing the holidays through a child’s rose-tinted glasses, I had family, fellowship, and food… after all, what more do you need?

    In recent years, however, our holidays have developed a dark underbelly. The commercials, the Hallmark displays, the movies – these all portray what a picture-perfect Thanksgiving and Christmas looks like… and the older I get, the less my holidays resemble those commercials. Gifts & endless food translate to dollar signs. Spending time with family has become a balancing act between grandparents, in-laws, & friends, trying to make sure everyone gets an equal share. And for those who have experienced loss – through death, infertility, abandonment – the words of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” or “Silent Night” can bring a flood of tears. When there’s a gaping hole in your life where your mother was or your child should be, the holiday cheer can feel contrived and empty.

    Somehow I have a feeling that this particular topic is going to come up again and again in the next 1.5 months.

Ok, this concludes my essay on seasonal depression. Anyone who wasn’t depressed before they read this probably is now. Sorry. Just sharin’ the love (and the Zoloft if you need some) :)