Tag: depression




There is a huge difference between depression and simply being sad. Sadness is a normal part of life and we all go through it.  This time of year seems to bring on depression or bouts of it, for various reasons.

We could even call it “seasonal depression.”

As we age we lose people that we love.

Now, when the holidays come around or those other family events which bring everyone together; we think of those that are no longer with us. There at that certain spot, sits an empty chair which they should be in.

Looking into the “mirror of time” will not bring those people back.  Those memories that we keep alive are what we still hang onto them with, and that is OK ; but not to focus on.

I personally have small mementos of those that I have lost, which I see daily. On one of my desk there sits this absolutely hideous lamp that one of my Uncles bought his wife as a gift.  The shade is painted with some sort of pattern and I have to agree with my aunt, is it pretty terrible.  His taste however; was not hers… Every time I see that lamp; I think of him, who I loved; and chuckle.

In another part of my house there is a small wooden wheel barrel that my grandfather made.  He made it for my aunt when she was a little girl, who is also gone.  When I see it…I think of him and her…and smile.  I took it down the other day and dusted it… I noticed the fine workmanship that went into it and imagined my grandfather making it, some 80 years ago.

There is an old kitchen clock that was made in 1912 that my grandmother bought for her kitchen; while visiting New York in 1912.  That clock sits in the Den.  I never knew her but; I know that I would have loved her…From stories of her…she sounds a lot like me.

If I went through the complete list of stuff from the many in my life that I have loved, some might conclude that I was a hoarder.  I hoard the memories of those that I loved, and sometimes I keep too many reminders of them.  Pictures here and there of them, is really all we need but…that is just the way it goes.

My grandfather used to fish in the Mississippi not far from where he lived.  He left me his tackle box which I still have.  I open it every now and then, and gaze upon the things inside.

He was not a rich man but, here in this box is a wealth of stories and love… There is a history of taking me fishing when I was barely out of three cornered pants.  A history of comforting a crying child who was just bitten by a horsefly stopping the bleeding followed by a history of teaching me how to catch a horse fly without getting bitten, and placing it on a hook and catching my first fish.

There are other stories of comforting a small child who hurt themselves, by spilling an entire wheel barrel full of leaves, that he had just picked up while trying to help.

There was my first taste of beer from his can while building our lake house.  I was maybe 4 at the time and I remember the taste of it.  I searched for years to find out that it was PBR…

From watching Saturday night wrestling with him, to listening to baseball games on a huge floor model radio…they are all there…tucked neatly away in that tackle box of life.

His sunglasses, old wire frame glasses, along with his lucky coin are two of the first two things that jump out at me.  There are different lures and even a reel or two; still in their original box along with line that has to be older than me.  I picture him walking from his house, to the bank of the Mississippi, pulling some sort of fish out of that river… He loved to fish …

After getting my “grandpa” fix, I carefully put everything back, just as I found it, and tuck it away until I find myself thinking of him… needing another fix, reminding me of the humanity of an old fashion, soft spoken man, who would give anyone that needed it, the shirt off of his back.

On one of my bookshelves there is this old plastic fisherman with a wire attached that has a small yellow plastic fish on it that used to adorn a shelf in his house.  I am certain that it was a gift from someone who loved him.  Daily; it is my reminder to be gentle, soft spoken and try to exude some of the wisdom, caring and compassion that I learned from this man.   It is my reminder to not take myself too seriously, and to laugh…

Each year it seems that the Christmas card lists gets shorter, as more and more leave us.

Not only do we have our family and friends but, we too are effected by those that we come to love from the silver screen, and now of course the flat screen that entertains us.  We grieve for those too; and each day it seems more of them are leaving…

Christmas music seems to bring on depression for me; so I limit my exposure to it.

This year, 2015; four of my good friends have passed. I have mementos of them and I even have a hat that one of them gave me that honors Reagan, who he was a fan of.  I wear that hat from time to time just because I am thinking of the person who gave it to me.

I’ll be home for Christmas is a downer… Songs…good songs bring out emotions in people and that one makes me sad.  I have been away at Christmas before, and it too reminds me of those that won’t be home for Christmas.   When we turn this time into a time for “stuff” it really again shows the worst in some of us, with black Friday deals and “stuff!”

We can choose….

I choose to acknowledge them…and then look forward to time spent with those that are still here and of course those that I have yet to meet.  I look forward to the memories that I have yet to make.  I make damned certain that I smile at those that seem to be having a hard time, and learn everyone’s name that I come into contact with if, only to use it once during a conversation with them. From wait staff to the person checking you out at the store…They have a name and it is not “you there…or hey!”

Tonight I went to dinner with 3 of my close friends as a pre-holiday get together.  We shared a few laughs, and I valued that time as it will never come around again.  The waiter…Ross… I made sure to include him in the conversation when appropriate, and let him know that he was appreciated, not only by saying so but; by tipping in way that he knew how I felt.

Every one of us has some sort of personal battle going on. You have no idea what it is.  Some of us honk ruthlessly and drive terribly because we feel that we are more important than others.  We cut people off and we…  “let’s face it; show our ass…”

“You don’t know what that person who you just did that to, is going through in their life…”

Lead by Example

When I managed people, I managed by leading by example.  I was a “hands on kind of guy” and I would purposefully involve myself in the worst jobs that we had to contend with, to show that no job was too small or insignificant.  Nobody is too small or trivial to be marginalized by given the “shit jobs.”

I made a point to know the cleaning crew’s names as well as the lady that watered the plants… We are all worthy of being treated as such; if you think we are not, your moral compass is out of whack!

We as people need to lead by example when we drive, engage with people and yes…be nice to the poor cashier who has to put up with impatient people, and company policies which require them to get information from you so they can market to you via e-mail or other such methods.  Their arms are twisted to do it…  The wait staff are forced to up-sell you into buying cobbler or some other dessert that you don’t really want.  They are told to ask, and I am certain that they are measured in some quantitative way by how many they sell.

  • Stop looking into the rear view mirror of life.
  • Enjoy what you do, and how you spend your time.
  • Make time to enjoy the day…
  • Acknowledge those around you and tell them thank you!
  • Serve others; and by all means treat others as you want to be treated.
  • If depression is bothering you…do this….
  • Set regular sleep hours and keep them. Stop any caffeine after 3pm.
  • Get up every morning and go greet the sun.  Your body needs at least 15 minutes of light to set your clock. 
  • Don’t stress over things that you cannot control. 
  • Do your best, give your schooling or job your bests, and don’t worry.
  • Love and laugh often.  Laughter is medicine that is cheap, and requires no prescription.

You are worthy of the best… Don’t let anyone tell you differently…

We can make it through this season…Remember it is not about gifts, or what someone is going to do for you…It is about giving of yourself.  I like to try and make someone’s life a little better each and every day… Even if it is just a kind word…. Or some encouragement.  Follow that lead….







Communication 101, the Mirror and You



Text vs. phone vs. talking in person.

This is not a new subject but one that deserves attention.

Recently I was reading and posting on a social forum and recognized that people were not picking up on sarcasm or someone’s attempt at humor vs. someone being totally sincere in their opinion.

 When one person does not pick up on some sort of queue and responds in kind the entire thread turns bitter and quite frankly is a perfect example of the human condition.

 There are two issues at play here, one is that people miss a queue and assume the worst.

The other is that some out of “being anonymous” just show the worst side of themselves.  This in turn begets more sarcasm, name calling and just downright ugliness.

 Any post with a long thread; this type of thing will come up.

 People either want to assume the worst or look for a reason to be pissed about something and then respond to it in like fashion.  Political correctness is one such way that anyone can be offended at any time they want, then feel all righteous about it and rant.

 I for one would like to see the anonymous post go away.  I think you should have to let the world know who you are when you post so if you choose to be a jerk, at least the world knows that you have a proclivity towards such behavior and not put much weight on what you are saying or just not even read your post.

 If you will notice that when you are waiting in line at a restaurant or ride at some amusement park or even the bank, most are polite and await there turn.  They may even strike up a conversation with you about the weather or some such thing.  I am one of those that will do that not only in line but on an elevator as well.

 The interesting thing is that people hide behind their glasses; their blank stare and the very clothing that they wear; are much like some sort of shield against the world.

Online or in your car your shield expands and you can drive aggressively or rant your thoughts or opinion on a subject with little or no fore-thought. I see this all the time where people sound off on some subject with little or no facts, they just want to be heard!  Some actually use words as a weapon to hurt people, just to do it.

 You see it to when people cut you off on the freeway or other surface road just to get one car length ahead of you, maybe causing you to miss the light that they should have missed, but now you did.

When you talk on a social forum or blog or what have you, type as though you are having a conversation with the people in a room with you.  When you expound upon your thoughts, do so in a manner that is respectful of all of those who might be reading it.  Do not respond to idiots!  If they choose to make an ass of themselves, ignore them.  Ignored behavior goes away.

I would implore you to drive in a similar fashion.  Any good manager knows to lead by example.  Drive like you would like others to drive.  If 90 seconds extra at a light is that big of a deal, leave the house 90 seconds earlier.  Too many people cause accidents trying to beat a light, yellow means stop if you are not already in the intersection, and can stop without being in the middle of the intersection. (Always look in the rearview first however; as there are many that will run you over as red does not even mean stop to them.)

 Emoticons are a great way to let the world key into your feelings on a subject.  A smiley face will give the reader the idea that you are trying to be funny or what have you and it will elicit a different response from the reader that may have otherwise taken offence to your remark.

 The emoticon replaces the one to one facial queues that one misses in face to face communication and it also replaces the laugh or humor in your voice.

 Toxic people and boundaries.

 Lastly, stop looking for a reason to be offended. Pollyanna had the correct idea.  What you look for you will find.  You will shorten your life and have a miserable life at that if you are constantly on the lookout for things to be pissed about.  There are people out there that will piss you off simply for their own amusement.  Don’t fall into that trap and avoid them.   

I stay away from Toxic people and I don’t invest my time and energy on those that enjoy being a victim or offended or look for political incorrectness just so they can be offended.

They are only hurting themselves.  If you climb onto their pity train then you too will become despondent over things that you really don’t have a dog in that fight.

 There is this principle of boundaries.  Where friends or associates are concerned we need to stay alert to the place that they are in and be prepared to push them away.  You can pray for them, loan them a good self help book and even listen to them if you choose but, don’t own their shit.  What they are going through is theirs!  Councilors go through years of training to learn how not to own their clients shit!  They themselves have to go through counseling to make sure that their head stays on straight.  What are the odds that you can counsel people without the training and not start to own their shit!?

I liken boundaries to the orbits of the planets around the sun.  For the sake of argument you are the sun.  Mercury is you closest friend, Venus is next and then Earth, Mars you get the idea.

 Mercury is your closest confidant which should be your spouse. Venus may be your longtime friend that you share things with. 

 Let’s say that Venus has something going on their life that affects you and they are unwilling to help themselves which in turn brings you down.  Don’t push them out of the solar system but do push them out past Mars or even Jupiter for a while.

 If you can help them without owning their shit than by all means help them, otherwise push them out until they get their act together.  There is no shame in seeking counseling and in this complicated world we live in that might be a great profession to be in as this world is a messed up place.

I am not telling you to abandon your friend.  I am telling you to advise them to get help and if they don’t or wont, than you need to keep them at a safe distance. No one is immune to this “shit owning” and there is no sense in making their issues yours.


Many people, who never look into the mirror, blame their lot on life on someone else or some circumstance.  It is always easy to blame someone else.  Next time you want to do that, go look into the mirror and blame that person.  Odds are incredibly good that the person in the mirror is the one that did it.  The person in the mirror needs to examine themselves and make some course correction as to not be the problem.


  • Use Emoticons
  • Don’t be part of the problem
  • Don’t look for things to be pissed off about
  • Text and drive (not at the same time) like the people around you are your neighbors
  • Look for the good in people and not the bad
  • Stay away from Toxic people
  • Look in the mirror and seek counseling for that person in the mirror if they need it.


Now go take on the day!


-Best to you and those that you care about!