Sunday, April 27, 2008

We are farmers

Spring has sprung, and boy are we enjoying it. We've got some violets and pansies planted, but mostly we planted a whole bunch of seeds: beans, sunflowers, wildflowers, purple coneflowers, eidelweiss, which we actually bought in Salzburg, and, well, we'll see what comes up.

My son did all the actual planting, and wanted to know, "do farmers plant seeds?" Yes, they do. "We are farmers!" Yes, we are.

As for the funk, a word I'd rather use than anxiety or panic attacks (whatever), I'm having relatively good days, and some bad. Yesterday was wretched. Surprising since it was Saturday. But I'm surviving, and even getting used to the surges of adrenaline. One good thing about my prescription, which is Cipralex, it's really helping me sleep. I'm not waking up at 4am unable to get back to sleep. In fact, most of the time, I could fall asleep in about two seconds. The trembling is still very much there, but I've only been at full dose of this stuff for about 10 days. It says wait 6 to 8 weeks. That's a loooong time, but at least it's underway. I'm tired of feeling weird though, that's for sure.

We spent a lot of time outside today; it was gorgeous and fun; we got out on our bikes, which is always good, and my husband made stew, which makes me happy, no matter what. What could be better than stew?

Oh, just read that transit's no longer on strike. No working from home tomorrow. Ah vie; it's all about me. But seriously, my sister-in-law's baby is overdue, and nobody around here wants the traffic to be tied up because transit's down. When they need to get to the hospital, I want their path to be as clear as possible.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This modern world

Even though I'm not in a bad mood, I'm going to post a pretty thing.

I'm back at work, and it's okay. I stayed home most of last week. Apparently, allegedly, I'm having... anxiety attacks. Eeegad. 
I guess it's not that surprising. The good news is that thanks to my "boss" there is no longer a table pinning me in my chair at work, and it's very nice not feeling like I'm physically blocked from leaving my desk. Which I actually was. 
The other good thing is that the two colleagues I've spoken with about this -- including my boss -- have been very supportive, and in fact, she (boss) has also had problems with said attacks in the past. 
I'm also taking a medication, which feels like an awfully big step to me. Do I feel better after taking it for a week? Emotionally, yes. Physically, I'm still getting huge surges of adrenaline complete with trembling, followed by a huge drop, more trembling, sweating. It's quite extreme, and really not nice. At this point, I'm handling it. By a) keeping my blood sugar levels up, and b) breathing like this and taking my prescription as directed. My dr told me she sees a lot of people having anxiety problems that affect them physically. It's the way we're living these days. This modern world.
The teacup, on the bottom, says "B. Henstridge, 1929" something I can't read, and LHS Bavaria. Handpainted. I bought it from a lady down the hall who was moving. I love this pretty thing. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A pretty card and my slightly weird secret

I just feel like looking at something pretty today, and this card is it. It pretty much always sits on my desk here at home (obviously I'm not at work today); it was from my sister-in-law for my wedding shower, which was quite awhile ago now, but I still just love the card. 
And here's my slightly weird secret: I like teacups a lot. Love 'em actually. The prettier the better. And if anybody else secretly likes them too and is wondering, my favourites are Shelley. I think some of my friends would be surprised by this, but these things make me happy. And maybe now whenever I'm in a bad mood, I'm going to post a pic of a pretty thing.
The idea is almost enough to make me look forward to my next bad mood.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The funk came back

I truly thought it was over. It's spring, I'm riding my bike, the j*b's getting a little better, and I had a totally great weekend that made me feel like the funk had become an impossibility. Whatever.
So I'm at home today; started weeping on the way to work. On my bike, I passed the bus stop where I had to get off last month, and thought, uh-oh, I don't feel so good today, but come on, yay, I'm on my bike! Yeah! Nope. Didn't work.
Went to work, still weeping. On the subway I just kept hoping it'd stop as it sometimes does, and when I got in the office, I said I was going home because I didn't feel well. 
Bumped into my boss on the way out, and I told her. Had to tell her, actually. I wasn't feeling creative enough to make something up; I mean, tears were at this point spilling onto my jacket and bouncing off. So I said I'm getting blindsided by these big drops (ha ha as I write this I think I should've said blindsided by these big drops that keep falling out of my eyes!) in mood, possibly hormonal but I'd be calling my dr as soon as I get home. Which I did.
I hope there is some kind of answer that is fast and does not involve taking pharmaceuticals. Although at least they'll be paid for because of the j*b.
Actually found something useful -- this too -- on the whole subject of funk by googling. Not the usual hogwash.  

Friday, April 4, 2008

What's the story?

The same bike has been parked beside mine for the past three days. It's locked up with an expensive fancy lock, looks like an okay bike, and I think since the chain's all rusty it's been there for a long time.
Could its own possibly have forgotten he rode his bike, and so rarely rides doesn't notice it's not in the shed?
Or is she injured or sick or dead?
There's a story there, right outside the Davisville subway stop.

Another weird thing. My son has a book that's been translated from French, called That's Dangerous! Its grinning protagonist is a cartoon-like figure who does dangerous things like kicking bullies, putting plastic bags on his head, taking bones away from dogs, and playing with matches, and each drawing is opposite big cap letters saying, rather obviously, "THAT'S DANGEROUS". It's a very weird book, but he loves it, and sometimes argues that certain things are in fact not dangerous.
Ever since we got it though, I keep thinking in my head - usually in response to something at work (which is actually a bit better this week) - "THAT'S DUMB!" I see the letters, and the cartoon figure each time. I think it's helping me cope!

Re: funk. I think it's leaving. Never mind the fact that it's Friday night!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Does misery really want company?

Turns out Grunchy is not happy with her job; it's not anything like she expected, and - get this - the way the heirarchy works is driving her crazy. Like, why doesn't the VP ever call Grunch with a question about one of her projects, instead of calling Grunch's boss?
Good question.
And aren't I glad we actually had that talk. It's nice not to feel so alone. And - wow - it's truly not all about me.
The boy: last night during bedtime stories he asked me a) how do you make a baby? b) how do babies get out of the mommy's tummy? and c) what sorts of things make you sad?
The sad question came up while reading a Maisy book. There's Maisy big, Maisy small, Maisy spots, Maisy stripes, etc., etc., and Maisy happy, Maisy sad. He always wants to discuss the sad page, and to get me to come up with examples of what makes me sad. I usually say dropping my chocolate chip cookie into a mud puddle, and sometimes going to work does because I'd rather stay home and play with him.
As for the answers to a) and b), my mind's a blur!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Two wheels mean bliss

I got out on my bike today! 
Not all the way to work of course, not on the first day out, but to the first subway stop. Ultimately it's going to be tougher riding to the new place even though it's actually about a kilometre closer than the TD centre because I'll be going mostly uphill to work where before I was sailing down - all my big freelance clients were downtown. Going uphill in the morning will definitely be a bigger psychological hurdle, but I'm counting on the allure of promised mood-enhancing endorphins to keep me cycling as often as possible.
I enjoyed my last morning of semi-solitude at the office today. Then grunchy 20-something returned in the pm, grunted in response to my (when will I learn) greeting and turned to her computer. A few minutes later, Boss walks in, and it's a great big, "Oh, hiiiiiii, how are youuuuuuu?" Sigh. I'm supposed to be so experienced and mature at this point I should be above annoyance on matters such as these, but sadly, I'm not. She probably doesn't even realize she's doing it - (just read this link if you want to make yourself queasy) managing up, toad eating, arse-k*ss*ng, whatever you wanna call it. 
Being treated as an obvious "lesser" makes me paranoid, and makes me feel like I'm hopelessly old, uncool, behind the times, and defensive. Makes me feel like Grunch must be thinking, OMG, she's nearly 20 years older than me and she reports to my boss's underling! Why, I must rock; she must not; and surely her opinion of me will have no impact on my career! 
My brother's advice was to a) think of the $ and b) become emotionless when I'm there; just tell myself, who cares? It's not worth getting upset over! Hard though when I spend 8.5 hours a day there (or near there if I go for a walk at lunch).
All that being said, I was so crabby with Charlie last night I'm thinking I'm having a more typical hormonal mood swing. More typical as in the old fecund days.
But the bike ride on this beautiful cold sunny morning made me happy, and the knowledge that I didn't have to worry about missing the bus on the way home -- I could just hop on my bike whenever I got to it -- made me happy whenever I thought of it during the day.
PS: Judy Gerstel and the usually wonderous Antonia Z. wrote a bit about menopause in the Toronto Star on Tuesday I think it was. It was a little humourous, and nice to see the topic covered in the newspaper in a lighthearted way. But also dumb. J. Gerstel says, 
"And maybe I've just been lucky with menopause but I think women make too much about the symptoms [!!!] Like pregnancy, it's temporary. [my GP says it could go on for 10 yrs, eh] ...C'mon, toughing it out isn't so terrible."
Not helpful, Judy. And one of my favourite things about pregnancy was NO PMS! Yeah!
My current subway reading is a book called The Confidence Woman - 26 Women Writers at Work (Eve Shelnutt, editor). In an essay called "Junk" by Hilda Raz, she quotes Marie Jenney Howe writing about George Sand [hmm, makes me think of the telephone game; how likely is this we all got the quote right? But I liked it, so...], 
"When George Sand was normal she did her work. Whenever she lost her poise she wrote a journal... When her emotions upset her life she got rid of them in writing..."
Makes sense to me!
Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful again, and the sun keeps melting the ice at the side of the road. Can't wait to hop on my bike.