Are We in a Depression? Or is it Just Spring?

by francine Hardaway on April 30, 2008

I know what a Depression is. It’s when things look bad even when they may be good. I’m going to try to capture some of my mood on paper today, to ask you whether you share it, or whether I am personally grieving and projecting it on to my environment. Usually at this time of year I am very upbeat, because it’s spring. This year, even though I’m a Pollyanna, my feelings are very mixed. The flowers are beautiful, and the weather is glorious, but there are clouds on the horizon as well.

Let’s start with the small things. We put my daughter’s dog Kodie down last week. He got cancer and died in a week, and he was only four.

Buppy the Puppy has been down with an infection that wears him out to the point where, to make him eat, I have to feed him cans of sardines and tuna. He got scratched by a cat and it became cellulitis. He sleeps under the bed or under the table all day, and he hasn’t stolen my braSickbuppy

and carried it into the yard since he got sick.

I’ve had a flu myself for more than a week, walking around at 50% energy level and feeling like Buppy.

My foster son has been laid off from his construction job because they ran out of work and he can’t find another one. His fiancee is upset because they are trying to save to get married. There are so many jobs he cannot get if he admits he was in prison, so I suggested he go to school full time, but he won’t do that because he wants to contribute to their household.

Now let’s branch out from my family to the world.

Yesterday Barack Obama threw his spiritual advisor under the bus after Rev. Wright’s 60’s style anger, still harbored after all these years, threatened to ruin the campaign of one of the truly inspirational leaders of the contemporary world. Obama might not be experienced, but he has the ability to inspire, strategize, and THINK. We need that. We need to get on the same page as a nation (without disregarding diversity, of course) and all row in the same direction before the boat sinks. And he has put himself out there, a black man, to test how far we’ve come in the last fifty years with regard to true diversity.

There are widespread food shortages around the world, too. This is making people contentious. Haiti is already having riots against the government.

President Bush is asking for the building of more oil refineries. And for drilling off Anwar. I’m hoping that before that happens, the price of alternative energy will equal the price of gas, and the entire issue of oil will be moot. Wouldn’t that be great? The problem solves itself.

How are you feeling about your life? About our nation’s life? If I get enough interesting comments, I will compile them into a totally unscientific poll and share them with you :-)

Update: Just came back from Starbucks and found out that with my registered Starbucks card I get all my syrups free! This lowers my weekly Starbucks number by about $3.00. Things are looking up.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Gundzik April 30, 2008 at 9:33 am

Buck up little camper…..Seriously though, Kodie is better now, no more pain/suffering. You and Buppy will get better soon. The country always bounces back, but it takes time and confidence in our people. We all could be depressed about a million things, but it won’t move us forward. Look to the good things in your life and we’ll all move forward together.

Dave April 30, 2008 at 9:42 am

I have to work really hard to maintain a positive upbeat attitude, it’s part of my nature. That’s why I keep reminding myself that any day I can get out of bed without the help of a defibrillator is a fantastic day.

I live in the greatest country on the planet, one that gives me the opportunity to start a new business with absolutely nothing but my hands and brain and turn it into a successful thriving living thing. I have friends and business colleagues who are more supportive and encouraging than I deserve – and I am so grateful to them.

Life is pretty darn good.

Kathy Sacks April 30, 2008 at 9:43 am

No kidding…I am with you on the malaise. Although thankfully, no dog stuff going on at the Sacks household to add to it. (I am so sorry to hear about young Kodie, and the always-adorable-scrumptious Buppy and his cat incident.)

So here’s my deal of depressing things i think about:
– Gas prices–and I don’t drive a hybrid. My small jeep liberty is decent comparatively speaking on gas. But there aren’t any great small SUV hybrid options out there that can fit both our dogs and luggage for a trip to rocky point. that’s depressing. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY. NOW LETS GET DETROIT TO GIVE US SOME WAY BETTER OPTIONS.

– Environmental waste–the fact that I literally cringe and have a massive guilt attack when I buy a coffee or soda or lettuce or anything from the supermarket whatever that happens to come in a plastic or coated packaged. Ever since going to the Phoenix dump to drop off our Christmas tree, I have been upset. Thank god for I don’t use plastic bags anymore.

– The dolphins mercilessly being killed on the Solomon Islands for their teeth that are worth a measly 26 cents each(US).
And don’t even get me started on the seal clubbing going on in Canada.

– The lack of leadership in the world–can Bush just leave already and go back to Texas?? Will Obama be the one to lead us into better decisions for the greater good. I dunno? I think so, but I am so not sure. totally stressed and depressed about that lack of clarity.

– It’s starting to get hot in Phoenix–yesterday had to be almost 100.
Summer is depressing here, and we don’t have a vacay planned yet to get out of dodge.

– My 36-year old husband was just diagnosed with gout recently. It’s supposedly one of the most painful things you can imagine, and it sucks that he new has to suffer with it.

I could go on, but I won’t. It’s depressing. On the flip side, i am alive, have amazing friends and family around me, great clients. It could be worse.

Mike May 1, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Unfortunately, I think Obama’s delay in not confronting the rev Wright issue is REALLY going to hurt him. Wright is a pest and I think his antics will cost Obama the election. If that happens then I will have to choose between Clinton 2 and McBush, or as one billboard I saw calls him McSame.
I am also extremely concerned about the escalating prices in the U.S., but even more so in the rest of the world.
Well so much for my bright, uplifting contribution to your malaise.

Jack Kessler May 2, 2008 at 3:09 am

Not to worry, sugar. First, why do you think we call it a depression — because it makes us happy? Feeling crappy during a depression is normal and healthy, just not fun.

When I bicycle through a road cut and look at the strata, I am always forcibly reminded that all of human history has taken place in the last few inches at the top. By earth standards, nothing we are or do matters that much. A few more inches or feet and we probably won’t even exist — not because we did anything wrong or self-destructive, but because species just don’t last that long. Some give rise to other species, most just peter out and become extinct. We will too. Like depressions, it ain’t fun, it is just what happens. Nothing to get your knickers in a knot about.

Speaking of knickers, if you get better and get to California before I leave for Canada for the summer, I will be glad to steal your bra and carry it into the yard if Buppy is not yet up to it.

Different subject: Everybody who is going on about the Reverend Wright and Senator Obama is missing the fact that the problem is inherent in Mr. Obama’s candidacy. He is running on a coalition of prosperous middle class whites, and blacks. There are inherent contradictions in such a coalition. The Reverend Wright has just graphically illustrated what some of them are.

If you read the responses, black people did not object to anything Reverend Wright had to say. Prosperous white people for the most part did not feel challenged by his remarks. They are in a position to patronize to blacks and they do. Working class whites are not in a position to condescend to blacks and they resented Wright’s remarks.

I think we are seeing replay of the gulf of perceptions during the OJ trial. Every white person I talked to thought it was obvious that he was guilty. Every black person found it obvious that he was not. Even though everyone heard the same evidence in nauseating detail.

My impression is that Wright’s remarks also showed the same gulf of perception. He seems not to have heard that slavery has been gone for 145 years and Jim Crow for 40 years. That slavery was drowned in a sea of white blood during the Civil War seems unknown to him. But then again I am white and I thought OJ was guilty.

My theory is that Wright unconsciously DOES want to throw Obama under the bus. This man has spent his entire adult life condemning American society for its racism and unfairness. If Obama is elected president, what happens to Wright’s cherished sense of grievance? His whole reality and self-justification would crumble.

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