It was a quiet Easter around here. I worked at Safeway for all of Good Friday. After I got home, Lee and Brittany came by for appetizers and dessert. When they left, Jordon and I went to the Rook and Raven with Sean, Megan, and Councillor Zach Jeffries. While we were there, were of course harassing Zach and he invited us for a late night tour of City Hall and Council Chambers. I learned a lot of things but I found out that city councillors don’t have offices at City Hall, they don’t even have cubicles, they actually share a cubicle (unless you are Zach or Mairin Loewen). I also found their stash of chocolate bars where Jordon may or may not have stolen a Kit Kat. I just hope it doesn’t lead to a mill rate increase.
While we were being accompanied by a city councillor, it did seem funny to be walking around a dark and empty City Hall late at night. Of course the only thing we did that was really over the line was that we parked in the city councillor parking.
Saturday I worked at The Lighthouse Supported Living for a shift and on Sunday we got up early to see what the Easter bunny dropped off. He brought all of us some chocolate. Mark got a NFL football, an iTunes card, a magazine, a drafting pencil and some 11×17 drawing paper. Oliver got a Transformer, two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a diving mask. I got a jacket and a mug while Jordon got a Starbucks mug and a iPod case.
The plan is to have a nice supper with some friends tonight. I don’t have to cook but I do have some chocolate to bring by… because as we all know some extra chocolate on Easter is what all of us need.
Famous urban planning Dr. Larry Beasley was in town last week. While I had to work during this talks (I did get to see the famous Hilary though), he sat down with The OurYXE Podcast. It’s worth a listen. I walked away thinking how much more Saskatoon could be and how our politicians need to step up and do a better job in leading up to what we need to become.
On Friday I invited a bunch of friends to Winston’s Underground Cellar (which is downstairs from Winston’s and only open on weekends). While Winston’s is the loudest pub in the entire world, downstairs was nice and we were all able to sit, chat, and make fun of each other. Jordon got some great books from friends down there and everyone seemed to enjoy the Sam Adams Boston Lager.
Tonight we are celebrated with Lee and Brittany at Jerry’s Food Emporium on 51st. The food was good, conversation was fun and Lee and Brittany gave Jordon a great birthday card and Sport Chek gift card. Jordon used the gift card to get himself a new badminton racket for the cabin. It’s graphite composite with flex weave technology that will be completely useless to him when I beat him this summer.
Jordon has been acting weird lately. Text messaging people all hours of the day, spending a lot of time at OTV and on their website, walking around saying, “testing, testing, testing”. It all started to make sense when I saw that he has launched a new project called OurYXE which is a podcast about life and politics in Saskatoon. Their first interview with Councillor Zach Jeffries is online and it’s pretty good. I feel sorry for Zach and his council colleagues because not only do they have to put up with Jordon, Sean, DeeAnn, & Hilary in person and online but now they have to put up with them on the record. Good job for Zach for not flipping out on them. Not only do they have a podcast but you can find them on iTunes. What has happened to Apple now that Steve Jobs has gone.
I am told that there is a new interview coming up every week. Charlie Clark is up next Monday. I won’t hold it against him if he gives one of them a DDT.
I do need and want to lose more weight and get into shape. I am going to double down on last year’s goal of biking a total of 750 km’s a year. I need to use Run Keeper more but I will definitely start hitting the bike trails around Saskatoon, no matter how unfriendly the city is to cyclists.
I need to get more organized. I have some tools and plans and I want to both implement but document the process. Last year I underwent a massive decluttering exercise (which I should start again today to get rid of the 2012 stuff that has accumulated).
I will write and blog more. Last year I wanted to write daily but that isn’t going to happen. Expect 3 posts a week here. Not quite Kottke-esque but not really slouching either.
Read 12 books this year.
Paint three paintings this year.
Listen to more current music. I love my jazz and blues but it’s time to discover new music.
Plan a date with Jordon every two weeks. I am terrible at this but 2013 is the year it will change.
Play tennis weekly this summer. I know the City of Saskatoon has let it’s (west side) tennis courts deteriorate (like our roads, snow removal, and a lot of other things) but I do want to develop a decent tennis game this summer.
Pick up a winter sport. I don’t know what this will be but I need to be more active starting tomorrow.
Spend more time with friends in 2013. I am horrible at keeping up with friends and it is a part of me that I want to change.
The Cooking Blog was either feast or famine in 2012. I want to be more consistent with it including shooting some video and a lot more photography. It should be fun.
So those are mine. What are your resolutions in 2013?
Oliver has been fixated on a pogo stick since the fall. He has big plans for it and wants to pogo to the cabin, down the stairs, and even around town. The problem is that he isn’t heavy enough to bounced a pogo stick and is actually quite terrified of one when Jordon showed him one at Toys R Us. We thought that would the end of it but on the way out of the parking lot, he expressed confidence that Santa and his elves would find a way to work things out.
I was willing to let it go and just let Oliver’s hopes and dreams be crushed this Christmas but Jordon was surfing Amazon one night, he saw this one and ordered it. It’s cheaper than a real pogo stick and yet fulfills Oliver’s need to pogo all over the place (we hope). If not, we will just toss Santa under the bus.
In the past I was overwhelmed at Christmas but a combination of medication that seems to be working and Jordon’s organizational help, Christmas has been quite easy this year. We started planning and shopping back in September so we were able to get what we needed early and since then have just been picking up some small stuff.
We do plan to have a Christmas party just before Christmas. I am working on recipesasIwritethis which should be fun. As for Christmas itself, we are heading out to Lee & Brittany’s Christmas Eve to have a traditional Christmas meal of lasagna before exchanging gifts. On Christmas Day we will be alone but plan to have a bigbreakfast and an actual Christmas meal with ham, turkey, and the trimmings. In between the eating we will spend a lot of time hanging out with the boys. Jordon bought Mark a Magic Igloo Maker so I assume we will spending part of Christmas day hanging out in an igloo. Mark is out making it now. We also plan to get some skating in, take some winter photographs, and watch some movies over the holiday week.
There isn’t that much to do between now and then. My work doesn’t have a Christmas party as most of the long term staff are long gone. Jordon’s Christmas party is on the 21st but other than that, we don’t have a lot going on which is a big change from when Jordon worked at the Salvation Army.
Well however it works out, I am looking forward to the holidays this season. It should be a nice one.
We just got back from the cabin where we didn’t do a lot. On Sunday we drove into Regina for a bit where we went to Chapters and bought a couple of Christmas gifts and then we spent some time fighting some massive waves at the beach before heading back to the cabin for a nice fire. Today we spent fixing some things and then taking Mark’s BB gun and our Airsoft pistols out for some target practice.
Mark’s BB gun shoots very straight while our Airsoft pistols aren’t nearly so accurate.
When we weren’t swimming or shooting at things, we spent a lot of time hauling water for our four new green ash trees that we planted this spring. They are doing really well and now the challenge will be protecting them from the deer that tend to eat everything at the lake.
We haven’t been up there that much. My depression came back with a vengeance this summer and I pretty much killed some pretty great trips because of it. It moved from a severe depressive disorder to a bi-polar and part of that was a significant medication change. The new medication I am on is apparently extremely dangerous which means that I had to be weaned off the old stuff and then slowly introduced to this new stuff and then get examined every week for side effects. It also meant that it took me a long time to get up to the dosage that I need to function with. In the end I had worsening depression and was essentially off my medications. It has not been a fun time.
Jordon was wonderful (if not beaten down by it) and helped me through a lot of situations that were causing me problems. While he helped me pull it together sometimes, there was a lot of times he couldn’t do anything to help me except to clean up the chaos; kind of like most summers. As Mark has gotten older, it has taken a bigger toll on him. He has a propensity towards the same kind of depression I had as a kid and my depression affects him. It isn’t fun to see your mother live like this. I saw my father struggle with depression and it affected me. Several friends have shared their stories of seeing a parent deal with the same stuff.
This weekend however things came together. Jordon kind of willed it to happen. He kept me focused on what he wanted me to do and I got it done. It was a busy weekend for him with The Lighthouse opening up a new tower and the Escape with Ford event but we pulled it together and I am happy that it turned out well.
Well after this last week’s meltdown and disaster, things have changed for me. I am back on some medication. One of the joys of my form of depression is that the medication stops working after a period of time. I don’t know why that is but it is. It stopped working and I never realized it had. For some reason I stopped taking it which made it a lot worse as the medication family that I am on is strong enough that “cold turkey” is not a great option when quitting. It also affects my life when I start taking a new family of drugs.
A bunch of people have asked me, why I never just went to my psychiatrist or psychologist. Well first of all, I have never been able to see a psychiatrist. I spent several years on a waiting list to see on and it never happened. I have a good clinical psychologist but when things go well for a period of time, my file gets closed out and I have go back to a referral through my family doctor. My family doctor is good to talk to and he can nuance my medication which is often all I need.
Everyone asks me if I am better or worse now. The truth is the depression is worse but Jordon is better at getting us through it. He isn’t alone, some good friends have been there through all of it but in the end it is Jordon that keeps us going. It’s tough for him because the advice, even from professionals is contradictory but over the years he has found a balance between keeping the family functioning when I am self destructing and still keeping me involved in the family.
People ask me how Jordon keeps going and I am not sure. Generally at the time he needs a break, I am at my weakest. He says he reads more to escape and will go and pick up a PS3 game to play to clear his head but most of it is just pure will to keep us going. Things have changed as Lee has gotten older. He takes Mark to his place in Warman quite a bit and him and Jordon head out for breakfast which provides a bit of a break for everyone. Lee is family and has seen my boughts with depression so he understands me as well.
As for my family… well a couple of weeks ago I read the ten things you need to say to someone with depression and the ten things you should never say. They have never said one of the things that you should say and have said six of the ten things that you should never say to someone with depression. My dad told me a decade ago he didn’t want a relationship with myself or Mark and so I don’t think my father has ever really cared about it and my mom only wants to hear and read happy things (so Marsha if you are reading, feel free to stop right now, I’ll post about puppies and bunnies later and avoid the reality of my own life so you can feel better about never being around). They have long been part of the problem and never part of the solution (and after a life of experiencing it, I have given up hope it will be different).
There has been some return to normal. We will see how long the anti-depressants work this time. My brain dysfunction seems to be on a six month or so cycle so hopefully it works a little longer than that as it takes a big toll on those closest to me, even if I am not aware of it.