depressedWe all get down sometimes. Some of us more than others. Most of the time it’s situational. We get overwhelmed with responsibilities. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. We put pressure on ourselves to succeed at everything, or in some cases to over-achieve. Things aren’t working out the way we had hoped. Or maybe things are just taking longer to work out than we had hoped. Maybe it’s just been a long time since you’ve given yourself a break and everything is piling up.

When we start feeling down it’s best to head it off at the start so it doesn’t get worse.

I found this list of things via Zen Habits that I thought might be useful for those times when we need to pull ourselves out of the blues.

  1. Make a list. Sometimes we are depressed simply because we are overwhelmed with all the things we have to do that we haven’t gotten around to doing. You might be into GTD, but sometimes every GTDer falls behind with his system, and sometimes you just don’t have the energy to do so. So all the “stuff” that’s in our head can overwhelm us. Start simply by picking up a piece of paper and a pen, and making a list of the most pressing things you have to do. Sometimes it’s work stuff, sometimes it’s stuff around the house that’s bothering us, sometimes it’s goal tasks, or a combination of these and more. Simply making a list can be a big relief — you’re getting things under control. You can see, right in front of you, what you need to do, and that alone can pick up your mood.
  2. Take action. You’ve made a list, and you still feel overwhelmed? Well, get started on the first thing you need to do. Is it a big task? Break it down and just do the smallest task, something just to get you started. Once you get started, once you get into action, you’ll feel better. Trust me. You might still feel overwhelmed, but at least you’re doing something. And once you start doing something, you’ve got momentum, and that feels much better than lying around feeling sorry for yourself.
  3. Exercise. I know, you might not be in the mood for exercise. But just do it! Taking a walk, going for a run, going to the gym, whatever it is you do for exercise — get out and do it now! You don’t need to do a real hard workout, but the simple act of exercise can lift your mood immediately. Just do it!
  4. Shower and groom yourself. Laying around in your underwear, smelling bad, is not going to do you any good. Simply showering, and feeling clean, can do wonders for your mood. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, shave, do whatever it is that you need to do to feel clean and good about yourself. Instant pick me up!
  5. Get out of the house and do something. Sometimes, if you stay home lying around, feeling depressed, just getting out (after showering and grooming) will change your mood. Staying home all the time can really get you down, and you may not realize this until you go out and do something. Preferably something on your list (see No. 1).
  6. Play some lively music. I like Brown Eyed Girl, the Kinks, the Ramones, or an upbeat Beatles tune, but you might have your own brand of feel-good music. Whatever it is, crank it up, and let yourself move to the beat. It may just be what the doctor ordered.
  7. Talk about it. Got a significant other, best friend, family member, co-worker you can talk to? Bend their ear. That’s what they’re their for. If you don’t, there are hotlines, or professionals, you can talk to. And then there’s always online forums. These are great places to find someone to talk to. Getting things off your chest makes a big difference, and can be a huge lift. It can also help you work out the reasons you’re feeling down.

This Weeks Soldier Was Requested By Echo9er

Sgt. Maj. Brent “The Rock” Jurgersen
Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division

Active Duty

Not even two near-death encounters deterred Sgt. Maj. Brent Jurgerson’s passion and eagerness to serve his country and lead his troops back home.

Jurgersen celebrated his second “alive day” anniversary January 26, 2007. It was a day of mixed emotions for him because on that same day two years ago he was given a second chance to live. It was a day that changed his life forever. While on patrol in Ad Dyuliah, Iraq, two rocket-propelled grenades struck his Humvee. The explosion killed his gunner and left Jurgersen fighting for his life, flat-lining twice on the operating table in Balad.

Afterwards, during a promotion ceremony in August of 2006, Jurgersen was selected for a command sergeant major appointment. Becoming the first full limb amputee student to attend the academy.

You can read the rest of Sgt. Maj. Jurgersen’s story here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.

(Disclaimer: I’m not editing so ignore typos etc.)

My mom is sad today. When I’m feeling particularly down and needy I still refer to her as Mommy and she still responds. My dad just rolls his eyes and reminds me that I’m in my twenties now and no longer an infant. I don’t necessarily agree, I’ll always be a ‘baby’ in my moms eyes, so sometimes I say ‘why not act like one!’ Sometimes it doesn’t get me very far. Anyway, that is all besides the point, she’s sad today because her children are so far away. I’m way in California and my brother just left his RandR to go back to Iraq. (She’s more upset about my brother at the moment). I guess I can understand. I’m not a mom but my brother and I are very close and it has been awhile since anyone in the family has seen him. (He up and decided to marry a German girl). All of this is besides the point…

What I really want to say is that I’ve been pondering what this wise woman told me a few weeks ago (my grandmother). She told me that Parents love their children more than their children love them. (She was saying how my mom never goes and sees her). I guess it’s just hard for me to understand because I don’t have children yet. I would hope that my children love me as much as I love them and I certainly cannot imagine loving my mom less than she loves me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the difference in the relationships. As a child, I depend on my parents for their support and guidance (I’ll go ahead and throw wallet into the mix as well). They don’t need me so much for that (although I am wise beyond my years and enjoy thoroughly telling my parents how to do things).

I guess I think on this point a lot because lately I’ve needed my Mom a lot. I can’t honestly say that I’m one of those girls who had a rough relationship with her Mom growing up but we’ve had our moments, she’s a feisty bulldog (as my dad has referred to her) and I was your typical teenage girl. As I’ve gotten older, and on my own, I feel more appreciative of the lessons that my parents taught me and the support they’ve given me. I am very grateful for that fact that while I’m struggling, fighting my own demons, and in need of support and guidance, that she is always right there to give me a shoulder to lean on.

Mother and childA WONDERFUL MOTHER.

GOD made a wonderful mother,
A mother who never grows old;
He made her smile of the sunshine,
And He molded her heart of pure gold;
In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,
In her cheeks, fair roses you see;
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear mother to me.

~Pat O’Reilly~

On My Way to Los Angeles

February 21, 2007

Los AngelesI’m heading off to Los Angeles today for a job interview.


Actually, I don’t know that I want this job, but I’m going for the interview anyway cause you never know.

Right now I’m working two jobs. I still hope to get a job that will actually pay enough to live out here. It’ll be nice to just work one job.

I thought this was an encouraging post at Wind Rose Hotel

Always do what you are afraid to do.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Staff Sgt. Kara Opperman

Staff Sgt. Kara Opperman

332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron

Staff Sgt. Kara Opperman performs a quality control check Feb. 13 on fuel coming out of a fill stand at Balad Air Base, Iraq. Sergeant Opperman ensures the fuel is safe and meets Air Force specifications before it is used for aircraft and equipment.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.

  • The Pink Flamingo says: WED FEB 21 Mud Wrestling for the Oval Office: Hillary v. Obama

Ramadi SunsetMy brother is fighting in Iraq. He is a tanker. I found this blog and it made me think of my brother and how it is for him there. He’s not in the same place as this guy, but I think he’s probably experiencing some of the same things.

I left the billets early tonight for the mission. I racked my machine gun in the cradle, and sat on top of the truck. I plugged in my iPod, took a sip of coffee, and sat back to watch the sunset. Somehow, the setting sun always seems to look better here than at home; the sunsets are the one beautiful thing about this place. I watch as the dying sun slowly sinks, its rays falling across sand, mud, guard towers, satellite dishes, and all the other things that have come to mean home for a time. The sky is brilliant with golds and crimsons- here and there a tendril of flame licks up a wisp of cloud.

Some say the world will end in fire/Some say in ice/From what I’ve tasted of desire/I hold with those who favor fire

The sun has set, and Venus shines low in the sky in poor reflection. The others are starting to straggle out to the vehicles. It’s time to prep for the mission. Tonight, we’re going back up into the general area where we lost three of ours so shortly ago- not the same road- and this is the first time we’ve been back that way. I look around at my friends and try to read their faces. They could be scared, and most of us are, a little. They could be numb- just doing their job. Again, most of us are, a little. However, I think that most of us are out for blood. It might sound horrible, inhuman, even medieval, but the fact of the matter is that someone out there killed friends of ours, and we’re going back into a place where we just might get the guy that did it. We’ll never know if it was him, of course, but there’s always the chance that we’ll even the scales unknowingly.

Killing is not natural to sane people, no matter how often it has happened over eons. There are many ways that you can reconcile yourself in some way to the idea of killing another human. You can think of it as duty- you have a job, and that job requires violence. You can hate- the easiest of all excuses, and the most exhausting. You can look at it as simple survival- if you don’t kill him, then he’ll kill you. However you justify it, you are still in a war, and people will still die. It wears on everyone- the American deaths, the “collateral damage” we inflict on people in the wrong place at the wrong time, the innocents killed when some faceless murderer blows himself up in a crowd. Yes, even the enemy dead take their toll.

The headphones sing-
If I ever leave this world alive/I’ll come back down and sit beside your feet tonight/Wherever I am you’ll always be/More than just a memory/If I ever leave this world alive

One more mission.
One more chance to find a bomb.
One more chance to save a life.
One more chance to take one.

One more chance to die.

I don’t like to think of what my brother is going through or the guys I’ve dated who are over there now or getting ready to go back for another tour. I hope they all come home safe. It’s really hard for them all.

You can read more at Acute Politics. The photo credit also goes to him.

Thanks to Wide Awake Cafe

  • Blue Star Chronicles (23:44:05) : If I Ever Leave This World Alive
  • My Fat Cat

    February 19, 2007

    When I moved out to California I left my cat at with my mother. I thought I could trust her to take good care of my cat. But now look at her ….

    Fat Cat

    I had her on a diet and she was looking fit. Now my mother has gotten her all fat again!! I made mama send this picture as proof of life.

    But isn’t she cute? She likes to lay on her back like that.


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    Today I’ve been thinking about the places I’d like to see while I live on the West Coast. It is pretty unfamiliar territory considering I’m from the South. Anyone who has been to the two places knows what I’m talking about when I say it is VERY different in the West. (I gotta say I’m slightly partial to the South, naturally). Moving on, since I don’t plan on living here forever because I would actually like to see some green in my wallet, I’m going to dedicate my time, seeing what there is to see before I move back to normalcy:

    1. Tijuana, Mexico – I am not going to pretend and say that I have any sort of clue why this would be a good place to go other than I’m less than an hour away and why not?! I’m also intrigued by the stories I hear about corrupt cops and their ways of stealing tourist Catalina Islandmoney and also the cheap stuff you can buy on the streets (assuming you come home without flies). I will see this place before I move.

    2. Catalina Island – I can see this Island off in the distance from work if I’m inside the restricted area. I hear from reliable sources that it is very pretty and one of the must places to see. You have to get there by flight or boat and it’s a fun place to go fishing. This of course, is all I know. I know a lot of local people who have never been there, I will not be one of them.

    3. Hollywood – Ok so I’ve been there several times. It is a total pain in the you know what to get from San Diego to Los Angelos but I’d like to go back. Both times I have been there I have not taken any pictures and that would be the primary reason for going back. Plus I have yet to see anything really worth looking at besides the Hollywood sign and Chinese Temecula BaloonsTheater. There is however an awesome mall on Hollywood and Highland. I would like to go back and get a picture of the Hollywood sign and also go see Rodeo Drive which Deanna and I couldn’t find. I’d also like to see the Walk of Fame, etc..etc..etc..and maybe even some of those nice houses you hear about which I definitely did not see among all the peddlers on the street.

    4. Temecula – I do not live too far from here. I hear it is known for its wineries and also hot air ballooning. I am not much of a wine drinker and I’m slightly scared of heights and the combination of the two do not seem very pleasant at all, however, I hear that it is a Joshua Treevery pretty place and the balloon ride is worth it. This is something I would like to do.

    5. Joshua Tree National Park/Palm Springs – I will combine the two since they are not that far apart and I am actually going to be going on this adventure in a few weeks. I like the outdoors and nature and being able to hike and take pretty pictures and make memories and I want to go to Palm Springs to ride the airtram to the top of that mountain (name has escaped me) for more hiking etc. Plus I’ve heard of Palm Springs and well it would just be cool to go there.

    I have been tagged by Bluestarchronicles. This meme is to tell 6 weird things about myself.

    Six weird things are hard to come up with especially after being told I’m ‘perfect’ (thanks mother), but I will try.

    First, here are the rules for those that I tag:

    “Each player of this games starts with 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”

    1. To copy my mom’s number one, I only can sleep with one pillow, doesn’t matter how big the bed is, one pillow is plenty and the rest get thrown in the floor. I like the since of freedom from clutter that having a bedful of pillows takes away.
    2. Everything to me is either black or white, there is no inbetween. Must come from years of dealing with scummy people at work.
    3. I’ve never been a big fan of Strawberries but I’m expanding my horizons. I’ve gotten to where I’ll eat strawberry flavored things but I still have to have the chunks extracted. For example if I get a strawberry shortcake, I order the syrup without the actual strawberry chunks, people look at me weird but oh well.
    4. On that note, I’m all about the texture of foods. If something is suppose to be creamy, don’t put anything chunky in it or I won’t eat it.
    5. I love touching soft things. My mom told me when I was little I would take her slips out of the drawer and rub them through my fingers. I still like soft things, for example my sheets are GREAT, best thing my ex ever gave me. I rub them and it soothes me.
    6. I use to have a nail biting problem, but now that I have ventured into the world of fake nails, I sometimes (quite often) will sit with one finger in my mouth tapping my nail on my tooth. Some people say it’s sexy, but it annoys others 😉

    I’m sure I have other weird tendencies that are more extreme than the ones listed but those are the ones that came to mind. Back to work now!

    Is Love a Mental Illness?

    February 14, 2007

    losing mindThe Wall Street Journal

    “The brain system involved in romantic love is powerful,” says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at New Jersey’s Rutgers University who has led much of the research into love’s impact on the brain. “Everything that is going on in the brain, everything that happens with romantic love has a chemical basis.”

    Using brain scans to study emotional changes is still a new science. But the images signal the potential toll of relationship problems. “It’s not a good combination,” notes Dr. Fisher. “You’re feeling intense romantic love, you’re willing to take big risks, you’re in physical pain, obsessively thinking about a person and you’re struggling to control your rage. You’re not operating with your full range of cognitive abilities. It’s possible that part of the rational mind shuts down.”

    The dramatic changes evident on the brain scans may help explain bizarre behavior that is often associated with love. It can also help explain why marital problems are such a serious health worry. Studies show that people in troubled relationships are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and high blood pressure.

    Well, that explains a lot!

    Happy Valentines day!

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