Carrying depression around is like being punished for a crime I cannot identify

Coming home after a day of chauffeuring that completely disrupts my day I do enough chores to make it look like I do enough chores.

Driving all over town is enough to make anyone get down;  needing to go to the bathroom when you’re late somewhere; nearly running out of gas, running into my husband’s employees in my front yard in my pajamas this morning; hitting the curb and scraping the front of my newish car.  Last night I dented my husband’s fender. Yesterday, I was unable to make decisions on Christmas lights at the hardware store. After twenty minutes of indecision I walked out empty handed and overwhelmed by my muddled head.

I feel it in my bones – I am still carrying depression around.  It feels like a punishment for a crime I cannot identify.  This is wrong.

The skies are not even gray, rather white and as usual it gets me down.

The road on the southeast side of town is bumpy and uncared for, the neighborhood’s buildings are depressed and rundown.  I tell my daughter clearly how wrong this is that this area of town is so neglected, oppressively so.  They don’t even fix the roads here and in our neighborhood in the same city the streets are quite literally washed and swept.  This is wrong.

I think about the economy and the need for jobs.  Perhaps I need a job.  I would do almost anything, I think.  I could do any job.  I’m college educated.  I notice the crossing guard isn’t a retired person like I usually see, but a man about my husband’s age.  What unimaginable difficulties would drive a middle-aged man to be a crossing guard?  I mean I would take that job for something to do, but to need to do so?  This is wrong.

I actually napped this afternoon – an anathema, I can barely live with the shame.  I just couldn’t get my body to do anything else but sneak inside the house like a criminal, so the dog wouldn’t hear me.  I skulked up the stairs with my coat still on, flipped on the alarm so I wouldn’t miss my daughter’s need for a ride,  and fell slowly into sleep.  Although my mind and body cannot figure anything else to do, I feel ashamed of sleeping middle of the day. This is wrong.

I consider cancelling my appointment tomorrow.  Two times I open up my phone to send the email.  Two times I question myself.  Why exactly am I cancelling?  It would be easier to convince her than myself that I have a good reason.  Honestly I think that I just cannot bear it and know that this is just when I need to go.  I still do not know if I will end up going.

I got tired of myself today.  So many random chaotic thoughts. I am an agitator online and I don’t think that’s very Godly.  I ask myself is it for agitation’s sake that you ask so many questions or is it that you actually want to make things better?  Of course, make things better for women in the church I answer.  How does all this idea slinging online accomplish that exactly?  It makes people think.  Yes, but does it actually change anything?  I don’t know.  All I know is I am tired of myself. 

Exhausted by my dissatisfaction.  I’m not sure where it comes from.  When did I become so frustrated with the church?  And how am I helping to be a positive force?  But the last time I got agitated about something how artists are encouraged in the church — I came away with two jobs to do for them that have nothing really to do with that.  I keep thinking just do this good work so that I build some chips up so that people will listen to me.  Make change that way.  Perhaps, or perhaps I’m just busy doing a bunch of church activities for other’s agenda’s that I don’t even really feel that strongly about?  This is wrong.

I am tired.  What is the root of my frustration about the way that women are perceived in the church?  I cannot clearly identify it.   I flip on my “Happy” lamp, and begin to write.  I am hoping to find some answer in my own grasping for words.

Simplify Stupid. If only it were that Simple.

I’ve done a lot of writing of late and that has led to a lot of chores piling up.  When chores collect one begins to notice how much stuff we have around the edges of life.  Why is that?  A few things occur to me:

  • I look around my home and of course I have miles and miles of books — if they were stacked end to end.  There are more books that I will ever read, but they are on issues that I care about.  I have several books ideas of my own in the works and many of those books relate to research topics.  Still, why do I need to own so many?
  • Looking in my closet this weekend, my son asked me “Mom, does the Goodwill pay you to take their clothes?”  Ha ha, very funny. Though I don’t think he was trying to be funny.  It was ironic and too close to home.  His point was that I own a lot of clothes!  You can read about my year of no new clothes here and here.  I do have an issue with buying tons of clothing.
  • We have some friends who are downsizing from a house to an Airstream with two kids in tow and it sounds like a dream project.  I haven’t had a chance to hear their story in person but I am fascinated by the idea.

Christmas is coming.  How do we face the challenge of consumerism vs. living out our giving with integrity?  And why do we collect so much stuff when in total honesty much of it remains untouched? Is this a matter of simply needing to be clearing out more often to reappropriate things to the next family that could use them whether it is toys, clothing, gaming systems, movies or books?  Or should this be a conversation about buying less.  And about the value of simplicity?

A singer and artist I appreciate for the poetry of her words, Carrie Newcomer, said this on Facebook today:

I have a sense that simplifying is not about denial and lack, but rather about getting rid of what does not ultimately give life and deeper meaning to our lives. If we got rid of what clutters and fills our lives to the very edges – what would happen in those open spaces? What do you think?

How do you teach yourself the discipline of reappropriating things?  Why is this important? What do you do to simplify, remove clutter and create space in your life?  What would you do differently if you had the mental and physical space?  What resources have you found that help you?