Current Mental Health – December 2019

Photo credit; Feggy Art on Visual hunt /CC BY-NC-ND

Volunteering at an animal rescue: I started volunteering with animals again, after years of merely contemplating it. I could never quite make that leap. I beat my anxiety about it, but I still doubt myself.

At first, I worked with the dogs (giving them outside time, cleaning their kennels, and so on), but since then I’ve been writing thank-you cards to donors pretty much each week. Because I don’t work directly with the dogs, I feel that I’m not as essential to the rescue and that somehow I am less than other volunteers. To be perfectly honest, I prefer thank-you writing because I’ve developed a slight fear of dogs, ever since the time a dog got really mouthy with me — she had my fingers in her mouth and brought her mouth too close to my face for comfort. I didn’t know what to do, and I never mentioned it to anyone. Other people didn’t have problems with her (as noted in the Facebook volunteer group) and she has long since been adopted. But my anxiety remains.

Depression: My depression has mostly remained in remission, although I hit a rough patch earlier this month. I began using my light box again, which nipped that in the bud. Showering is still sometimes a challenge, especially because it’s so cold in the bathroom! But I manage.

Hobbies: I took up knitting again! I don’t think I hold my hands properly, but the proper way is uncomfortable for me. I haven’t made anything yet because I need tons of practice. All of my practice swatches have holes in them, and I keep adding stitches lol! I’m trying to be patient. In case you’re wondering, I still crochet.

Holidays: My husband and I spent Christmas just the two of us and our dog and cat. (Our cat, Angelo, turned 19 in December!) We exchanged gifts and had a very nice meal that my husband cooked: corn and scallion salad, mashed potatoes with a bechamel cheese sauce, and roasted mushrooms with garlic (we’re vegetarians). And apple pie (not homemade) for dessert. Later in the evening we saw Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (link contains SPOILERS) for the second time in 5 days lol!

Happy New Year! I am looking forward to continued good mental health in the coming year; and now that I’m in my 50s, I’m looking forward to the new decade!

What are you looking forward to?


Photo by Pixabay

So here in the U.S. we’re coming up on the Fourth of July, which marks the day the U.S. became an independent nation. It is widely celebrated with many people dressed in the colors red, white, and blue. There are red-white-and-blue decorations, balloons, and bloom-in-the-sky fireworks that paint the night sky in bursts of color.

Another type of fireworks are called firecrackers, and do nothing but make noise, without the pretty light show. Firecrackers are loud and annoying.

They’re also illegal in the State of Illinois, however, in Indiana, which neighbors Illinois, they are legal. So people cross the border and stock up on firecrackers and whatever else they use, and then bring them home. Some of these pyros just love to set them off in the school playground, which is right. Across. The street.

A few weeks before and a few weeks after the Fourth, these kids set off firecrackers across from where I live. I’m not sure about the suburbs, but in Chicago the police rarely enforce this law. And even if a neighbor has called the police, by the time they arrive, the kids have scattered. All we can do is wait it out, until they use up all their fireworks.

Did (or do) you play with firecrackers?

Fun Fact: National Wine Day

Photo on Visual hunt

Guess what, people??? You have a reason to celebrate: it’s National Wine Day!!! This is a real holiday, and apparently, no one knows how it came about. Maybe someone suddenly declared, “May 25th should be National Wine Day!” Then they might have popped the cork from the bottle of vino in their hands, and chugged without bothering with glasses. It could have happened.

Some ways to celebrate:

  • Make your own wine, though I think it involves more than just stomping on grapes while you’re barefoot.
  • Go to an upscale liquor store and buy something with a fancy vintage.
  • Have the sommelier suggest a wine and food pairing while you’re out at a fancy restaurant.
  • Have a glass of wine with a friend — or by yourself if that suits you.
  • Tour a winery.
  • Be creative!

There are plenty more ways to celebrate, I’m sure. Pick the one that you like best and go with it! Happy National Wine Day!