Five hundred and thirteen

It’s been awhile since I posted a photographic entry, and since it was the topic chosen by the readers of the blog as my last month, it’s about time I do.  I’m still experimenting with the art of photography, and although I have a lot to learn, I do think my month of taking at least one photo a day helped increase my skills.  I’m often inspired to grab my camera at odd times to take photos of random objects.  Without further ado, here are some I’ve taken recently that interest me:

A stump on my balcony

Flowers from my boyfriend for no reason (I love flowers “just because”)

 

Beautiful Montebello bathtub and view

Stained glass lamp

Five hundred and six

Ups, downs and what to do about a friend who’s depressed

I have been through some ups and downs the past week.  Sometimes I just don’t know what’s gotten into me.  It’s like my hormones have gone crazy and my brain and body are deciding it would be fun to join them on the trampoline.  It’s really not fun.  I try my best not to bring those closest to me into it, but unfortunately there is sometimes some collateral damage.  It also makes me very tired.

When I was in high school I had some crazy highs and lows, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned mostly how to deal with them.  I know if I exercise, eat healthy, keep a balance of work and play, connect with my family and friends, take time to think and organize myself, take time for myself, and use some sort of creative outlet, I can control the ups and downs to a degree.  My friends and family would say I am tame compared to the intensity of my teenage years and early twenties.  So now I just feel a little sad and tired here and there, or a little manic.  I’m okay with that, though.  I’ve learned to laugh about it (or cry a little) and do things on the above list to kick myself out of it.  It makes me appreciate all ranges in the spectrum of emotion.  I think it’s also something many creative people live with.  Those intense emotions help force us into a creative release.

I went to a piloxing class today (cross between boxing and pilates – new to Toronto, class information here from greenfitness.ca) that my friend ran and it made me fell great.  All those endorphins released certainly does help pick me up.  And I had a delicious, healthy dinner.  Everything is coming into perspective again and I’m happy my ups and downs are mellowing out.

How can I help my friend?

“Major depression can occur in 10 to 25 per cent of women — almost twice as many as men. Many hormonal factors may contribute to the increased rate of depression in women — particularly during times such as menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy and postpartum, miscarriage, pre-menopause, and menopause.” – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

A couple of days ago I was speaking to a friend and co-worker of mine about depression.  We are both concerned another friend of ours is depressed and we don’t know what to do to help her.  I’ve tried to give her advice about finding something to do that she enjoys and isn’t drinking and partying (which she does a lot of right now), but she just gives me that look that anything she tries is futile.  She pretends like she’s fine, but then will say something about being depressed and not being able to get out of bed in the morning and I worry.  It’s been going on for months now and it doesn’t seem to change.  I don’t think this is something a few veggies and a run will help.

I looked up some websites about depression and I will try to follow their advice (depressionhurts.ca, Canadian Mental Health Association, to name a couple).  But I’m also turning to you out there in the blogger abyss.  I’m sure many of you have dealt with depression in either yourself or someone you loved.  How did you handle it?  What can I do to help my friend?

Four hundred and ninety-nine

It’s almost five hundred days since I started this project.  Well, that’s not counting the couple of months of prep time I needed before Day One.  It’s definitely been quite the ride!  The past week has been one of reflection and creativity.  And when the creative juices flow freely, I tend to neglect everything else and focus on my writing.  All you writers or painters or any other kind of artistic people understand.  My friends tend to make fun of me during these times – in a loving manner, of course.  “You’re always writing” said in a whiny voice, or “there’s no point inviting Lindsay to anything right now, she’s in her own world.”  They laugh about it, but they understand.  Besides it makes me a better person to be around when I’ve purged myself onto the page and they know this.  Although for a bit they have to deal with me walking around in a daze.

I love these times because I get tons of work done and I feel great about myself.  There no feeling quite like accomplishment.  I can’t imagine how I’ll feel when I finish the book.  I already have some ideas for the next one, so I guess I’ll just throw myself into the next project.

Online dating – a revelation

With reflection and writing comes me talking a lot about the topics on my mind (when I’m not sequestering myself in my apartment, of course).  Often other people who first find out about the project are most curious about my dating month, where I went on 32 dates in 31 days for those of you who haven’t been following along the whole time.  I set out to discover why dating was so hard in the city, examining online dating, set-ups, speed dating, etc., and finished the month completely exhausted.  This bring me to the conversation I had with a woman customer at the pub a couple of days ago.  She just finished writing a book about dating, written in Japanese.  This became a rousing discussion amongst the five people at the table and I about online dating.  Which finally brings me to a huge topic about online dating that I never discovered during my month on dating: you can be rejected from some online dating sites before you even start!  I had no idea.

Two of the men at the table had been rejected from eHarmony, both of which seem like lovely men, and one of which I have known for at least a year coming into the pub.  I did some research and apparently as many at 20% of the applicants are rejected.  “Unable to match you at this time” is the response those “rejects” get after filling out eHarmony’s complex questionnaire.  From what I could find, these are the reasons you can be rejected:

  • You are married
  • You are below 21
  • You are under 60 and have been married more than four times
  • You are gay or lesbian (they have a separate site called Compatible Partners for gay and lesbian matches)
  • You answered the questions in what eHarmony thinks is inconsistent
  • You answered the questions in a way that suggests you are depressed
  • You scored low on the following traits:
    • Self-Concept (how you perceive yourself)
    • Emotional Status (feeling happy, fulfilled and hopeful)
    • Character (honesty and trustworthiness)
    • Obstreperousness (refers to a person’s tendency to find fault, to attribute blame to someone else, to make other persons wrong, and to portray them self as always right. The obstreperous person is someone who has a consistently critical attitude. The more pessimistic a person is, the more likely they are to be obstreperous.)
    • Character (honesty and trustworthiness)
    • Emotion Management: Anger (expressing negative emotions constructively)
    • Conflict Resolution (resolving issues).
    • Family Background (happy childhood and supportiveness of your parents)
  • eHarmony is unsure how to match you

One of the men at the table said he went in and took the test again, just changing the questions that referred to physical appearance being important and he was accepted, but then decided not to do it.  He ranted about how “of course physical appearance is very important to me!”

In any case, this is fascinating to me.  I can’t think it would be good for your self-esteem if you are looking for love and end up being rejected by a website claiming to be able to find you love after you took their personality test.  If I wasn’t dating anyone right now I would definitely take the test just to see what happens.  Happily, though, I don’t have to use online dating (and probably never will again, no matter what happens with my man right now).

More information:

“They Met Online, but Definitely Didn’t Click”, The Washington Post, May 13, 2007.

Why People are Rejected by eHarmony“, Little Red Rails Online Dating Guide & Blog.

“Your question answered: Why eHarmony rejected you”, eHarmonyBlog.com.

Four hundred and ninety-four

The baby taboo

I don’t want children.  I do want children.  I regret having children.  Children are hard work.  Your baby is ugly.

There are so many things you are not supposed to say when it comes to babies, depending on who you talk to.  Career people and partiers in the city often think it’s crazy to give up your freedom and want children.  My mother would tell you having kids is the best thing she ever did and that it’s crazy not to want them.  There are many religions and scientists who believe our purpose on this Earth is to procreate.  Talk to one of my dates from date month and he’d argue that there are too many people on this world already and bringing another one into it is only harming the environment and the Earth further.  When I was a kid I used to say I’d adopt, because there are too many children out there without loving homes.

I have babies on the brain, as you can probably tell.  I spent the past few days at a cottage with three beautiful babies under a year old and their amazing mothers.  I love each of them and I had a fabulous time, but it also made me think, do I want babies?  What if I decide I don’t?  Will my mother disown me?  I can think of people in my life right now who would be upset if I decided to have children and those who would be upset if I decided not to.

Recently I read an archived article in The Globe and Mail entitled ‘I really regret it.  I really regret having children’.  It’s about a woman who regrets having children, thinks other women shouldn’t, and wrote a book about it.  It is more information to add to my full head of facts, opinions and anecdotes regarding babies.  I’m 32 years old and I should be thinking about these things, right?  It’s going to be too late soon enough and I have to decide what I want to do.  The blog partially came from a desire to find a partner to have children with, and now I’m not sure what I want.

I’m sick of people telling me what I should and shouldn’t do and say.  Some babies are ugly.  That doesn’t make them any less special or valued.  And that’s only in my opinion.  It’s okay to want to have children in the city, and okay to not want them in the suburbs.  It’s okay to do things your way and not listen to everyone’s conflicting advice.  And it’s okay not to know what you want.  I definitely am not putting having children off the table – I know I would be a great mom – but I’m just evaluating my life and my future goals.  I want the option open for now, but I also want to be able to choose the no-kids option.  And I hope everyone will support me either way.