Thursday, March 20, 2008

Depression and other things.....

I read a very short article this week that referenced what they said was a "soon to be released study" about how blogging can be nearly as effective as an anti-depressant. Writing is rather cathartic for me. Reading about other people's journeys is also very encouraging for my own. There have been some studies ( I don't feel like tracking them down right now ) that say that anti-depressants themselves may not be as effective as we previously thought. Maybe it is because we get them through our drinking water now? :-) Some have Reverse Osmosis water...they are the smart ones.

I wish I was one of those people that didn't eat when they get stressed out. I'm just the opposite though. I have been loosely following the Body For Life program for a couple of years now. It is a great mix of diet, cardio, and weight lifting. I've sort of been off of it for two months now and I have really been feeling and showing the effects of that. Getting back into it is the hardest part. Making the time for a 20-40 min workout each day when you haven't had to is not very easy. Finding the sheer willpower to go out and move when the previous day's workout has left you aching is hard. There is great reward if you do though. It makes me even hungrier than stress does. :-) It does relieve stress and like writing, it can help keep depression at bay.

A couple of thoughts from the last few days.

My son vacuumed up a piece of equipment the other night. He proceeded to tell me that he wasn't close, etc, that the vacuum sucked it up from a long way away. The truth is that he wasn't really paying attention and was trying to get out of trouble. His perception is that he wasn't close. He clung to that. I explained that I had one problem, a broken piece of equipment, but now I have two, a broken piece and a child that didn't want to take responsibility for not doing what they were supposed to. I explained that I really only want to deal with one problem. One problem is easy to get through, two problems makes it a lot more difficult on both of us. I keep explaining that it is easier to say "Ok, I'm sorry, I won't do it again" than it is to keep fighting whatever happened. He creates a perception and clings to it. I see it in a lot of places...we refuse to acknowledge anything that is different from our perceptions. So, Our perceptions become the realities we choose to believe. I wanted to say "lies we choose to believe" but it only becomes a lie when we know it to be untrue but cling to it anyway because it suits us. Once we believe them we rarely can let go of them to embrace what may really be true. Sometimes this is self preservation...why would we want to admit we could be wrong when we could be right? Why should I let go of something that hurts those closest to me when it makes me feel so good?

The other thought has to do with many things in our world today. Particularly Internet security. Many of the applications we know on the Internet are run with protocols that are decades old. They are not secure. Security is difficult to tack on at this point. The other day I had to review a new application that runs on a newer protocol. After going through it and asking some tough questions, the answer I got was that "It's not any worse than email (SMTP)." Ok, so here is a thought...If we are building new solutions, lets try not to include the old incompetencies. It applies to much more than just computers and the Internet though.

Spring Break this week. Try to get outside and correct some of the vitamin D deficiencies that might be holding us down. I hope yours is a great one. My son is going to see his mom for a week. It will be a nice break not to have to be a parent for a couple of days. Lets see how much stuff I can cram into the next week!!!!!

~Mike

2 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. I just found out that there are plenty of techniques which can be used to relief stress. I tried some of them and they work pretty well for me. Give it a try at http://www.howtorelievestress.org

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  2. Your frustrations sound so much like mine, but I'm dealing with these same issues with a 15 year-old.

    The rule has always been, "If you break it, repair it or replace it." Period. There won't be any trouble if you A) admit you broke it, and B) work out a plan to repair it or replace it.

    To this day, he will deny he was anywhere near it, insist that it somehow broke on its own accord, or blame someone else. I finally had him write out a list of everything he's broken, damaged, lost, or claimed was "stolen" in the last four years (as long as he's been here). I allowed him to draw a line through anything he purchased with his own money. Then I asked him to circle all the items I punished him for breaking.

    He studied the list (it took up the front and back of a sheet of paper), looked up at me and said "I can't circle anything."

    My son is quite the linear thinker. Seeing it in black and white like that made it pretty clear to him that I'm fairly tolerant of accidents. I did point out that the only thing he's ever gotten in hot water over was not taking responsibility for what he's done. The rule remains: Repair or replace what you break.

    I also pointed out that there was roughly $3,000 worth of damages listed on that paper, and that he had become quite an expensive person to have around. I asked him who he would pay $3,000 to hang out with? "I can't afford that," he said.

    I told him that one second of thought would have prevented each of those "accidents," so in less than a minute, he could have saved me $3,000, but he refuses to give me that second of thought.

    I'm sure it will persist, but at least it appears that he's understanding that he could have prevented the damage of every single thing on that list if he'd just stop himself for ONE second and think.

    I don't know how to teach him to resist EVERY impulse until he takes a second to think about what might happen "next."

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