shadow days

“This guy looks like he is up to no good,” Zimmerman said on the 911 tape.

Please tell me, what would be the innocent way to walk down the street with an iced tea and some Skittles? Hint: For black men, that’s a trick question.

-Eugene Robinson {source}

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These past few days have been crazy. I don’t know what’s going on so I can’t say. Hopefully I will have clarity soon.

I just wanted to blog about this great book I’m currently reading: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom No, it isn’t a self help book. It is about the philosophy of this thing called happiness. I recommend it to psychology geeks as well as philosophy lovers. The author is a professor at the University of VA. I would love to take his psych class.

There is so much in this book and I’m only about 60% through. The author covers religion as it relates to life in general. At first I was thinking, “Oh NOEZ! not religion” but it only adds to the book. I follow Buddhism closely. And the one thing I have a big problem with is the whole non attachment thing. Am I really expected to live completely without attachments? Well the author pretty much agrees with me.

The major downer is the whole “You need people” thing. Huh? People? Don’t they suck? (me included). I get it but every time I read the numerous OBVIOUS studies on this, I think, well I should just kill myself. But I really like sports, music, current events (except vigilante events) and books. I can live for that. Then I will kill myself and prove all you people right.

Oops! Tangent. Where was I? The book. This review says it all:

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, lamented St. Paul, and this engrossing scientific interpretation of traditional lore backs him up with hard data. Citing Plato, Buddha and modern brain science, psychologist Haidt notes the mind is like an “elephant” of automatic desires and impulses atop which conscious intention is an ineffectual “rider.” Haidt sifts Eastern and Western religious and philosophical traditions for other nuggets of wisdom to substantiate—and sometimes critique—with the findings of neurology and cognitive psychology. The Buddhist-Stoic injunction to cast off worldly attachments in pursuit of happiness, for example, is backed up by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s studies into pleasure. And Nietzsche’s contention that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger is considered against research into post-traumatic growth. An exponent of the “positive psychology” movement, Haidt also offers practical advice on finding happiness and meaning. Riches don’t matter much, he observes, but close relationships, quiet surroundings and short commutes help a lot, while meditation, cognitive psychotherapy and Prozac are equally valid remedies for constitutional unhappiness. Haidt sometimes seems reductionist, but his is an erudite, fluently written, stimulating reassessment of age-old issues.

Awesome, awesome book. I would think professors would assign this to their psych majors. It is a nice intro to psychology and philosophy.

My favorite passage so far is:

Buddhism and Stoicism teach that striving for external goods, or to make the world conform to your wishes, is always striving after wind. Happiness can only be found within, by breaking attachments to external things and cultivating an attitude of acceptance.

Yep, it can be a self help book too. 🙂 I can’t say enough about this book. I have “highlighted” many passages to keep. (It is a library book from the Kindle library).

I could be coherent if I weren’t so damn tired. Long day. Read the book!

Something’s Missing

Hopefully the next time I post I will have a ticket to the John Mayer spring tour! Super excited!!!!!!! 😉 If you think that is a lot of exclamation marks, just want until I get tickets! 🙂 Tickets go on sale this Friday. I will have two computers set up and ready to buy. I put a reminder on my work computer. It will notify me 15 minutes before tickets go on sale. The one thing I’ve noticed is that I completely lose sense of days/weeks since I started working at home. I no longer count down the days of the week. On Thursday, I’m not thinking about Friday.

It might have something to do with me having to work 6 hours on Saturday. (Not really – it is only two Saturdays I get to work). Anyhow, my weekends are so busy now. Most of it is house stuff. I can’t wait to get rid of the house (via renting out or putting on the market) but all the work that leads up to it is AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I’m glad I’m working the extra hours. I just found out about the Mayer tickets on Monday and the price isn’t cheap. But I’ve been to about 20 concerts and I don’t think the price is unreasonable either. Some fans seem to think so though. I’m just glad I don’t have to travel. I know if I decide to see him again this summer, I will have to travel/do the hotel thing etc. I would follow John Mayer around the US. Too bad I can’t get paid for my passions. heh.

The one thing I meant to blog about last time, was happiness. I’ve been happy about 5 or 6 times during the past 3-4 years. It is easy to think of happy moments when you are depressed. That is probably a sign of depression. Anyway, yes one moment was the John Mayer concert I went to in 2010. But Mayer isn’t the point. I was trying to figure out why I was sort of depressed recently (pre finding out about the concert). And it is really simple: It was the letdown after being able to work at home.

I was SO HAPPY when I initially found out that I was going to work at home. This lasted for about 3 weeks. And then I started working at home. There is no new anymore. Of course there is going to be the letdown. The last time this happened was after my team made it to the Final Four….and then they lost. I was depressed for weeks. There was nothing to look forward to anymore. There was nothing to live for. Yes I was that depressed. Keep in mind I was already depressed but the weeks of March Madness gave pure joy. So I didn’t feel the depression. And after it was over BAM! So depressed.

This time isn’t as bad as that. It is just getting used to things. Work is still the same. The only difference is I don’t have the DRAMA from people to deal with. Trust me, that is wonderful but work is still work. I’m slowly adjusting to this. I wouldn’t say I’m really depressed – whatever that means. But there was a week after working at home where I was depressed.

I stayed in Monday through Friday of last week. It felt kind of good…I think. But I wouldn’t want to do that week after week. This week has been crazy. I’ve been going places during lunch and after work. Sigh. And I still have to go to the bank tomorrow to deposit Avon money.

Now that I have a treadmill at home, I’m not that motivated to look for places to go. Do I need yoga to relax? I don’t know. I been on the treadmill daily. That is my exercise. (I need to stay on for 30 minutes a day but that is another entry…..). I go to my monthly counselor session next week. I know she will be disappointed that well, I haven’t done anything. But she has to understand that I went through a major change by working at home. And every other week is delivering Avon/going to the bank.

My thoughts on Toastmasters is: I don’t want to be around normal people doing public speaking. That isn’t fair to me. I know the #1 fear of people is public speaking but there’s that and then there is social anxiety. Sure I could go to one meeting but I know how this will end. I will feel inadequate because I am worse off then THEM. I’ve been through this ish before. Why can’t there be a social anxiety group where I live? There is nothing near me. The closet thing is a OCD meeting which would probably be a little beneficial to me.

I hope she understands. Why set myself up for failure and feeling bad about myself? Dexter had a great quote about finally feeling normal with a group of strangers. I would love that. But everywhere I go, I end up going home feeling like more of a freak. 😦 Is that what I need?

you make me feel

Depression is settling in again. I guess I’m only allowed a little window of the good life. I can tell because doing the little things take so much energy. I get overwhelmed easily. But I guess I am due a life of gloom and an early death…

According to this fascinating book I just read: The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work I knew most of the things already. I read the results of psychology studies as much as I can. However, it is nice to have it all in one book. It isn’t just about work. I think all managers should read it but it is for everyone.

I feel like such a geek for loving this book so much. It talks about the science of happiness. It describes and gives the results of research studies. Psychology people will love this book.

What I don’t like is the part where the author goes over the scientific fact that you must have social relationships. Yes I know it is true. Do you want me to just shoot myself in the head now? I mean, why bother with anything? Why even try yoga? I’m just going to be miserable since I don’t have friends/social support. thanks a bunch! 🙂 I know anyone writing a book on happiness has to point this out because it is true.

That is why I always say that social anxiety is one of the worst things to have. But I’m not allowed to say that since I have it. People would ask, “What about —-?” I would ask, “Do you have friends? Can you talk?” That is going to make any situation you have to deal with a hell of a lot easier. But once again, I’m not allowed to say this.
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Like I tweeted, I missed my yoga class by about 10-20 minutes. 😦 My GPS is broke. I can’t get anywhere without my GPS…besides work and the library. lol. So I was late but it was nice to actually see the place. I couldn’t get much of a vibe but at least I’m less likely to get lost again. I paid for 3 classes. That is all I plan on taking unless I think this place offers something no other place can. Who knows? They have a free class once a month and I would love to do that forever.

(Yoga is not the cheapest thing to do regularly. So after this I might consider taking the discounted yogalates class at work when it starts back up again.)

I thought visiting the place would lessen my anxiety but it didn’t. I didn’t want to take Thursday’s class because the only thing offered to newbies like me is Iyengar yoga. It seems a little intimidating for a brand new person. I wanted to go to Tuesday’s class (Vinyasa flow yoga) because it seems more my style. It focuses more on breathing and relaxation. That is what I want from yoga. But I am going* to the the Iyenger class tomorrow after work. I hope it isn’t as scary as it could be with the use of props! I see the purpose of it. It builds strength of the mind. I could use that! 😉

*Hopefully I make it. I’m going without a GPS. ::gasp!:: It took me over an hour to get home. I was beyond lost. Ugh, I hated life pre-GPS. LOL.

so much for my happy ending

I’m definitely depressed. It doesn’t take a PHD to know that a person with social anxiety is going to have some depression. By definition, it isn’t social anxiety or any anxiety if it doesn’t severely affect your life. So I get that. But…

I guess I just want it to be over. I’m not used to being depressed every day. I’m not used to not like going to work. I’m not used to this amount of gossip (and I thought high school was bad!)

So it’s 11:40 pm Thursday night and I don’t have time to plan out everything. During my lunch break, I have to go home & get laundry ready. It will have to wait until Friday night or maybe Saturday.

Unhealthy living this is. Orson Welles said,

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.

My happy endings:

  • getting my acceptance letter to — university & finally realizing I was leaving home
  • getting a new position @ the same company after years of no job stability
  • the day I brought my house
  • That’s most of it. All of my happy endings end on day ONE.

    And I can’t remember who said people go through droughts of bad years and then good years. It comes in 7 year stints. That gave me hope a few years ago. Looking at it objectively, I can see how the 7 year thing seems pessimistic but to me…it was a chance. I had something to look forward to. I know there will always be problems and suffering (Buddhism). I’m not naïve. However, I thought it would be manageable. It has been more than 7 years. I haven’t been depressed for seven years straight…I’d be dead if that were the case. But everything else has been going on since I was at least 14. And I’m not a teenager anymore.

    I should be asleep so I can rush around tomorrow (well technically it is ‘tomorrow’) like a mad woman. A break won’t solve my work issues so it isn’t about that.

    This is what happens after I am around a group of people. After work, I went to a salon. Another social disaster. This is why I avoid social situations. Typical psych 101. I get ‘punished’ every time I do anything around people so why would I NOT avoid it. I have a B.S. (stop the joke) in psych and I know all this has real names but I can’t even get the terminology right. Long day. dehydrated and bad eating.