Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Reflections and Musings

It is that time of the year...time to reflect upon the passing year and determine what we hope the new year will bring.

I have goals to set...very specific ones and time limited ones but I haven't sat down and written them out. So, instead I will comment on this past year.

Many know that I have suffered from depression for at least 13 years and have been on medication to control it. This past year has been somewhat difficult and I just recently completed a sleep apnea test and learned that I have severe sleep apnea. Being chronically tired will cause one to be depressed....so now I am going through the process of finding the right nose mask to work with the air machine that keeps my throat open at night so I can actually breathe and sleep all night long without having to wake myself up to catch a breath. I have already noticed a big difference. It is amazing how getting enough sleep without interruption can help bring a calming affect to me. I am also noticing a significant lifting of the depression and some energy returning. So, there are goals to be developed around caring for myself.

I am learning to be kinder to myself. That means that I don't expect myself to be a super woman/artist/mother/spouse/cook/daughter, etc. I can only do what I can do. And sometimes that isn't a lot and sometimes it is.

I have learned that I am not a very good friend...I don't follow up with people like I should in order to maintain friendships. Friendships take work.

I have learned that I need to work on my self discipline---I will easily go to the studio and make art rather than do the dishes, write the notes, call a friend, pick up the house (much lest do any cleaning) etc. But I have to decide just what form my self discipline needs to take...I know I need to spend more time on the business of art.

I have learned that I have some very good friends who hang in with me through all my ups and downs. I am not always a very easy person to be with...just ask my husband of 39 years!

I have learned that I am not as committed to being some kind of super artist as I thought and that I have to decide for myself just what my real goals are in art and what I consider success. Of course, this may change...I am just thinking about all the shows I didn't enter this year, etc.

But then, there have been a lot of personal and professional highs this year too...but more of that later....


Gerrie said...

Well, you know that I am a friend who is hanging in with you, no matter what. I can see through whatever you want to throw out there to hide behind. This is a very profound post. I want so much for you to be healthy and happy and most of all, creative.

My best to you in the New Year!!


Anonymous said...

Many of us knew you were depressed when you worked for probation. Perhaps you should look at Doug's depression also.
A former co-worker

Judy said...

Hi! Liz,

A thought provoking post, but to have learned so much about yourself and found you have sleep apnea as a possible cause you are moving forward. Wishing you many good things for 2009 creatively and personally.

LoieJ said...

I've had a tendency toward depression, and it surely hits me when I don't get enough sleep. It is said that depression causes sleep problems. Yes, true. But I swear that sleep problems cause depression. I've had some outside circumstances through the years that caused lots of interuupted sleep. In two cases, the situation changed and within a week, I got more sleep each night and felt like a new person. So, I'm wishing you a renaisance with your sleep machine.