HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

1/17/2003

A New Hope


"What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment." -- Victor Frankl



When last we left our plucky hero, the world seemed dark. No job, no money, and a dark election looming on the horizon…

I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

Well, sure, who isn’t a bit gloomy? I’m convinced that many of us have Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression that is keyed by shorter winter days, probably caused by the reduction in melanin levels in our brain. Check out the list of symptoms, and tell me if you don’t recognize yourself or someone you know:

  • Symptoms of depression occur regularly during the fall or winter months (changes in sleeping and eating habits;

  • persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood; loss of pleasure in activities once enjoyed).

  • Depression subsides in the spring and summer months.

  • Symptoms have occurred in the past two years, with no non-seasonal depression episodes.

  • Seasonal episodes substantially outnumber non-seasonal depression episodes.

  • The individual craves sugary or starchy foods.


For me, I don’t have any sad episodes (typically) in the spring or summer. Or early fall. But consistently, around the end of November I get cranky then sad, and it isn’t just about finals. This is a marked departure from my normal state. I am a very optimistic person in general, and this translates to confidence, which is sometimes mistaken for cockiness. My brother is a bit less sanguine generally, which leads to what my mom and I refer to as the “Tigger-Eeyore” syndrome. She talks to my brother, who is gloomy and underestimates his prospects, and the Eeyore approach is apparent. This approach is fine, though, because he’s a really clever guy who always does better than he thinks he will and thus is rarely disappointed. Me, I am typically sure I will conquer whatever it is I am up against, so I am the hyper-confident Tigger. As things don’t always work the way I want, I am often disappointed. Not that there’s anything wrong with it; but it does show why when I get into a funk it is a big difference.

The job market also hasn’t helped this year. However, in December I got not one but two jobs; a school year clerkship at a Minneapolis firm (from where, I confess, I write this column…) and a summer associate position for this upcoming summer, at a small firm in Duluth. Having a job with some positive cashflow is very encouraging, and having the uncertainty of the summer prospects removed also helps. A new year has meant that I have resolved to generally be more responsible, and I feel like prospects are improving. Happy new year!

Striking back…

I came across this recently; an apology (old sense) for The Empire. I have to admit, it makes sense. We were obviously misled by the movies. The Empire was on the right side. Down with anarchic decentralization!

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