I've been slightly depressed lately. Bring out the herbal tea. Any kind will do. Time to drink chamomile.
Then there are the antidepressants. Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa. 27 million Americans, or 10 percent of the population in the U.S., took antidepressants in 2005, twice the number who took them in 1996, according to a psychiatry study. People who want to avoid the stigma of psychiatry get them from their family doctor. Anybody can get these, actually, but family doctors are hardly experts.
But when you're not in the antidepressant phase, what should you do? What if you're mildly afflicted? My prescription is, DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. It's a good idea to have TWO OR THREE THINGS GOING ON, I find. You know, a job or two or three. At the moment I'm balancing teaching and housewifery. But perhaps one of these things does not belong with the other.
So here's the rundown & changes by adjustment of attitude:
1. TEACHING: I enjoy it in moderation. I'm good at it. I mildly like the idea of passing on classics. As a rule, it's easier to teach small groups than private lessons because bonding and competition help people learn. I expect people to work--yes, I'm very intolerant this way--and I try to be nice, but I don't entertain. Sorry, if I don't like you I won't teach you (unless you're in a group, and then I make do).
But it can be a source of stress. I recently had an experience with a person I couldn't teach. My instinct was to say no when I met her. Always go with your instinct. She was a crystal gazer, and a psychic. She wanted to regress to a former life as a Roman, but since she did no work, it was all in her imagination. We were still declining puella after five weeks. I went home and cried. Really.
So should I screen individuals? Interview people before private lessons? Not teach people with harmless delusions? You're supposed to give them what they want and humor them, and perhaps declining puella was enough. And yet I know from my public school teacher friends that sometimes you can't. I've known public school teachers who have sat for a whole semester and done nothing because their students couldn't learn, or wouldn't, and they could not of course choose their students.
Conclusion: Take this much less seriously. Every student is different. It's good to pass on what you can and not to worry when it doesn't work out.
2. HOUSEWIFERY: I'm interested in this when I walk through my clean house and think, This is a really nice place to live! I am trying to clean two days a week so I don't have to hire a maid. I'm NOT a maid. But a clean house DOES make me feel better. So I should up the ante in housework and have a REALLY clean house. Get out my housewifely crafts? Make wreaths and macrame and...?
And get going on that chamomile tea.