I have a confession to make. My blogging drought isn't only a result of being busy. I'm also in a really bad mood.

This is hard for me to admit. Ordinarily I consider myself unflappable and impervious to many things. Winter blues? Nah. I like to think I create my own sunshine. Missing my never-present hubby? Heavens no! I'm so much more independent than that...

or, am I?

I really can't put my finger on any one reason, but the truth is I've got a case of the blues. I feel so uninspired--to blog, to diet, to socialize, to Twitter, to Facebook, to study Spanish, or to do any of the things I typically enjoy.

Must.Buck.These.Blues. Now.

But how?

Since writing tends to be cathartic, perhaps I should start by doing something unusual for me. RANTING. Excuse me for using this single post to get out all of the little things that are eating at me these days.

1. The economic gloom

Seriously, folks-- 24 hours of nonstop, economic doom and gloom has me tied up in knots. I haven't felt this way since the height of the Presidential election when all I saw on the news was political rallies being turned into forums for hate mongering. This time, however, my stress level seems worse. Even though I am not personally affected by the hard times, I hate feeling that no one really has a handle on the extent of the situation or how to fix it. At the same time, I can't help but wonder whether the presence of 24-hour cable news is making the economic mood worse than it is in actuality? I mean, really, should we be giving so much credence to the whims of Wall Street, which to me has seemed somewhat Bipolar, even in the best of times. Can anybody tell me where this is all leading?

2. The Octo-mom

Numerous bloggers have commented on various aspects of this story, so I won't go into a huge diatribe. But as news outlets shed even more light on the psychological, emotional, and economic situation of this mother, the one-time, bizarre human interest story becomes a greater and greater tragedy. I feel such sadness for the 14 innocent victims.

3. Chris and Rihanna

From the beginning, I believed she would go back to her abuser. This is one time that I am NOT happy I was right.

4. American Idol Wild Card Choices

Tatianna over Ju' not? Really?!?!?

5. Flap over Michelle Obama's Exposed Arms

Back in the day, when I was I gym rat and worked out 2 times a day, I NEVER had chiseled arms like Michelle Obama. And even though I am a tad jealous, I've got to support the First Lady in her sleeveless fashion choices. Really, why the fuss? If you've got it, flaunt it.

6. Language Learning

After 40 hours of language classes, I am very good with Spanish--ON PAPER. I can read a newspaper and understand it, send an e-mail that gets a response, and easily complete homework assignments until I develop a callus on the tip of my finger. But I still can't speak well. I realize part of this problem is caused by hesitancy and timidity, but part of it is also that my synaptic brain and nerve connections don't seem to be firing when I go to open my mouth.

You, who have learned to speak a second language fluently, what am I doing wrong?

7. Loneliness

Since January, I've spent 80 percent of my time alone because the company's HR department has been slow to handle of the legal and government paperwork necessary to get us moved. As a result, my spouse, who started his new job two months ago, must travel every week to get his work done.

I think I've reached my limit in the loneliness department. When you are happy to be with someone, it hurts when you are separated. And I am tired of hurting.

Fortunately, there is an end in sight. I've only got 25 days before I will join Max in Barcelona permanently. I've also got two trips planned--one to Barcelona and one to Milan-- to be with him in the interim. I just have to get through the meantime.

That's me. What's bugging you these days?


kenju said...

I agree with everything you say and then some. I predict your mood will rise as soon as you see Max again. You problem with Spanish is that you aren't there yet. I suspect you will do very well once you get among the people and get over being hesitant. And who could be sad in Milan???

Princess Extraordinaire said...

First of all BIG HUGS to you!! I know how frustrated the blues can be - I have a tad of them as I move into my 4th decade of existence this Sunday....just a lot of reflecting and self analysis etc....I can understand why you hurt to be away from Max...I love spending time with my husband and miss him greatly when we seem like ships passing in the night..I am so sad about both Octo-Mom and Chris and Rihanna..and we HAVE been hit by the economy and it's very hard to regroup.....we lost almost all of our retirement (I'm 39 and am an author and my hubby is 58....) but do own our home/cars outright, have some savings and have each other as well as a loving family..we are survivors..oh I could go on but for the sake of your boredom wont! Cheer up sweetie! xoxo ( and if you neeed/want to vent more just e-mail me..)

Dallas said...

Wow, I just realized I stopped reading the news when I moved overseas. I have no idea who the octo-mom is or what's been said about Michelle's arms. I need to get on the ball. Sorry to hear you're feeling blue. I'm sure the 25 days will pass faster than you imagine. I'm bugged that no one is interested in renting our house back in the states and I miss my friends and family.

essie said...

Listen Diane-
we ARE going together!
and I know exactly what you mean-
this expat life is both exciting AND lonely...
remember, that, you aren't
alone, that is, and get prepared for the next exciting chapter in the life of Mandy!
we ARE going to get together!!

Jack said...

I know the feeling. Been a little out of sorts here too.

utenzi said...

Wow. There's enough bugging you for the both of us, Diane. I don't think I need to contribute any more rants. I certainly will second you on that one about the economy. I wish the news outlets would cover a variety of issues instead of getting gung ho about one topic and ignoring everything else. First the US election and now the global economic meltdown.... enough!

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I think everyone's in a funk at the moment!

As for the language thing, you are doing nothing wrong, but you'll notice when you get to Barcelona, if you are mixing with Spanish people and watching Spanish TV you will improve 100%. Using it is the best way to get fluent. You'll be "immersed" in it! You learn much faster than just you do learning in a classroom.

Danie said...

I've been in a pissy mood and haven't been blogging either. Repatriation has really sucked, which is very confusing because you would think, well, it's got to be better than India, right? Too many Canadians read my blog so I haven't had my normal outlet.

Oh yeah, and it's snowing again, which just makes me want to hibernate.

oreneta said...

Here's my two cents.

1. Turn off the news and TV, that should reduce the stress for points 1 through 5, or was that 6. Language. learning. sucks. It is really really really hard. Really hard. That said, here are some of the things I do that help. I make a concerted effort to think in the language for blocks of the day. It is now habitual. It is a sort of visualisation exercise like athletes do, and gives me practice, however ungrammatically, when there is no one around.

Also, have you seen Spanish Pod? Here's the link: http://spanishpod.com/

They're really good, and you can use it quite orally which gives you a chance to practice. Also start talking to yourself. Describe what you are doing as best you can as you are doing it (best done when you are at home...not so wise in the supermarket. OK is the car if the traffic isn't TOOOO bad) You feel like a bit of a nut, but it gets the words moving out of your mouth. Also sit down with favourite photos and try to describe them ALOUD to someone, include things about what was going on at the time...gets you TALKING!

Listen to Spanish language movies, many European have tons of choices, and TV (it's terrible, but Lost is translated and so is Grey's anatomy) on line.

As you watch it, try to parrot back some of what you hear, just to get yourself used to speaking. Once you are here, the speaking will come anyway. You'll have no choice...

Loneliness I can't help with, sadly. It is just yucky. Maybe that classic calender that you X off the days till you go....

Hang in there, nothing lasts forever. I even saw an electrician who was cleaning up after himself, so there may be another one in BCN just waiting for you to get there.

Jamy said...

You know what's bugging me? WORK. I hate it. I know I should be grateful that I have a good, well-paying job. But I HATE it. I want to go back to France (or maybe England).

Anyway, not that I'm exactly fluent, but what helped me get over the hump in another language is to let go of the fear of sounding like an idiot. You will sound like an idiot but until you open your mouth and start speaking, you won't improve (verbally). Good luck! You'll be great.

meno said...

I hope that rant made you feel better. I know i enjoyed reading it.

As far as the Spanish goes, practice will help you get better. Be patient with yourself.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I'm sorry Diane! A lot bugs me these days, some on your list even. The weather has tons to do with it for me and being isolated from 'real' people does not help me at all. I can't offer much help except get to say get some chocolate!

I hope you feel better soon!

Dan-E said...

wait, people are complaining about michelle obama's arms? seriously? this is news to me. stupid.

sorry you're in a bad mood. no joke, if i was you, i'd forget watching tv, rent some movies or tv shows on dvd, and drink heavily over the weekend.

fiona said...

Hope you feel better getting everything of your chest. Sending lovies through the airwaves :-)
P.S I agree with what most everyone else said!

Sizzle said...

With all the changes and missing your husband, it's totally understandable that you'd be battling the blues even if you're very independent. It takes its toll! The good news is that you are married to someone you miss- Very good news!

Sarah said...

I feel the same way today. Fed up. Wallowing.Maybe wine will help? No.Ug. Roll on summer. S

tnomeralc web design toys said...

Try calling him while caressing your hair or anything you like to be touched by your hubby and maybe it'll do a little change.

susy said...

Hola! Acabo de encontrar tu blog y primero tengo que decirte que lo que escribes acerca de la separacion entre tu y tu marido es muy enternecedor. Ojala que esten reunidos pronto, permanentemente!

Second, I'll comment on your perceived inability to connect your thoughts in order to string a sentence in Spanish, which is my native language. I assure you that it's not you, it's the lack of exposure!

I'd be willing to bet that once you're in Bar(z)elona, you'll pick it up right away, uno: because you've got the text knowledge stored. Dos: because it's a lot easier to utter than grunting in German!

Buena suerte in your new adventure and enjoy Milan, while your paperwork comes!!!

Rositta said...

I'm bugged too by the 24 hour doom and gloom news these days and I'm more bugged when every time I hear the American president talk about how bad it is and how we will all get through it without offering a friggin plan. I have stopped watching tv altogether, it raises my blood pressure. But what has me really bugged these days is the miserable health care system in this country and how hard to have to fight to get care and how long you have to wait for it.

You will do well with Spanish once you get there, at least you can read and write. I'm a terrible person for languages and have never been able to learn Greek even after many many hours of lessons.
Once you get to see Max and are together again things will be find. It's March, always a weird month for the blues...hugs

Snooker said...

You know what I bet? I say that you are blue because you're spinning your wheels. You are a woman that likes to stay in motion and you are simply in a holding pattern until you get to Barcelona. Never fear, these blues will disappear.

Jill said...

I so feel your pain... the economy is scary right now - I can't even bring myself to look at my Merill Lynch account. I get serious heart palpitations!

And as for the blahs... can I join you there? As much as I can't wait to go back to the States and hibernate for 15 weeks - I'm uber sad to leave my husband, chance him not making it out for the birth, miss the friends I have made here, and come back to a place in July that I'm none too thrilled with... for 2 more years. Yikes!

Anonymous said...

3 tips. One, turn off the tv. Watch a movie or sitcom instead if you have to watch something. Try to cap your news-watching to half the hours or minutes you spend now. Two, go for a walk. Getting outside and getting moving will help. Let your mind wander, in Spanish if you want. But just enjoy some fresh air and motion. Three, have a glass of wine and get together with a Span-speaker (or call him/her). I think you have trouble just b/c you are reluctant to make mistakes. The wine will lower your inhibition and encourage you to talk. Good luck!

J said...

The weather has really done me in. I'm fit to be tied. I need a week of sun. I'm tired of being cold and wet whenever I leave the house.

Charlotte said...

Waaaaaay late, of course, but hugs never go stale, do they? Sending you a ton of them.

It'll get better. All of it.

swenglishexpat said...

That was a good rant! Apropos languages; just one thing - practise talking, there are no short cuts, just try and try and speak and speak. If you are really shy, as you say, talk to yourself in the bathroom mirror!! It works.

jaded said...

I think the 24 hr news channels do add to the problem. Even when there is little news, they over embellish.

Rant anytime. You articulate many issues that cause me to roll my eyes and groan.

AmyB said...

Oh Diane! I'm so sorry! I've been too busy lately to be a part of the online world, but I'm sorry to have missed out on supporting you during the one time you decide to vent a little. These are all very valid reasons to feel a little blue and/or pissed. I think you ought to vent more often, because it makes me feel better for feeling down or annoyed by the same things! Hope things are looking up for you this week... Off to read if I'm right!