Fighting depression

After a lifetime of working and volunteering, I find myself really depressed after retiring on December 31, 2016. Since I was self-employed for 90% of my working life, I had to become an expert in many areas related to business: marketing & advertising (they are different), accounting, actual work, taxes, customer service, and negotiating, just to name a few.

I am endeavoring to do a few things that I have always wanted to do, such as publishing a book. I finished my first book, Nature’s Geometry: Succulents, in October 2019.

Cover of "Nature's Geometry: Succulents" by Russel Ray

I worked on it 12-18 hours a day from mid-June to October. It kept me busy and out of trouble.

Spiny Succulents, by Jeff MoorePrior to that, I did the final editing and design layout for Jeff Moore’s fourth book on succulents, comprising 350 pages and about 1500 pictures.

I started that on January 28, 2019, and finished in mid-June. I think I worked on it for 18-24 hours a day because I did pull a couple of all-nighters. It was like I was back in college albeit without the keg parties.

United States SSS mapJanuary 28 through October was the only time since retirement that I have not be depressed on a daily basis. Those months caused me to realize just how much I love reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, not to mention photography. Late last year I hit upon the idea of writing another book, to be titled SSS: Southwest Succulent Staycation. I would explore finding succulents in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. Those four states pretty much take in the southwest United States.

The problem I immediately ran into is that they are four big states. It’s not like the northeast where you could go to eight or nine states all in a week or less. To explore these four big states and get appropriate material for my book would take a year or two. Just finding the places that I need to visit already has taken all of January, and I’m nowhere near finished.

When I have a significant problem to work on, I take a nap. These are not your normal naps, though, because I don’t fall asleep. The problem weighs on my mind. It’s kind of like daydreaming.

A couple of days ago I took a nap in order to work on this problem and came up with what I think is a brilliant idea.

There’s no doubt that a book covering succulents in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah is going to be a pretty big book, taking a pretty long time to complete, and costing a pretty penny.

My nap showed me that I could make four books, and instead of huge 8½x8½ books or larger, I could make “pocket books” (4.25″ x 6.75″) which would be better for actually using them during your staycation. The pocket books would cost less money and provide me with something to do immediately since I can easily create California’s book starting today.

My Nature’s Geometry: Succulents book has landed me on the cactus & succulent club speaking circuit, and publishing four more books instead of one book would keep me on the circuit. Second and third editions could keep me going for many years, and having five books to sell instead of one or two keeps clubs happy. They like variety, having choices.

I also can work on four books simultaneously since I do have enough pictures from all four states to give me a good start. Working on four books, traveling on the speaking circuit, and traveling to get pictures of places I have not been definitely could keep the depression at bay.

Of course, I would miss my husband and Little Queen Olivia while I was traveling. The lazy ass cat will never know I’m gone….

Little Queen Olivia

13 thoughts on “Fighting depression

  1. TamrahJo

    I think the “pocket books” are an inspiriation/idea to really delve into – for folks like me, I see much more practical use in travels and my garden shop to use as a guide book, and more helpful than an informative, and wonderful, but big, um, coffee table book? :). Not criticizing your work, nor non of the other works that are text/pic tomes, but to have a pocket sized text/pic guide book would be such a boon AND doesn’t make me have to have my phone out, with app up, all the time – I wish so many who make apps, would put out little pocket guide sizes, and then just update them as needed –
    On the plus side, you also take a ‘bite of the elephant’ project a little at a time, so the husband missing wouldn’t be as long in stretches but, perhaps long enough the lazy ass cat would wonder where the gravy train got off to – – :).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Kally

    Kudos to you taking steps to make sure you do not spiral into sadness and loneliness. Retirement can sometimes means a sudden loss of directions and goals but it doesn’t have to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. charlypriest

    Apart from the wonderful work you showed us, the real lesson that I took away from reading you is that keeping yourself busy with the things you love to do even if they are hard and push yourself to work on them almost inhumanly will keep me out of trouble for sure and obviously more productive hence more happy. Thanks for this post specially.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Let your words flow

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.