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“Carol, how are you feeling? You rated a little high on our depression and anxiety scale,” my OB said to me yesterday at my 28 week appointment.

It’s difficult to say. At that particular moment, as, indeed, for most of yesterday, I felt just great. Cheerful, confidant, ready to take on a third trimester, a baby and yes, even labour, with a smile. As she asked me that question, I felt like telling her that I hadn’t a trace of depression remaining.

But there are times when I feel so melancholy for reasons I can’t explain. I feel no dissatisfaction with my life – I’m loving the baby, even when he keeps me up at night with his resentful poking at the mattress (and by extension, my peritoneum). I’m loving that I’m done work, even if I’m not loving the reasons WHY I am done work. Perfect Husband continues to be my absolute favourite person, and if it were possible to love him more I would when he shows such solicitude over me when I’m feeling uncomfortable or odd in some way. But still, I walk around feeling close to tears and overwhelmed at times.

Is that the depression? Or the pregnancy? Mood swings are normal, right? Surely it is not out of normal range to feel fine but then suddenly tear up inexplicably to John Mayer’s “Daughters”?

But here’s this doctor’s scale, telling me that I am a little out of normal range and my OB (after a significant exchanging of glances between her and my husband when he tells her how low my current dose is) telling me we can increase my Wellbutrin if necessary.

Well, I’m going back to the Reproductive Mental Health shrink tomorrow for a follow-up, so we’ll see what she says.

+++

We drove down to Seattle yesterday to try out for Wheel of Fortune. Or at least, for my husband to try out. Even if I weren’t suffering from pregnancy brain (We spent much of the trip with Perfect Husband quizzing me on countries’ capitals and we discovered that even easy ones like Kenya and Germany were slipping my mind), Wheel of Fortune has never been my game. I can guess the puzzles fairly well, but not brilliantly. However, Perfect Husband often has the puzzle figured out before the second or third letter has been called.

It was basically a throw-our-names-in-a-hat situation. An auditorium filled with hundreds and hundreds of people, and only a random thirty called on stage to try out. We knew chances were slim but after all, in a couple of months we won’t be able to take random car trips down to the states nearly so easily, so why not go and take our chances?

We didn’t luck out, so there go dreams of $30,000 from Wheel of Fortune (because I know my husband would win). What an interesting cross-section of America, though.

There was the lady who cheerfully confessed that she was “supposed to be on disability” and hoped that no one from the government would see this tape, and then danced happily for the cameras to some funky music looking not disabled in the slightest.

There was the girl who admitted that she’d only ever seen Wheel of Fortune “like, once.” Yeah, she’s not getting on the show.

Then there were the people who couldn’t tell the announcer anything about themselves… because they just didn’t know.

Ever since we were tiny, we have had people ask us the basic getting-to-know-you questions.

How old are you? What do you want to be when you grow up? What are you interested in?

We spend years encouraging children to think about who they are, yet it turns out that many adults still cannot easily answer such basic questions about themselves. When asked to sum up their life and purpose in a few sentences for the cameras, many would shrug and look confused.

Announcer: Tell me about yourself!

Person: Uh… I dunno…

Announcer: What do you do?

Person: I’m unemployed…

Announcer: Well, what is your dream job?

Person: I dunno… anything really… whatever pays money…

Announcer: …So what do you enjoy doing? How do you like to spend your time?

Person: I dunno… I spend a lot of time in the casino, I guess…

or

Announcer: I like your purple jacket!

Person: Yah, I wun it.

Announcer: You won it? Really? How did you win it??

Person: Uh… I dunno…. I jest wun it…

Announcer:Okay, then! Are you ready to play WHEEL OF FORTUNE?

Person: Huh?

It was just heartbreaking.

It makes me think of Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web, who says calmly to Wilbur, “After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die.”

The world is full of people like that, and I saw a sample of them last night. They just live, and they don’t know what makes them special, what makes their life unique. I’m not saying that they aren’t special or unique, but they certainly haven’t discovered it themselves. Do they think about it? Maybe, maybe not.

Charlotte believed that by helping her friend, “…perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heavens knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”

So tell me, how do you lift your life up? What brings meaning to your life? What makes you you? If asked to tell the world why you are special, what would you say?

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