Gratitude Wins!

So last year was a hard year, friendZillas!  We finally did move and settled into our new cave, got to know some neighbors, and are finally feeling “at home” in our new life.  But you know what?  Change is hard!  I forgot.  I forgot how hard it can be to adjust to new routines, new environments, old relationships in a new context… so there was good reason for me to be struggling last year.

The struggle lasted for several months after my last post, too – the move was stressful and it took me easily 6 months to really start to feel comfortable and relaxed.  Kind of amazing.  I expected it to be stressful, but now I know why my DocZilla tries to gauge my stress levels by asking, every year:

“Has anyone close to you died in the past year?”

“Have you or a loved one been seriously ill this year?”

“Have you changed jobs in the last year?”

“Have you MOVED in the last year?”

“Has there been stress in your marriage in the last year?”

These are the things that are the hardest for us Zillas to handle!  Just like they are for humans.  You might think DocZ. would ask me other questions, such as:

“How has your water quality been this past year?”

“Have you been eating enough cities this year to stay healthy and keep your teeth clean?”


“How’s your Zilla-esterol these days?”

…but no.  Moving, health, our jobs and our loved Zillas rule the roost.  So no wonder I was down!  I’m very happy to tell DocZ. this year that I haven’t lost any loved ones, everybody’s healthy, my job is stable and my marriage and my cave are both WONDERFUL.  It’s the simplest things in life that matter the most, and for all of them, I am grateful.

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Gratitude vs. Depression

Ah, Bridezilla is not feeling her usual perky green self this morning.  So many changes are happening in life… Groomzilla and I are searching for a new underwater cave in a new island chain, while juggling our day-to-day work responsibilities and enjoying the shift to springtime water temps (finally!).

I generally like change, at least when it comes to changing caves.  I like sorting through my shell collection and culling the duplicates.  I loooove going through my fancy dress closet and deciding what pieces can go to my niece, Teenzilla.  I don’t love the actual packing process, but I love the “spring cleaning” aspect of moving.  I also love moving to a new island chain and getting to know the local monkfish, etc.

Oddly, however, this time I’m feeling pretty ambivalent about the whole process.  There are delays caused by our jobs, so we can’t commit to a new cave yet, and our old cave sealord is pushing to get a new ‘zilla family in.  Everything is out of my talons, sadly – so maybe that’s why I feel depressed. 

Depression runs in my cold blood (thanks, Momzilla!), so I feel it every now and then, but I’ve never found a great way to stop it.  Is there one?  Half the time, I don’t notice it for months, because I’m just feeling sleepy or easily distracted.  (I’m rarely sad, which I’ve always thought was the big glaring bioluminescent sign of depression.)  Anyhoo, then I’ll have a good day and think, “Wow!  Didn’t I used to be like this all the time?  I must be depressed.  Rats.”

So, to the point of this post’s title:  Gratitude vs. Depression.  I saw yet another online article (because when I’m depressed, I read silly online articles looking for a magic trick), and it said that taking the time to count your blessings is one habit of happy people.  And I want to be a happy people!  So here are my blessings:

1)  My sweet Groomzilla.  He loves me always, even when I’m stomping and smashing and screaming and breathing fire out of my face.  And he loves me when I’m fussy and tired and caught up in saying negative stuff about EVERYTHING. 

2)  My parents, Momzilla and Dadzilla.  For starters, they’re both still alive and healthy – a rare thing for ‘zillas as old as they are, having created so many wonderful eggs and nurtured them all to adulthood.  And they both love me to the very best of their abilities, despite long distances and the occasional parent-daughter skirmish.  I bear the scars of their upbringing, but hey, I’ve got talons too, and they bear the scars of mine – yet we still love each other.  Oh, now I’ve gone and got salty tears all over my twinset.

3)  My job.  Of course I can’t give you details (top secret!), but I do love the work I do, and I appreciate my coworkers, who are all, to a ‘zilla, good cold-hearted beasts.  In fact, one of my colleagues just came in and helped me put a lot of my concerns into perspective. 

So perhaps that’s a piece of advice to add to counting one’s blessings:  maybe it’s most important to talk to someone else and say, “Help me.  I’m feeling so depressed.”  It helps so much to know I’m not alone! 

Look at that, I just got perky again!  :-)



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Olympic Madness!

As we approach this year’s Summer Olympics closing ceremony, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on how lucky you humans are to have such a wonderful tradition.  In The Deep, we have our version of the Olympics, but it’s limited to watersports and, frankly, we don’t get the same worldwide participation that you land-based creatures do.  I guess it’s just too far to travel, especially for the little fellas like Marvella the Magnificent here (shown winning a footrace against Nigel back in 2009):

 (photo by David Doubilet, used with permission)

Also, it can be pretty hard to see in The Deep (given the lack of sunlight), so as spectator sports go, we’re limited to bioluminescent competitors.  This was our 2010 Water Javelin gold medalist, Ksimu:

Ksimu (photo courtesy NOAA) 

 Some of the shallow-water folks host some good Games, though!  Heck, even when they’re not officially competing on the water-world stage, the dolphin, shark, and whale synchronized swimming teams are amazing to watch.  (I get to check them out now and then as I de-pressurize on my visits to the surface.)  In fact, the Bottle-Nosed Dolphins’ first queen, Beverly, was the one to bring back word of your Olympics in 1896 or ’97, not long after the first Games were held in Athens.  (Her pod summered off of Mesagros until the shipping lanes got too dangerous.)  The dolphins have been perfecting their synchro jumps and accompanying songs ever since.  Really, they’re unbeatable.

 So the point of all this is to say, “Gosh darn it, you humans are great!”  (See?  I said I like people.)  What a great idea, to put together some international détente for a couple of weeks and take some time to honor the amazing things that you can do.  Really nice.  I wish I could shrink down to less-than-building size, come into a bunch of money, and actually attend one.  But until that happens, I guess I’ll just wait for the next coastline Olympics and watch from a safe distance.  If you hear my scream floating in across the water, it’s out of joy!

PS:  My beloved GroomZilla will roll his eyes at this, but… Ryan Lochte.  *sigh*

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This morning, it began.  My dear friend Übermilf and I agreed to walk a mile each day this August.  Admittedly, this is harder for me than for her, since I must struggle against massive water resistance and she can lightly frolic in the clear blue air… but I have a powerful tail to help me, so we’ll call it even.

Ubie was the first of my friends to blog, and she inspires me.  You can find her blog here.  She is feisty, thoughtful, sardonic – all rolled up in a crunchy yet buttery-sweet shell.  It’s a wonder I haven’t eaten her all up yet.

So as I half-walked, half-swam my mile this morning, still half-asleep, I thought about Ubie and her blog.  I thought, and thought, and decided that, you know what?  Bridezilla can say things, too!

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

1)      I like people.

2)      Even when I don’t like people, I *want* to like people.

3)      People like me – as long as I’m dressed nicely and keeping my rawrs at a conversational level.

4)      I don’t like stomping on buildings and screaming fire at people who are afraid of me.  But sometimes, that’s who I have to be.  It’s hell on a pedicure.

And that, my new friends, is Bridezilla Speaking.

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