this started out as a personal note, but i think i’ll just send it out into the ether, and you know who you are. if it fits, accept it, with love from a well-meaning but not always insightful mother.just thinking out loud here, don’t know that it will help. maybe you were right about inheriting depression. i hate to think of it that way, because there’s little i can do to change that, if it’s the case. i know that the weight and despair and frustration you describe are very familiar to me, but i realize in your case, you feel the added pressure of feeling you have to accomplish things before it’s ‘too late’. otherwise, what is life for? (rhetorical.) whether it’s great, extra-ordinary things, or at least the goals and standards you’ve set for yourself within a certain time-frame, you feel the time pressure and limitations acutely, and feel like you’re just not making it or accomplishing what others seem to be able to do easily, while they’re young. it’s a vicious cycle, sometimes paralyzing you into less energy or incentive, that you feel like you can’t break out of. i may not be capturing it all accurately, but i still understand your feelings of urgency, slipping, discouragement, inertia, disillusionment, despondency, or even despair. it probably doesn’t help to say, don’t compare yourself to others, or imagine that others are all that successful, where you’re not. i also would never want to suggest to lower your sights or high expectations of yourself, and end up feeling like you sold out or compromised yourself or became unremarkable. you are remarkable, and so you feel like you’re failing or being crushed when you seem to be losing your momentum or grasp on your vision. it also doesn’t help you to point out that you are accomplishing exceptional things in your personal journey, family dedication and resolve, professional trail-blazing, and inspiring influence on everyone you touch. you probably feel like you haven’t come even close to who and what you wanted to be by now. no, you should never lower your sights or give up, but times like these are sometimes an urgent message from your inner self, to stop and re-evaluate or readjust some self-demands or expectations that no longer quite fit the situation. it’s called resilience! you may not be able to totally change the circumstances, but don’t feel ashamed or less of yourself if you need to adjust and adapt in the face of stone walls. banging your head against it will just give you a very bad head injury! for which there is no coverage! probably all the above totally misses the mark, but i do feel for you, more than you know. if i knew how one climbs out of that bottomless pit of despair, i guess i would have done so by now, and maybe even become a tour guide! all i can do is be a proud, if misguided, mother who wants you to find peace and answers that i haven’t yet. life is so short and complex; you want to use it to the fullest and not just become another casualty. but life makes it so difficult! you want there to be meaning, not merely survival. you want people to look back at you and feel like you made life on earth better in some way. but sometimes all you can do is get through another day, and feel like it was a waste. i do that a lot here, and i hate it, and don’t know the way out. so all i can do is tell you that if nothing else, someone loves you and admires you and will never be the same for having been privileged to know you in some small way. please don’t give up on yourself. i know i never do!