A silly donut. That’s all I could think about when I woke up yesterday. My mouth was watering for one but the thought of venturing out in the cold to actually get one put a big halt in my plans. I went about my day but still had fleeting thoughts about how good that donut would taste. Around noon I checked my email and to my surprise there was a message to check my mailbox. In there, I found the sweetest surprise. Are you ready for this? All the way in the back was a tiny brown bag and when I looked inside….a donut. A neighbor of mine decided to share a small act of kindness and left it there for me to enjoy. The funny part? She had no idea I wanted a donut yesterday. I asked the Universe for a donut and it literally delivered it to my mailbox. Share the kindness and make someone smile today. I know this tiny donut made my day. Time to pay it forward.
Healing. Every tragic storm is followed by the most beautiful sunrise. It may take days or weeks but eventually the clouds disappear and the warmth of the sun melts the most bitter cold.
I’ve suffered from depression for a few years now. There was a time when I didn’t believe I would ever feel a moments worth of happiness again. In fact, I wasn’t sure I would ever feel anything at all again. The guilt that came along with that swallowed me whole. In my mind, I didn’t think I had anything to be depressed about. My life was good so why didn’t it feel that way to me? Slowly but surely my life has come full circle. I have fought my way back and my heart feels so full today as I sit here in the pickup line at school counting my endless blessings. I am me again and I am so grateful that time has healed the pain that temporarily found a home inside of me.
The most important lesson that came out of this dark time is that I am not in control. I will never be in control and I had to make peace with knowing that is a reality. There will be things I want to change in my life but dwelling on them and resisting something that is just going to be does not change the reality of the circumstances. I had to live in my own uncertainty. I had to find calm in my own discomfort. Anxiety became a normal that I was forced to live with and I learned to breathe there. Sometimes we do not understand what is happening to us but there comes a moment where we trust that in the end, everything really will be okay. In that place I found myself again but even more importantly I found an unshakeable faith that carries me through the happiest and darkest days. My sun is out and I can feel it shining right through me and onto others. I pray the sun comes up for you as well. It is there, I promise but sometimes it is just hidden behind an innocent cloud. Try and feel the warmth until the day you finally see it again. It may not be tomorrow but eventually it will come back out.
My daughter loves to sing. Not the soft, beautiful singing that soothes your soul but rather hard on the ears, top of your lungs, screeching with passion kind of singing. My ears actually hurt as she belted out her favorite Frozen tune. Let it Go she bellowed through the house. Immediately I softened. I realized, in that moment, that soon my house would grow eerily quiet. Not the kind of silence I would welcome but one that would remind me how empty the house will be. Next year during this time she will be off to college and I will be longing for her to return for Christmas break. It’s easy to lose track of time and what’s important. There are days my life flashes in front of my eyes and I ache for the certainty of what once was. I picture her chubby little face, messy pigtails and sweet little Barney songs. I miss her crawling in my lap or in the tub everytime I would take a bath. I miss her big, brown, sparkly eyes and the wonder each time she would discover something new. Her eyes are more serious now but I am grateful for her playful spirit. She has fallen down a few times but is still brave enough to run full speed ahead. She is unafraid and confident and fully engaged in every moment. I pray that never changes.
Today, look around you and really see your blessings. Enjoy every person and every moment and remember that we can never know what tomorrow may bring. I know this holiday season is bitter sweet. This is the last year that the only normal I have ever known will only exist for a few months more. Today I will look a little longer, love a whole lot deeper and feel the gratitude in my heart. Today I will not take anything for granted. I long to hold onto her just a moment longer.
We all need that one person who is always there in our time of need. Recently for me, that someone has come on the form of a seventeen year old girl who has been tutoring my son through algebra and now geometry. It’s amazing how one small person can make an enormous difference in someone’s life. Not only does she help him get through worksheets and exams but she takes a tremendous amount of stress and worry off my hands. So tonight, on this last day of November, I am grateful for this girl and hope she finds someone as reliable in her own life as she has been in ours. What are you grateful for tonight?
Today I will not get angry, frustrated or stressed about the things I have no control over. I will find the humor in the most challenging situations, even this one. There are many things I can live with that my mind tells me I can’t. The sky is not falling. The cat in the tree is not the end of the world and this picture will give me something to laugh about one day. Maybe today will be the day. Thank you cat for putting things in perspective for me. Everyone is a lesson. Every experience is a chance to react in a new way.
I love this time of year. I just feel better in every way possible. I have more energy. I feel happy and my depression seems to go into hibernation. I love giving and sharing and family and just the thought of Christmas makes everything inside of me feel a little tingle. I also make a concerted effort to see God in the people who are the most challenging for me. I actively try and be the better person I long to be and every minute that goes by, opens my heart a little bit more. That being said, I often have to protect myself from negativity and people who have bad attitudes and bad intentions. I just turn them off, say a small prayer for them and disengage. Feeling good is rare these days. There is so much around us constantly trying to suck the happiness out. Somehow this time of year I am able to find that sweet spot that some might call balance. How do you feel this time of year? Why?
I do believe we don’t have to look very hard to find something we need to work on. The last few days have taught me that no matter how we respond to something, the end result will remain the same. I used to freak out over things and I guess I probably still do but I am desperately trying to get better at staying calm. Every night I calmly remind myself that even though the sky may appear to be falling, it is really safely in place. I am actively focusing on not making things a bigger deal than they need to be. Last week, my dryer broke. Not the best timing right before a holiday but what could I do? A few days later my car broke down and needed a new battery. That same day we bought a computer that resulted in making forty minute trips to and from the store for three consecutive days to find out our brand new computer was oddly broken. I could have been crazy but I quietly repeated to myself, the sky is not falling. Sometimes we have to wade our way through some temporary setbacks until eventually life gets back to being as normal as possible. It can be exhausting waiting for the normal to roll back around but fighting against what is will not benefit anyone. Why spend precious time having a bad attitude when the only thing that will do is make everyone around us miserable. One thing is certain, we can work on having a healthy reaction to the unpredictable curves thrown in our direction or we can let ourselves be overcome with crazy. The choice seems simple.