I look around me right now and I see a lot of people hurting. Some are my fellow bloggers and RA fans; others are friends and acquaintances from my own community. Sometimes it’s physical, sometimes it’s emotional, spiritual, mental or some combination thereof. Whatever the case may be, the pain is genuine. I am thinking of you all early this Monday morning.
My husband is battling a bad cold; he hardly rests well when he isn’t ill, but it’s even worse now when he needs a good night’s sleep the most. Knowing he has to drag himself into work and to a job he pretty much hates anyway doesn’t help. I want to take the cold away (without catching it), but all I can really do is try to do what I can to make him feel better without fussing too much. The man has a real stoic streak.
My younger friend, who was actually a student of mine before she transferred to another school, is battling major anxieties. She’s had quite a struggle in recent years, losing both her parents, then having her brother wrestle away the family business and proceed to run it into the ground before walking away. Now it’s shuttered and she is left to try to pick up the pieces.
Friend was so hungry one day she was rummaging through restaurant garbage cans to find something to eat. It took every dollar I had at the time to buy us a meal out together at a local bakery/deli, but it was worth it because (A) I knew she had a good hot meal and (B) she knew I really did care and she had someone to talk to who’d really listen, even if I certainly didn’t have all the answers.
Sometimes I feel wretchedly inadequate in helping my community. I was all too painfully aware of it over the holidays, that season of giving. I don’t have much money to spare to donate to worthy causes; I am not able-bodied enough to invest much sweat equity in projects. But I can listen. And isn’t that what people quite often want, someone who will simply be there for them?
Friend finally got a job after a lot of fruitless searching, but she was put on third shift and the idea of running a gas station alone in the dark of night this week terrifies her. She suffers from periodic panic attacks and can’t take her prescribed drugs and work without fear of drowsiness.
So we talked again tonight via FB private message. I still haven’t solved all her problems, but she thanked me for listening. I also promised to pray for her and try to check in on her at work if I was awake myself.
I don’t attend church regularly anymore, but I do still pray for the needs of others and for guidance for myself. I do believe it helps. I have felt people praying for me in recent weeks and it has benefited me.
Some of the gray weight of depression has shifted, with light beginning to shine through the cracks. That is a true blessing.
I was asked to write a new column for the paper this week. A sliver of light. Several friends from miles away reached out to help me in a tangible way last week, and the light certainly grew brighter. Thank you all so very, very much.
I am looking into some online opportunities to write for pay. A little brighter still. I am about to undertake a self-paced photography course which should benefit me personally as well as professionally. The desire to write is again stirring within me. I want to be creative. want to explore. I want to give back.
I have ordered a copy of my favorite children’s book to donate to my alma mater’s school library as part of the SpReAd the Love February Challenge (more on that later). I’ve encouraged all my book-loving friends on Facebook to do the same. I encourage you to consider doing it, too! We all know books are the gift that keeps on giving.
In my own small, flawed and very human way, I truly do want to make the world a better place. I wish I could give all of you a great big hug right now. I can’t, but I can share some images of Mr. A’s chaRActers doing just that. Be well, and for those of you facing more nasty winter weather as we are, stay warm and safe.