I'm going to take a diversion from the norm today. Bear with me. I have had today's post floating in my head all night. So much so that I couldn't sleep. So here I am, approaching 4 a.m., and I'm finally typing it up, hoping it will help me and you.
There are days and weeks (or for some, months and years) that drain you completely, mind, body, and soul. These past two and a half weeks have been such for me. I'm not depressed, or on my way to being depressed; I am just drained. My gas tank only has fumes left in it. These periods in my life seem to come when I have become complacent in life, when I've gotten a little too big for my britches, or when I feel like I am finally getting life figured out. It is easy to only see the downward pull into darkness as you struggle to get through these periods, and it doesn't take much to feel like you'll never make it out again. And then you find something that you are able to hold on to. A rock. A life preserver. An extended hand. Suddenly you have a shred of motivation and hope. It can be the littlest things that can bring a ray of light to pierce the depths of frustration, sorrow, stress, self-pity, etc.
I wanted to share with you two of the little rays of light that has found me this time around, one of which is Pinterest...but I'll get to that in a minute.
I love to read. It is my escape, especially in hard and frustrating times. I love a good deep book, but sometimes I just need something light that I can lose myself in. I keep 10-15 happy and light books on my Kindle so that I can have they at my disposal anytime I need or want them. For some reason this past week, I was really drawn to one title. Pollyanna. I'd seen the movie before. I knew the story and how it goes. But for some reason I felt compelled to read Pollyanna. So I did. It was a fun, lighthearted story. I thought it would just serve as a temporary retreat, but it ended up being more. It ended up being the ray of light I needed. In the book, Pollyanna says, "You see, when you're hunting for the glad things, you sort of forget the other kind" (Porter 25). I'd also say that the reverse is true too: When you're hunting for the negative things, you sort of forget the other kind. You find what you look for. I get so fixated on the faults and frustrations in people and situations, that I forget to look for the good. "But looking for the good won't change a bad situation." I've said that before, and I know some of you are saying it now. I've started playing the "glad game," where you find something glad about everything, bad or good. My grandfather is still dead, I still don't agree with all the decisions made about summer girls camp, and there will always be the one family member who loves drama...none of those things have changed. What has changed though is my outlook. Bitterness and anger is leaving and I'm able to approach the situations with healing, with a more open mind, and with more understanding. I'm able to feel happier and more at peace.
This leads me to my social experiment I am going to conduct, and I welcome you all to try it with me. Here, straight from the pages of Pollyanna, is what I am going to test out:
"What men and women need is encouragement. Their natural resisting powers should be strengthened, not weakened...Instead of always harping on a man's faults, tell him of his virtues. Try to pull him out of his rut of bad habits. Hold up to him his better self, his REAL self that can dare and do and win out!...The influence of a beautiful, helpful, hopeful character is contagious, and my revolutionize a whole town...People radiate what is in their minds and in their hearts. If a man feels kindly and obliging, his neighbors will feel that way, too, before long. But if he scolds and scowls and criticizes-his neighbors will return scowl for scowl, and add interest!...When you look for the bad, expecting it, you will get it. When you know you will find the good-you will get that" (Porter 121).
So, something as seemingly simple as an easy to read story can end up changing your whole perspective. It can be the boost you need to jump back into life.
Sometimes I'm not in deep long drain. Sometimes we just have a draining day. A hard day at work. A rough encounter with a loved one. A harrowing day of emergencies. Sometimes you just need a good pick-me-up at the end of the day to remind you that life really isn't trying to skin you alive. I've discovered something with Pinterest that helps me out on these days, and while it may seem silly, it helps me so I'm stickin' to it. A while back I started a board called "Inspiration: Anti-Depressants". I started with about 5 good quotes and left it at that. Anytime I have a rough day I pull up that board and re-read those quotes, and then I go and find a few more things to add to the board. They can be quote I love, that motivate and uplift me. They can be photos of things that make me happy. They can be pictures that just warm my heart and make me laugh. The process of searching out pictures and quotes that make me happy warms my soul, helps to ease tension, release anger, and sooth the cockle-burrs in my heart. It sounds cheesy, and overly simple...but it works. Every single time.
Here are just a few things I have in my Anti-Depressant Board:
I seriously want to print this and hang it on my wall.
Anything orange makes me happy. Ask Em. Poor thing, anytime we're out and about together and I see something orange, I yell "Orange!" and I have to look at it. I just makes me happy.
|original source unknown, but this cracks me up every single time. I love every bit of this.|
I sometimes even pin pictures of my sweetheart and I. He makes me happy. I love this photo of us, just being silly in the beautiful snow. It brings up good memories.
|Etsy says, "Uh oh! Sorry, the item listing you are looking for does not exist." but this photo did once come from some awesome Etsy shop.|
So there you have it. My take on the world this morning. Worth everything that you paid for it. I hope it helped someone, but if not...this helped me. Thanks for being my therapist.
(Porter, Eleanor H. Pollyanna. Public Domain. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com)