Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘depression’

GRATITUDE JOURNAL

January — grey skies, freezing temperatures, cold wind — it is enough to make anyone depressed. Blue skies, sun, green grass — hiding for days. Various vitamins, teas haven’t helped. Since I’m trying to regain some of my flexibility, I’ve committed to exercising EVERYDAY, except for Sunday. I haven’t seen a decrease in weight, and depending on the day, I’m not seeing a change in flexibility yet. But I have just started — I’m not giving up yet. I will admit that the soreness in my knees isn’t helping.

Recently we were at Wal-Mart and I happened to find a daily planner that had pictures to color. At first I wasn’t going to buy it. I already have two journals that I use on a daily basis. I have an inner reflections calendar that tracks the day of the week. It has lovely photos and inspirational sayings. I use it to write down important happenings of the day. I’ve used a new version of the planner for many years.

I also have a weekly/monthly planner in which I log doctor appointments, planned travel and other important notes. It has facing pages for the month — easy to see when we have plans for a specific period of time. I log the titles of my blog — trying to make sure I have something written. The daily pages I use to note the food I have eaten, how many steps I have walked and how much I have slept. I don’t use calorie counts or measurements on the food. That might explain why my weight is staying the same. This is the third year that I have searched for this particular planner. I’ve discovered that having the month in my face helps, especially since now I log in my husbands sugar numbers. It has allowed me to change doctor’s appointments when we have had a conflict.

Since I have these two books — why do I need another? I put the book back on the shelf and explored other spending opportunities. Checking off items on my shopping list, I remembered something my husband wanted. After I found the item, I found myself back in the aisle that had the planner. No surprise, it was in my hand, and checked out at the cashier. I still didn’t know why I was picking it up.

What to do with the new planner? I’ve decided to try something new. I’ve decided to make this planner my gratitude journal. I log in my exercise for the day and earn the opportunity to color a bit of the picture. The space for writing is very small. Sometimes I can easily fill in all the lines. Sometimes I’m digging for anything to write. I’ll admit that almost each day of my life contains something to be grateful for. Especially if I’m out and about. I might be in the right place, at the right time to help someone. I might hear a bird or meet a neighbor. I don’t always remember. Writing them down helps. If the day has been quite, If nothing else, I can always write down that I woke up. I will also admit that I don’t feel the need to finish coloring the picture.

I haven’t been doing this long enough to know if it helps with depression but it is a start.

ICE

There is no warning — doctor’s appointment, test results, accident — nothing like that, life is normal — no warning that I’m walking on ice and I’m about to fall through. All of a sudden I find myself in this black hole that I can’t crawl out of. The news on TV doesn’t help. Actually I try to avoid the news but it finds me. Policeman killed in Texas, Hundreds killed in France, Police killed in Louisiana — the world in which we live desperately needs the HELP OF GOD. Or has He/She given up on us. I DON’T BELIEVE THAT FOR AN INSTANT.

Normally when I find myself in a black hole, I avoid people and definitely WRITING. How can I stay positive? How can I write anything of value that would help either myself or others? Interesting questions — NO ANSWERS or are they? This morning getting ready for church I opened the bible to: Isaiah 49: 9 ” saying to the prisoners: “Come out.”

Good! I will admit that this didn’t necessarily help me. Come out from where? Am I a prisoner? But it is my custom to read the whole chapter. “The Lord called me from birth.” I will admit that gave me pause. I’ve read this before, and usually think “I’m in trouble now!” Did it HELP? I am sure it probably did — because I’m sharing this ramble with you rather than hiding under the mess of stuff that is my life. Recently a person about to retire shared his plans with me — he has two pensions which he is banking. He plans to work another year before he retires to Phoenix where his grandchildren live. I’ll admit that sounded wonderful, maybe? This gentleman sounded like he liked to go places. My husband likes to drive but he is particular about the food he eats. When we were in Texas he DID NOT LIKE THE FOOD available there. Traveling with him is interesting unless I’m doing the cooking. Are we supposed to travel — good question? How? We lost our motor home in the tornado last year.

Now I’ve stated before that I do not hear or see “my friends in high places.” But they get their messages to me anyway. Recently I’ve been getting hit on the head A LOT. It might be because I have not been writing.

Whatever the reason, it is comforting to me that I have “help” in higher places. Recently we were at the camper and I noticed a woman pushing an enclosed stroller. As I passed by I noticed she had dogs for passengers. I just had to stop and talk to her. I’m glad that I did. She noticed my shoes and told me of a source of the shoes I was wearing. A) I found them comfortable. B) I didn’t think they were expensive and didn’t know how I would get more. Question solved. Just a little “help.” As you can tell, I NEED ALL THE “HELP” — I can get.

AGE

In the past, my age didn’t bother me. I actually had to stop and think — “How old am I?” when asked my age. Depending on the day I felt anywhere from 10 to 100. Sadly that time has passed for the time being. I’m feeling my age and I DON’T LIKE IT! I don’t know what specifically has caused that change in my attitude. Depression — possibly. Too much weight? The tornado? The damage to my shoulder — unable to exercise like I used to? It could be one of the above or all might be adding to the mix.

I used to be able to lift a box of water off of the display and put it in my grocery cart. They have increased the size of their package from 36 to 40 16 oz bottles. I don’t remember if I could lift the 36 but I know I can’t lift the 40. I wait for a stronger male to assist me if my husband isn’t with me. Recently a younger female asked if I wanted a case and easily picked it up and put it in my cart. I remembered when I could do that. Of course that was before I injured my shoulder. I’m grateful that my shoulder seems to be healing — I have more range of motion without pain but I still don’t have the strength back.

Reaching for stuff is becoming harder. I’m shrinking — an inch or two is gone. Stuff on the top shelf or at the back is next to impossible to reach. I look for a tall person. At home I use my grandchildren’s step or a ladder. I’m rearranging my shelves. The day will come in the not to far future when my grandchildren will be taller than me. Stretching exercises are NOT helping me to keep my height.

There are some things that I can do. I can lose weight. (Right now it loves me and doesn’t want to leave.) I can exercise more and strengthen my arms. I can concentrate on the positive things in my life and not spend as much time on the negative. Some things are impossible — I CANNOT REGAIN MY YOUTH OR MY HEIGHT.

I constantly meet people who are in their 90’s with good quality of life. That is my goal — not necessarily reaching 90 — God’s plan, not mine.

BATTERED

I’ve often thought of myself as a ship, sailing the open seas, at the mercy of the wind and the tides, directed by a Supreme Being. I have to confess that this ship feels battered. Since the beginning of summer, my life has been anything but smooth water. Thankfully nothing extremely serious, my family is well, we have shelter and food on the table BUT many, many strong waves have tried to drown me.

I thought I was coping well when the tornado struck. Thankfully we were at home, not in the path of destruction. I don’t try to remember stuff that surfaces that unsettles me. I have NOT taken photos of the damage caused by the storm, except on our own property. It is too sad to see the sunny roads that were once sheltered by trees. I don’t need to remember the effects of the strong winds. If I were to try to list all of the challenges and problems I would have to think, and write them down. I don’t need to remember them, you don’t need to read about them. I will admit that I was happy when June ended. I mistakenly thought that waters would be calmer, smooth sailing. I WAS WRONG. More rough seas ahead. More challenges, more obstacles — even our trip to Florida for our granddaughter’s wedding had huge waves.

Then thankfully came August — but NOT smooth seas. A favorite restaurant announced it was closing, as did the garage that works on our car. Health concerns for members of my husband’s family surfaced. Now I’m sure that “my friend’s in high places” have been busy — “helping.” I’m also sure that I didn’t write down the many times I received their help and said “thank you!”

I looked at the thought rambles that I’ve written and realized that nothing was scheduled to publish. I’ve been so busy trying to keep my head above water that I haven’t taken the time to write, to share. When I had so many ideas for thought rambles, I wondered if that meant my life would be busy. That I wouldn’t have time to write. I guess that is true. Day by day, week by week, month by month — time passes. I’ll leave the passing of time in the hands of the Supreme Being and keep trying to do the best I can!

LOOKING BACK

LOOKING BACK

Time passes so quickly — minuets, hours, days, months, years quickly pass. Sometimes we notice the passage of time, especially when a birthday occurs and we notice we have added another year to our age. My last birthday a friend mentioned that I would notice the passage of time, and she was right.

Driving to meet my friend the other day, I watched a person on cross country skies in a park, gliding through the snow. It brought back wonderful memories. What I didn’t want to remember was my age at the time — my mantra for that year was “life begins at forty.” I still have my skies, but I don’t know if I would have the courage to put them on. My body isn’t as flexible as it was then and my weight is up. I don’t look forward to putting on skies to play in the snow. To be honest, I don’t look forward to snow either.

Looking back I remember other activities that have fallen by the wayside. I used to paint in oils. I haven’t had them out in years but they are waiting for me. I have tried watercolor — not as successfully and acrylics. I haven’t invested the time needed to become proficient — of course unless the paintings were good enough to sell, I don’t have wall space to display them.

Looking back — I was also involved in storytelling. I was a member of a guild and regularly attended storytelling events. Although I still tell stories to people who cross my path that need them, I don’t see myself becoming a professional storyteller. Because of that realization, I have parted with many of the books of fables and stories that I had hoped to use. The stories I tell are personal, they travel with me — I keep them in my pocket — always available.

Looking back — I have two sewing machines that were often in motion. I haven’t had the desire to sew anything in a few years but I’m not ready to say I have stopped. I haven’t had either my knitting needles or crochet hook out either. I still have yarn but haven’t seen anything that has inspired me.

If I’m honest, I have to admit that more has changed in my body than just age, and my flexibility and weight. My fingers don’t have the ability to work with small items, my eyes need stronger glasses and more light. When I start counting the negative changes that age and extra weight have caused in my life, I either see a person whose body is giving them more challenges than mine — cane, wheelchair or motorized scooter or a story of someone’s health challenges crosses my path. Often, that person is much younger than myself.

Time passes so quickly — it will soon be the anniversary of my father’s birthday and his passing. More than 20 years have gone by and thankfully he and others on the other side are still a part of my life.

ARCHIEVE

There is a saying that curiosity killed the cat — but I’m not a cat. I wondered what my weight was when I last went to Hawaii. I wondered how long I was able to keep my weight off the last time I was successful. I wondered what my body thought my set weight is. I wondered how much weight I had lost. I wasn’t happy with the numbers.

The last time I went to Hawaii, my weight was were it is right now. That isn’t a bad thing, I fit in the plane seat then. But it isn’t were I want to be. My back was hurting when I spent too much time on my feet baking cookies this Christmas. Looking back at my calendars, I learned that my set weight is were it is right now. Again, that is not what I want. I wondered why I wasn’t able to keep my weight down after I had lost 10 pounds and learned that I had fallen into a deep depression.

So the question is what am I going to do with this knowledge. Some of the information explains why I’m not losing weight right now. I have to get out of the muck, sleep better and get some energy. The strength exercises are helping my sore arm. I’m not slathering it with as much cream — I’m not taking as much pain medicine. I might be getting some strength back in my arm but I have to admit that I’m not testing it.

I decided that I needed to amp up my exercise — then I pulled something in my right leg. It is not too much of a problem when I’m awake, but when I try to sleep it makes its presence known. My favorite positions are now uncomfortable. I’m trying not to make the problem worse which means that I have scaled back my exercise.

I’ll admit that I haven’t gone back to the diet that was so successful last year. I don’t want to give up some of the food that wasn’t allowed. I’m also making more meals that all my family will eat — not cooking separate meals just for me. The bad news is this idea isn’t helping me to lose weight. There will be four birthday celebrations over the next month. The celebrations are always hard for my weight management. I’m not giving up yet, but I haven’t come up with a good solution either.

MUCK

MUCK

Gooey, slippery, smothering — muck. It is hard to get out of it — it grabs hold and doesn’t let go. Sometimes there is a reason for it. Rain causes the ground to become a muddy mess. That wasn’t the kind of muck I was stuck in. AND THERE WAS NO REASON FOR IT. I had been trying to lose weight — unsuccessfully. The weather, although moderate wasn’t to blame. No snow — temperatures above zero — I was able to get out of the house, safely take Robin for a walk. Thankfully no serious health problems or money problems. Okay, not enough money to go on a shopping spree but again, thankfully, no bill collectors calling on the phone.

Grey skies or if you prefer gray skies — the good news — kept the temperature up — I tried to convince myself to be happy for the blanket — warmer weather. I missed the sun, the blue skies. I exercised — I even added strength training. I tried meditating — no progress.

To make matters worse, my memory took a vacation. I’m usually good at writing checks, remembering to pay bills. The muck affected my ability to think. I won’t bore you with some of my mistakes, hopefully it isn’t long lasting. Our car needed a repair and I miswrote the check not once but two times. I went to the bank the same day — that was definitely a mistake. Thankfully the clerk was very helpful. I thought my forgetfulness was past until I totally screwed up when it came to filing our paperwork to save money on our taxes. Thankfully I discovered my mistake in time and was able to get the paperwork downtown before the file date.

Depression? Winter Blues? I don’t have a clue. I don’t have any energy — I have the time to make some progress on our house but no desire to do anything. I wandered to the store on Saturday — I met a member of our church. She shared the news that a parishioner had gone into the hospital for surgery and something went wrong, she had just attended his funeral. We should be glad we are still here. And I am — I just want to get out of the muck. The week before, at the store again, a woman ahead of me confided that the calorie count for exercise on the program I’m using to try to lose weight is high. And I thought that allowed me to eat a few more calories. WRONG!

Still trying, but some results would be nice.

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