Christmas lights, colors, and festivities put many people in a happy mood . But now those decorations and festivities are gone for another year and depression is setting in. I’d like to take the time here to discuss this topic.
Depression is often caused from looking inward and most of us aren’t thrilled with what we see. When I look inside, I see someone with lots of flaws -overweight, inattentive to detail, poor housekeeper, etc. – who continually makes mistakes and if I kept looking inside the depression cycle would start. But I am choosing to make those mistakes stepping stones in my learning.
Instead I am choosing to lift my head and look out. And when I do, I see so many local needs and while most are not of my calling, a few are. I have skills in the sewing world that can lighten another’s load. We do a decent garden in the summer to share. And I can always share a smile, lend an ear, and be friendly. Some people only need a cheery word while others need more. In the past I have made items for hospitals, street people, military vets to name some. This year, in addition, I’ll be looking for chances to be of help in a more personal way.
I recently learned of some mothers I know who are in a lot of pain because of their children’s actions. Been there, done that, so maybe I can help share their pain and ease their burdens. No one should have to feel alone going through hard times. Yet because we don’t share, we do suffer alone.
Even in our churches we have a lot of lonely people. Maybe once a month I could invite half a dozen people over for lunch after church. Do you think they would care if my house was not spotless, or the meal was a simple plant based one? Would it matter to them that I don’t do “House Beautiful” or maybe that I have more earthly goods than they do? In the past, I have not invited people because of these reasons. I have been to conscious of what people might think of me. This year I am choosing to think of their needs. I am choosing to think they would rather have a friendly visit than critique my housekeeping skills or simple meal. If that’s not the case, they can turn me down. I expect nothing in return, but if they accept, both of us will be blessed.
What about the lonely older people, especially those in nursing homes. I remember when Dad was in the nursing home, his roommate had no company. I took Dad a simple fleece blanket and almost as an afterthought decided to bring his roommate one as well. Simple, but he liked being cared about. I wonder – would have to ask first – but would nursing homes like a simple decorations for the tables or trays for the holidays – something that could be disposable – that says, someone cares. And if I brought a few inexpensive fleece blankets in happy colors, would they have patients without someone to love them who would be thrilled to be thought of And I wonder if they have someone there that just needs to be read to. Another personal touch which people enjoy. Life is fast and if you don’t keep up, sometimes you are forgotten.
I remember the Christmas I was in the hospital over the holidays. When I returned to my room Christmas day, there on my bed was a bright red hat and mittens. OK they were the dollar type – nothing fancy. But the donor will never know how they cheered me and though I didn’t need them and have much nicer items, it mattered that someone cared to include me. I wore them until they wore out. They reminded me someone cared. It may seem silly because I have a large family who cares and gave me nice Christmas gifts. There were two other gifts that stand out that year and both were because someone said “I care” with their time.
I’d like to continue another time and would like your thoughts as well