April 5, 2007

Is Sad Bad?

Click HERE to see the video I made for you. I planted tulip bulbs last fall in places that weren't suppose to have flowers. A dove has been setting in a nest with no eggs - Jim says she's staking it out; and our Golden looks through the posts from her balcony porch. You'll understand the Dr. Pepper cans when you read this story.
Put on those dancing shoes...

If you've already read this once, I changed the title and the beginning.

I'm absolutely positive that depression permeates the earth! It must to be in the air we breathe, or maybe the water we drink, but it surrounds the population of this planet. Maybe even a few animals too, but we dismiss that as ‘road kill”.

I want to address this feeling most of us get once in a while that causes us to question our faith or to care less about a bad hair day (whichever fits). Few actually boast of feeling sad and morose. Most prefer to be left alone in the sad corner of their 'worry-world". Those who go around being grumpy and unhappy don’t have a large following of friends, and don’t attract much attention, even though they might wish they could!

While I have envisioned the “Great Escape” a couple times when I felt alone and afraid, today I’m talking about that nagging feeling of a restlessness and slight anger at the entire world for things not working out the way we wish.

I maintain that depression, if handled well, spurs us to do things that make us feel better. Hopefully, our mates and friends haven’t given up on us during the process!

Dessert after dinner. A new hairstyle. Favorite TV programs. Pet cats and dogs. (Some countries eat them.) Think about it. If we all felt incredibly happy beyond words, would we rely on these forms of attachment to make us feel special and/or happy?

Our actions constantly motivate us toward that path of total carefree contentment and encompassing happiness! For some, it’s the simple walk in nature to ease the hold of slight forbidding, and bring light into the world again. Others must pull themselves up by the bootstraps and force a cheerfulness they don't feel until they do feel better.

Most of us don’t have a clue about what is tugging us in different directions or pulling us down. Preachers say it is a lack of religion and/or God. Scientists argue it is something unseen. Psychologists believe it is how we were raised. Nurses insist it's in the pull of the full moon! The list is as long as we are intelligent!

We agree that most of us are living ‘in the moment’. Most of us agree that we can’t change the past, nor can we affect the future. So, why try to live for either one?

We live for the moment…Catering to a loving pet instills a feeling of belonging and contentment. A serious hobby creates a glow of good vibes. Playing music is comforting. Planning for a big vacation is rewarding. Refurnishing a room brings pride. Painting a picture feels peaceful. Shopping is fun! Watching movies. Playing games. Talking on the phone to a good friend is comforting. Reading a good book opens new worlds and erases time. Writing is healing. Helping others and volunteering buys satisfaction. Building a new house offers security. Opening up a savings account promotes a feeling of accomplishment.

I propose our life is made up of millions of ‘happy moments’ to bridge the gap of what is and what was.

Today I noticed four empty cans of Dr. Pepper (diet, of course) sitting on the table next to my favorite chair. Suddenly I thought to myself, “Linda. You’re depressed! Look at all these cans of your ‘comfort food’.”

After a quick analyzing moment, I realized I was actually reaching for those cold cans of drink because I’m suffering from a bad sore throat. The cold drink feels good to my throat and it’s easy – and comforting! (And, now that Jim is working all day, he isn’t picking up after me so much.)

But, more than all those excuses. Popping open a can of Dr. Pepper is an addiction like smoking or opening a bottle of beer to an addict. I’m sure of it, but haven’t found the urgent need to fight one more “bad-for-me” thing in this life!

Even my dog recognizes this ‘comfort sound’ of opening a can of pop, and she comes to me tail a'wagging to lie at my feet. (Of course, scratching her tummy with my toes might be in her expectations too.)

This morning I took pictures of some spring flowers around the apartment complex where we live. (I'm proud of the tulips because I planted them, and the groundskeeper didn't dig them up!) I wondered why I really did that. Of course, the thought was to post the pictures on the blogsite for others to enjoy. Of course, it made me feel good to plan something nice for my readership. But, what if I wasn’t going to share these pictures with anyone? What if I was the only person living on earth? Would these pictures make me feel just as good? Why not just walk out and enjoy the moment for myself, and not feel the urge to tell or share with anyone else? We want to share so we can be accepted. We do things that make us feel good; to climb up from where we find ourselves at this moment.

Maybe if we could analyze our every moment, we would be shocked at how much time is spent planning for future happy moments.

For those who still believe in a golden, glorious heaven to come, how about living in a place where you feel so good inside, there’s nothing you could do that would make you any happier? Would we be bored to death? Could we wish for more?

Do you honestly know anyone who is actually that happy? If you say yes, I believe you are lying to yourself and to me. (Or, a little unbalanced too…)

Those who sing loudly to themselves as they walk down the street, we label as crazy. Not normal. Retarded. Silly. Those who boast of having riches and happiness are ridiculed in private. Yep, we have to be depressed or we don’t fit in!

I've discovered the best way to "fit in" at work is to find fault and make fun of others. To find negative things to say about the boss or complain about the company. Joyful employees don't stay around very long! People expect 'normal' people to be unhappy about something!

I urge you to hang on to whatever happy moments you can find along this earthly journey! If singing in the shower makes you feel happy, then let it out at the top of your lungs! If planting a garden is part of your genetic makeup, then please drop everything and plant that garden. If listening to music and reading a good book opens up the happy part of your heart, make time for those moments and DARE anybody or anything to take that from you.

If sharing makes you feel good, why not share? If finding good things in life help make your journey more pleasant, than find good things!

Loving someone else and bringing them pleasure, is an act I believe was created somewhere in time to make us feel a part of the universe and somewhat related to that mysterious ‘heaven’.

Once I stood on the top of that mountain of Faith and Godliness and shared it with everyone I met. But it was like the new growth of spring. The small flower that blooms overnight. The birth of baby birds in a nest. The sight of geese honking in harmony as they fly overhead. All of this moves on into the next season…and I am left with the wilted plant, the baby bird that fell from the nest and the fading sounds of geese flying into the sunset. (And the unexpected return of winter to kill the joy of spring!)

My faith must keep me sure that the next season will bring it’s own rewards and time will remember that I enjoyed each moment and shared that joy with someone. Always reaching for something better to share.

Most of all, be gentle with those who must fight harder than others to reach the sky and feel the sunshine. I’ll bet that if you could see beyond the stony wall of grumpiness and fury at an invisible hell, it will be worth it all to have reached out with understanding and love.

Today I got two cards in the mail. One was from my sister, Allison, who usually makes contact at Christmas time, and one from a long-time schoolmate and friend, Johnnie. Who knew a few days ago that those cards would bring so much cheer today when I’m feeling sick with the flu and grumpy about the cold weather?

Remember that no one is as happy as they say they are, and all of us need a little push up the next step.

I hope this has not been too lengthy and has made a little difference to someone.

If you haven't done so, click HERE to enjoy the Springtime in Ohio video and dance to the HAPPY little tune I posted at my new spot on the YouTube. A FIRST for me.
PS...For an even better treat, view some others at the same site. Awesome tulip video's there!

Take Care on the Journey,


Katy said...

Hi Mama Linda,
I'm sorry that you're feeling depressed but hopefully things will look up for you with some time off work for centering and finding what makes you happiest. I'm eager to watch your video but I can't access it at work. Talk to you soon,

Linda M. said...

Hi Katy,
Thanks for caring...

For clarification, I'm not feeling depressed, but I am sick with a sore throat and bad cough. (The return of winter didn't help either!) I've been wanting to write a story about depression for some time and this was a good time.

Perhaps I have a tendency to drift there (feeling down) easier than some; and sometimes I wonder if I passed that on to my children; but I always try to rise higher and learn from the experience so I can have empathy for others who feel the same way.

A change in work hours will give me time to refocus on things I enjoy (such as writing).

Love, Mama Linda