Most of you know how I feel about January, 2013 so far. I think it has been a real asshole to many. Between sickness, a few losses to Cancer, bitter cold, bad news and other untimely aggravations, it's almost gotten the best of me.
Most of you also know that the reason I started this blog over a year ago was to make my corner of the world, or even my contribution to the world, a few funnies when you need them. A silly story here, an outrageous opinion there, nothing too serious, some random thoughts, some relatable content. I'm not trying to get rich with the pennies that I've accumulated over 13 months, nor do I think I will write the next Oprah book club selection. I'm just trying to reach people like me who might have had a shitty day, need a giggle, know they're not alone. Nothing more, nothing less. Simplicity.
Yesterday I worked, got the kids to and from where they needed to be and sat down for my daily session on Facebook. As I scrolled through updates and posts, one common trend stuck out. Admins banning people who had nasty comments, people contradicting a joke that was posted, commenters looking for a fight or a reason to put someone down, people judging each other - etc. It all weighed heavily on my shoulders. Granted, I see this kind of stuff all of the time and have learned to scroll, ignore, delete, move along - whatever self -defense mechanisms I've learned through this gig, I've implemented. But yesterday was different. Yesterday felt like it was too much to bear. I slammed my computer shut as if to close the door on every mean person out there and had that random thought pop in my head to just walk away from all of it. Unplug. Quit. Stop trying. Give in. Let 'them' win. Evil Finally Beats Good was the headline running through my mind. Instead of going to the pantry to look for every salty, crunchy snack to stand there and graze on until the feelings passed (and instead replaced with feelings of guilt from the bingefest), I got my workout gear on and hit the treadmill. And I ran. And every time I wanted to stop, I got mad and pushed through it. FOUR miles later I was wiped. I walked a bit more to cool down and I did a mental check, and the thoughts had subsided. Wow. This feels good. A big exhale and I got off the treadmill and jumped in the shower. All of the anger washed down the drain - I even thought of some funny things somewhere between the 2nd shampoo and conditioning.
This morning, I got up to find an email from another blogger I helped to get started quite a while back.
DG--I’m sorry, but I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind for like two days now. So I just have to ask...is everything ok? If so then maybe you are just on my mind. Not a bad thing, since you are one of the most amazing people I have ever had the blessing to interact with...but..I’m thinking about you. And sending huge hugs. Just in case. xo T
And then I remembered why I do what I do.
Connecting with people I'd never normally meet in real life.
Touching the hearts of others with a story.
Reaching out to someone in a similar situation - someone trying to find their place in the world, someone trying to get through Motherhood, someone's hand to hold that would otherwise feel alone.
Her note, though short and sweet, filled me with a renewed sense of purpose. It reminded me that there are two ways to look at everything - you can see the good ( and there is SO much of it out there), or the bad. You can choose to put your energy toward the joy, kindness, friendships, and love of others - or you can let the bad gobble you up and send you sinking in to the deep abyss of depression. It's a battle. Some days it's a tougher battle than others. But damn it - it's a battle I choose to fight.
I may not win any contest - I may not get a book deal - but that's not why I do it. I do this to spread cheer and smiles to others - and though I know I'd be able to help so many more people if I could win Powerball - I feel like I'm already rich from reaping the benefits from the friendships I've formed by putting myself out there.
As I said in my response to "T" when I ask myself "what's wrong with people?" or "why are people so mean?" My answer is - "People" are not mean - some people are mean. The majority of people are still very good. Like her. She is what is right in this world. Taking 2 minutes out of her busy day to just say "hey, not sure if you're ok, but thought I'd just drop a quick note to make sure.." So today I choose to refocus my energy and remember to put my stock into the idea that more people are good than not - they may not get the attention that they deserve - or be in the spotlight - but I can mentally get them back there and notice them - and for that ability alone, I'm grateful.
So "T" (and anyone else sending kind thoughts on a daily basis), I accept your hugs with open arms and a gracious heart, and send my appreciation for reminding me that I can choose to be brought down by the negativity of the miserable people out there, or I can continue to be uplifted by the good and kindness of others.
Good. For the Win.
Until next time...is there someone you should reach out to with a short, sweet note of kindness? What's two minutes out of your day? It could mean more than you know.
Big hugs and love to all of you - until next time,