In essence it said, if you are feeling depressed, every day for 14 days, you should do something positive for 14 different people in your life. At the end of two weeks, you will be cured. Now I'm not really sure that's a sure-fire cure for all cases of depression, but I do think there's a lot of truth in the positive impact it will have on our own psyche, if you consistently make an effort to take the focus off your own troubles and instead, direct your energy towards doing something positive for the world.
I've said it before, not in an effort to convince myself, but because I believe it's true: we are genuinely happy here and feel like this "season" in our life is one of incredible growth on many levels. Although, I'll admit, we have had some bouts of homesickness for California that have caused me to eat an alarming number of cookies.
Take yesterday for example. When we went to bed on Saturday night, we were still reveling in the awesomeness of a warm Florida vacation a mere week prior. My mind, as I dozed off to sleep was on cherry blossoms and dogwoods. So you can imagine my surprise (shock, horror, dismay) when we woke up yesterday to SNOW covering our forsythia.
OK. FINE. I know what I said about loving snow. And I really do love it. But as it turns out, I only love snow in the WINTER, when all of our boots and gear are strategically placed and not packed away in boxes in the basement. Wouldn't you know? I got overly ambitious by a few 70-degree days and packed all of our cold weather gear away. Apparently, I've got it in my mind that it's now SPRING and we're supposed to be outside in shorts and t-shirts, skipping through the flowers.
What is going on with these radical temperature fluctuations? For the past 20 years, I lived in a climate that didn't fluctuate more than 30 degrees all year long. Last week it was in the 70's. This morning it was the 20's and my eyes nearly froze shut when I walked outside to get the paper.
All of that aside ... there's no doubt - as much as this move has been a BIG adjustment for us, every so often, we are hit smack dab with the sensation that the universe really is unfolding exactly as it should and this, right here, is exactly where we are supposed to be.
(With my space heater.)
Charlie and I have been searching around trying to find a church that we like in the area. And on one particular weekend - when we'd had an especially long week and were feeling overly homesick for California - we stumbled in to a church not far away.
As we were registering the children for the children's program, I thought that the woman who was checking us in looked vaguely familiar. She was carefully entering all of our children's information in to the computer and we were making small talk about the weather and for some reason that I can't quite explain, I felt a lump rise in my throat as I thought about our church in California that we loved so very much. Up until that point, our attempts at finding a church remotely close to our great church in San Diego had yet to happen and I was feeling increasingly discouraged thinking that it never would.
The woman asked what brought us to the church and I mentioned that we had just moved here from California.
"Oh really?" she asked. "Where 'bouts?"
"San Diego." I replied.
"No kidding!" she said. "I just moved here three years ago from San Diego!"
We chatted for less than 10 more seconds before we pieced together that she lived two blocks from where we used to live. She attended the same exact church that we attended, and as she talked with me about our "former" congregation and our "old" neighborhood and how it took her a little time to adjust to the area, these days, she could never imagine leaving.
Her words had more of a healing effect on me than if she'd thrown her arms around my neck and given me a hug - and I told her so.
Isn't it funny how sometimes, it seems people are placed directly in our path as if on purpose?
*************We must live under a curtain of oblivion because we didn't realize that a house, three doors down from our house, recently sold. It wasn't until Charlie was talking with one of our neighbors, yesterday, that he mentioned a family moved in that have a one-year-old toddler and the mother is currently pregnant and on bed rest with twins.
Years ago, when I was pregnant with the triplets, we were "adopted" by the church that eventually became our church home. And for six weeks, after the triplets were born - families would come by twice a week and drop off meals for us. They would cut our grass, volunteer to help clean our house, and would offer words of support and encouragement. To this day, their acts of kindness were some of the best gifts we have ever received.
This afternoon, we swung by to meet the family. In the very short time that we spoke with them, it was evident they are feeling extremely overwhelmed - and the babies aren't even here yet. Now I'm not sure if the fact that they live just down the street from us is better for our spirits or theirs ... but we are really excited at the prospect of helping them. Paying forward, if you will, the gifts that were paid to us, way back when we had a house full of newborn babies and were so exhausted, it's really a miracle how we survived.
While we certainly have our own chores to do, it makes our hearts feel lighter to know that we can lend support to someone in need. Suddenly, we've got 14 good deeds to do for this one family alone, and it definitely helps to offset the depression that comes from the knowledge that we've got a 30% chance of snow showers, again. Tomorrow night.
In totally unrelated news ... I just realized that I started this blog five years ago, this past Saturday. FIVE YEARS AGO! So to all of you who have befriended our family over that span of time, please accept my sincere thanks for being a part of our lives. I'm very glad that your path has intersected ours.