Friday, April 01, 2011
There is joy in my life. Sometimes, like the people in my life, the joy is in the coming of ? or the joy is in the the going of ?. LOL I have been battling "DEPRESSION" for a while now. It isn't the first time in my life but the worst time is always the one you are in. One of the things that helps me a lot is to get my mind off of me and onto others. (Yeah, I know it sounds so easy. . . "NOT!") I have noticed, while reading my Sparkpeople team blogs, several Spark friends have been having some rough times with depression also. (Misery loves company isn't really true ... it just breeds more of the same ... Yes, this I know! But we can try to boost one another up the ladder instead of down the slide.) It is not my desire to offend, be a know-it-all, or cause frustration. Listed below are some things that I have accumulated through time from others who desired to "help" me. Everyone of these were of some help to "me" in some way, at sometime. I know that everyone is different and thereby will react differently to them. I pray that in some way something here will help to put the joy back into a life. Besides medication and professional counseling, they are:
1 - Exercising in some form (anything ... walking, swimming, pacing, pacing the stairs, playing with the dog, dancing, dancing with the dog, beating a rug, scrubbing floors, swinging, hopscotch ... etc.) I have "forced" myself to move by setting up to meet others to walk at the mall or go the YMCA or whatever at the park. It helps me to just move, especially if someone else is expecting me to pick them up to go.
2- Be in a bright and well lit area (turn those lights on & know it is cheaper than a hospital stay .. why do you think the hospitals are so well lit inside?).
3 - Just hold, pet or interact with an animal (people come under another category than pets so children and spouses don't count here) if you don't have access to a pet borrow one or visit a pet shop or animal shelter (you don't have to purchase a pet, just make yourself available to feel their unconditional affection ... some shelters have volunteers come in just to do that very thing to keep the animals from feeling depressed)
4 - Interact with positive people (children and spouse may qualify here but not necessarily ... key word is positive ... this doesn't mean to avoid the family you have in your home, they are part of your life and must be included in it ... within reason) Make a phone call, write a letter (yes it is called snail mail), send a post card, pay a visit, have some one come over to play cards, have a home party.
5 - Hug at least "7" times a day. (Not all at once but ask, seek and take/give what you can.)(Your family may find this annoying ... my do ... but do it anyway.)My hairdresser was surprised the first time but expects always now and I get one when I go in and when I go out... that's two.)
6 - Find some music you love (NOT blues!) and play it consistently (set it to replay if your able)where ever you are, even if it is at whisper volume is helps to set a frame of mind even if you don't think your listening to it.
7 - Put things you love around you whatever that may be (favorite colors, pictures, ceramics, crafts or the materials for them if that is your thing.) Dig out that collage you made for Sparkpeople of your joys and put it where you can see it. If you didn't make one, do it now.
8 - pick a scent (or more but not in the same place at the same time) you love and put it through out your spaces (house, car, yard, work, etc.) I boil water with mint tea bags. When I can get jasmine and/or gardenia room scented oils or candles I use them.
9 - Put things you like to touch in all your spaces or carry it around with you (like that stuffed toy you might have had as a child). I have some special fabric pillow cases I use. I also purchased a piece of fake rabbit fur and have a square of it in my purse or pocket that I can discretely use.
10 - Be cautious to "NOT" surround yourself with all those delicious things to eat at home, but perhaps set up a once a week (or longer ... I do once every two weeks) treat to eat (stay sensible but fun) out at a place that has a happy atmosphere (be it loud or tranquil ... let it be "your" happy place).
11 - Listen to, watch, read or ? Something that makes you LAUGH (laughter IS great medicine) or at least gives you big smiles (sometimes watching people in the middle of a big mall will do it for me but I love exploring the Sparkpeople blogs and watching movies on Roku or Netflix).
12 - Write yourself a love letter! No slacking here! List the good things in your life, if you need to go back to your childhood. No buts, ifs, howevers, or twists allowed. You might have to spend some time on this one, but (lol ... I know I said no buts) it will be well worth it!!!
13 - Write a love letter to someone (or several someones) that has caused you hurt or pain (the greater the hurt or pain the better but even a little one qualifies). Again ... NO buts, ifs, howevers, or twists allowed. This does not need to be delivered (unless you feel a need to do so). Seek the goodness in that person in whatever way you can (maybe they are well organized or a snappy dresser just as an example). This is a terrific release from your person!!! You should know that unresolved issues can cause great physical and emotional pain. I so know this!!! (The Bible tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to forgive others as we wish to be forgiven. There is healing here.)
14 - Verbally say "5" things that brought you joy during your day.(If this is too difficult to begin with start with "3".) (Examples might be: I got dressed before noon today, I got dressed today, I saw a wildflower growing in a crack of my drive way, I only have one crack in my drive way, A bird rested on my window sill, A squirrel chased off a bird resting on my window sill, My child called me (it doesn't matter it was to borrow money), I didn't have any bills in my mailbox today (it doesn't matter if you know your behind on any), I did well on my calories through breakfast (it doesn't matter that you blew it the rest of the day during this verbalization). I know time are you to mention the flubs with the buts, ifs, howevers, or twists of any of any of your joys! That is what makes them joys. When you say these things out loud it helps to change a mind set. The Bible says be careful what comes from our mouth for this will make it so. Try repeating to yourself each day, "I am a good person! I can accomplish many things! I have many wonderful qualities! I am worthy of respect! I am worthy to give and receive love and friendship! I am somebody!" or make up your own.
15 - Pray, read the Bible, Pray, read the Bible, Pray, read the Bible ... "And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
I John 5:15
Love, and Blessings,
Keep smiling sunshine,
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
A list of things I am thankful for that are not tangible but valuable to me ... my personal relationship with God, getting up excited about my day, sharing with others who will be encouraged by me and I by them, loyalty, working with a body of people who are an extension of my family, being given new learning experiences, feeling secure and safe, being awed with the lushness of nature all around, feeling the mental caress of love from others, having respect that is well earned, giving my best, being chosen as a friend, sharing enthusiasm for the adventures of life, truth, fairness, sincere compassion, good health, being able to forgive and to receive forgiveness, play as a child but being an adult, being humble, laughing out loud, falling asleep exhausted at the end of a full day , surviving against the odds, prayer, dancing like no one is watching, protecting those in need, sharing without hesitation, offering unselfishly, be a quiet example that shouts to those watching, sharing the final moments of another precious soul, watching the birth of a new life, the sense of accomplishment having completed a difficult task, being joyful for the blessings of others, witnessing the salvation of another, "peace", smiling sunshine and sharing it with others
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I have always told everyone I know that if I became a billionaire over night I would not quit my job. I love my job! God placed me in the job I have because if it had been left to me alone I'd have never even known the place existed. It was definitely a "God" thing. I am in my fifth year of teaching Kindergarten and First Grade at a "christian" private school. The principal there has been wonderful and always backed her teachers up. The entire teaching staff are like a well oiled machine working well together and always team players. If someone was having an off day or having difficulty with something, someone always stepped up to help out. We all have felt God put us together and no one questioned that. There were times we have disagreed about things but it has never affected how we worked or cared for one another. This school year things started out a little different. The pastor of the church that sponsors our school (we are on church property) became very involved by being more visible and making more decisions that directly affected everyone. There were new guidelines for all to follow that meant immediate dismissal (such as the raising of voices with students) with no discussion or exempt conditions. The curriculum was changed and the teachers did not get to see it or discuss it until the first day of school (a few got the teacher handbooks the workday before the students came). Standard supply materials were handed out sparingly and sometimes denied with a "promise" of in a few weeks. Our principal has a history of very strong character and kept reassuring each of us that things would be alright, but we began to notice her uneasiness. Something was amiss but no one could put their finger on it. Our principal, as usual, went out of her way to help each and everyone of us with adjusting and encouraging each of us in individual ways. She has had all of our respect (and love). There was no greater boss. Then one day she confided in one of the teachers (we found out weeks later) that the pastor would not listen to her anymore and was not even being respectful about it. ) Two weeks ago, a Sunday, at 9:45pm I got a strange message on my phone machine. The message was from "Dr." ???? (the pastor) and he said this was not an emergency but please call him back when I got this message. The time didn't matter even it were midnight... my class was fine and so was my job, but it was very important that I call him back. Hmmm .... when I called back he said he just wanted to inform me that our principal would not be there any more, that her and the high school teacher (her husband) had turned in their resignation without any notice. . . school would resume as usual the next morning and "Christmas" was coming. Pray, pray, pray ... that is what I did most of the night (getting little to no sleep) and knowing there was a lot more to that story. The next day we found out the "day care" director was taking over as principal and some other church administration (including the pastor) would also be pitching in where needed. Cell phones became necessary to get help or contact any of them during the day and because I didn't have one I was just going to have to deal with it the best I was able. Tuesday (the day before progress reports went out) everyone was to turn in the reports to the new principal to review before making our copies and sending them home. Wednesday we were told the reports would not be going home until later and a note would be sent home. The note was handed out to parents picking students up and none of the teachers got to see the note until requested later in the week. We were stunned to discover they wanted us to change grades and redo the progress reports by their new guidelines. Strange questions and inquiries into our classrooms and how we were doing things progressed throughout the week. Middle school lost their teacher on Friday. The following Tuesday I was requested to have a word
with the pastor before I left at 3pm (I was ill and was headed to my doctors immediately after school). He asked me in to the principals office (across the hall) and shut the door with the three of us inside (principal, pastor & myself). The pastor said he knows first hand how stressful it is to have a parent with health problems. He said he felt it was too much for me along with the stress of my job and I should look for something with less stress as a job and take more time with my mother. I was "STUNNED!" He kept talking like this was all about his pastoral concern for me, but wouldn't really allow me to speak. Trying to spin this around gracefully I said I had been praying about my mom's situation. I really wasn't ready to go though. The pastor said the decision had been made and I didn't need to be concerned about my class and they had someone to take it over (it wasn't my aide). They would take care of everything ... it was under control. It was already arranged to have the new teacher in the morning. My saying I'd like to come in and go over some things concerning lessons, supplies, files and the class were not even acknowledged, just ignored. The pastor said they would pay me through this week and half of next. He also said he would give me a "glowing" reference if I cared to use him. He told me not to return until after 3pm on Friday to get my personal things. The principal said it was so I would not upset the children. The school has chapel on Wednesday and I requested to come while they were there to get some of my things then. He said it was alright as long as the children were not there. The principal followed me into my class room to get my things to go immediately after. The next day the principal sat outside the school's front door to let parents know I had to leave to take care of my mother. I dropped off my granddaughter who goes to school there, so I got to see this first hand. (Those who truly know me, know I would have been more professional than that and most certainly not have been trying to set up conferences for the following week the very last day I was there if it had been my idea.) I turned in my keys on Friday and got the remainder of my things. I had to go to three people before I could get a receipt for the keys ($500. fine if not returned). I was told that my last pay check was the receipt for the keys but they couldn't give that check to me then. My current weeks pay check was there and a refund check for monies I had been paying since school started for college classes in Christian Education. The classes were offered on our campus and taught by the pastor. This surprised me even more since I had not requested it. I did ask that they not take it out of my last remaining checks since I wasn't certain how long my money would need to last for me. I went to find the pastor to ask him about the checks but discovered he and his wife had left to be on vacation for a week and a half. Hmmm ... I heard that someone else from school gave their notice the day after I left. A couple of my students families have seen me since I was dismissed and asked about my mother and their concern about her and myself because I left so abruptly. I told them (kindly) I was fired even though my mother's illness was true and that it was the reason that was given to me for dismissal. I am praying for the staff, old, new, gone and remaining. I am especially praying for the children and their families . I am wondering just what would happen "if" I claim unemployment. Hmmm ... I am the "sunshine" teacher who will continue to smile sunshine. I went to two church services. One each at two different churches today. God gave me a word ... "take this time to rest." It is my intention to do just that. I will forgive as I desire to be forgiven (this is not an easy thing). What else I do will depend on prayer, discernment and what I believe is God's will for me. For now I will listen and know God ... I will rest.
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