I Can’t Shake the Sadness Today, and I Think That’s a Good Thing
I'm guessing you're probably in the place I am today. I can't shake the sadness I feel. First, the awful news of what transpired in Las Vegas. Then Tom Petty dies of a heart attack.
You add that to the insane damage and desperation in Puerto Rico, and it just feels like there is so much "wrong" and pain in the world, and so little we can do to help make it better in this moment.
Yes, there are relief agencies that are helping Puerto Rico. Yes, the amazing hospitals and trauma centers in Las Vegas have been doing amazing work. Yes, I know people, including rock stars, die eventually.
There's just something so difficult when you can't do anything to be proactive to help change what you're feeling. There's something so hard about seeing yet another example of senseless, random, and significant violence in a world my son will inherit.
I have a friend who I have discussed this stuff with many times, who tends to offer really great perspective and help move my response from sadness or anger to something more productive.
Today was no exception.
He challenged me to not get lost in the things that I have no control over, but instead, to be productive inside the area I can influence.
There's nothing I can do to directly change or even make things better for those in Las Vegas. The Vegas blood drives have stocked the system, and there's not a need to donations for relief, etc., but I can help spread hope and love in the Treasure Valley.
What if we all did something to make THIS place even better. To provide a little joy, hope, and spread love?
Maybe it means calling that friend or family member you keep meaning to reach out to? Maybe, even more challenging, it's to call that person you really don't care to talk to at all? For some of us, it could mean walking across the street just to say hey to a neighbor, and maybe something to pay-it-forward or give someone an unexpected little gift.
That's what I did. I went through a drive thru, paid for my order, and that of the person behind me. My portion was $3.50, theirs brought it in at under $10.00.
Now I know, it doesn't change the world to pick up someone's lunch or dinner, but it sure did help move my heart from sadness to gratitude. I also hope if they were feeling a little bit off - just as I was - that maybe that made them smile, feel a little hope, and made their day just a little better.
That part is in my control, that allowed me to do something.
I can't necessarily shake the sadness today, and I think that's a good thing. I made me try harder to do something for someone else. I'll take that, and try again for a better day tomorrow.