How do you combat the blues?
As I have gotten older, I have slowly realized the importance of being vulnerable. As a society, we often focus on the importance of serving others, but I think it is equally important we allow others to serve us. I used to think I could do everything on my own, but since losing a child and then subsequently having another one, I have learned the value of community. When something big happens in your life people usually give vague offers like, "if you need anything let me know" when in reality you would much rather someone offer to walk your dog, rake your leaves or make you dinner without having to ask them.
When our son passed away all I really needed was a listening ear and a reason to get dressed for the day. Without asking a good friend made it a point to invite me on lots of walks while another friend called me every single day for a month to just check in and see if I needed to talk. After having our second son all I needed was some time to myself to exercise, so I mustered the courage and asked a friend to watch my son while I went running a couple of times a week. Looking back, it seems silly I needed courage to ask someone for help. But from a young age we are applauded for saying things like, "I can do it myself". Often I think we confuse isolation with independence and we confuse having needs with being needy. Over and over again I have seen in my own life people are not only willing to help, they are eager to. I whole heartedly agree in the importance of letting others know your needs. It is easy to feel sorry for yourself at times, but it is much harder to call a friend and tell them you need a listening ear, a long walk, or an hour to yourself.
One of our favorite things to do when the weather is yucky and we don't have anything else planned on a Saturday is to have brunch at the Salish Lodge. I used to think of the Salish Lodge was the type of place you only go for special occasions or where you take out of town guests, but it is really a wonderful place to go when you are feeling sick of the rain, feeling disappointed about the current state of the world or just want to celebrate the fact you have people in your life who love you. Because the older I get the more I realize there is little in life which cannot be improved upon over a good meal and a listening ear.