Gratitude List

Many years ago during a tough emotional time and depression, a friend suggested that I do a gratitude list.  At that moment, it seemed such a trivial thing and frankly, a lousy answer to my problem.  After a few days, I decided to give it a try.  I found out that it wasn’t so trivial, and the suggestion helped.  Actually, it did more than help.  I caused me to change my perspective, and assisted in leading me out of a difficult depression.  I think its time again.

1)  I am grateful for a spouse who supports me and is there for me.

2) I am grateful for 2 incredible sons whose lives are going quite well, and who are working on making positive and rewarding decisions in their lives.

3) I have a three wonderful friends who I can call on at anytime, and an incredible sister who offers the same.

4) I have plenty of food each day, a warm house, and a job.

5) My immediate family is healthy, as well as my family of origin.

6) My mom is still living and her mind is strong.

7) I can drive a car anywhere I want to provided I have enough time.

8) I have plenty of money, and with better management, it supports me well.

9) I can read.  And write.  And create.

10) I live in a country that allows me to vote, to disagree with the government without censor (or worse), provides roads and schools and electricity and water for my use and consumption.

I could go on and on.  And on.  When the tough times come, my tendency is to focus too much on the tough things.  Just to pause and to remember that the good outweighs the bad so greatly is an needed adjustment in my perspective and attitude.

Compassion Fatigue

Here’s a new one for me.  Compassion fatigue.  I didn’t think up the label, but when I read the blog entry, I immediately understood.  How do we deal with compassion fatigue?  For healthcare workers, it likely is an issue for their own health.  For mothers and caregivers, same.  For caring women who do too much for everyone else but themselves, absolutely. 

My problem is that I tend to get angry when I’ve given and given, and little is given in return.  I’m not talking about taking care of sick people who don’t jump up immediately and take care of you.  I of course do not expect nor want that.  However, if down the road, I need some help because someone at my house is ill, I do expect that.  And if I reach out to you in depression, I do expect some modicum of response on your good days.  I am not Mother Theresa.  I don’t wish to be.  I’m not that good of a person.  But I am a mother and close friend of many, and will be the first to show up for my friends who need help. 

I want to improve here.  I want to give, and not expect anything back.  I want to offer everything as a grant and not a loan.  But neither do I want to be a rug.  It is such a fine balance for me.  I am attempting to begin a daily meditating exercise in support of my own center.  I’ll be glad to report later on how that is working. 

If any of you have suggestions for how you do it, I’d love to hear it.

Controlling your moods

Recently, my oldest son went through a deep depression.  He’s not completely through the dark days, but they have gotten lighter recently.  I have been seeking articles to send to him that will help him on his path to wellness.  This one is particularly strong.  If you have any kinds of mood swings, you may want to print this out.  Excellent, excellent advice.  If I was as strong a writer as she is, I could have written this.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/09/09/3-ways-we-can-control-our-moods/