It’s so often true that the people who have least to give are the most generous.
Today I spent some time with a dear friend who has been having a tough time health wise. Despite the huge physical and emotional toll public outings take on her at the moment, she made time for me so she could listen to my troubles. My worst day can’t match what she’s going through, but she’s still worried about me. I feel lucky, and undeserving.
She talked to me about her efforts to be grateful for the good things, like slobbery dog kisses from a neighbour’s dog, and spectacular sunsets. Tonight the sunset was spectacular, and I stopped to look at it because of what she said.
I’m grateful for her. We’ve been friends for a long time now, we’re into our third decade. We get together and rant about the world. We thought it was going to hell in a handbasket 20 years ago – turns out we were right. Our rants are punctuated with laughter, though. She’s witty, curious, open-minded, compassionate, independent…and one of my greatest champions, even if I’m not always sure why.
These are really shitty, horrible times. I can’t believe the horrors that have happened in the last week, much less the last year. I wish I could just disconnect from reality. I think about giving up social media, shutting out the news but although I might not know about bombings in Syria and shootings in the US, I’d still know about how co-payments to pathology services are hurting people and how government policy is punishing the sick and the vulnerable, because that’s happening to people I know. So that’s no solution.
I fear things will get worse before they get better. I don’t think anything you and I can do will stop that. We can look after ourselves and the people who love us though and we can take a lesson from my friend, and be grateful for the small things.
I’m often a poor friend. I have only so much energy and I guard it jealously. People reach out to me and I politely pull away, worried the facade will crack right open if I let anyone in. I don’t really expect that to change any time soon, but in these terrible times, I’m so grateful to have people around me who spread love, not hate.
My friend sent me the picture included above after our meeting today. She was referring to me, but she’s my moral booster, too. Whoever boosts your morale, why not call them today and thank them? We could all use a little more love right now.