Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Turning Frowns Upside Down

                    I am one of those people who have an issue with social sites like Facebook (brain/time suckers,) but I do have a FB. Lately, I have found myself far too connected with my account. Tragedy seems to be all around me. Cancer, paralysis, car wrecks, school shootings, genetic disorders … the list goes on and on. When people go through these things, Facebook pages are created for updates and prayer purposes. All one needs to do is “like” the page, and each new update will appear on the news feed. In a matter of a couple of months, I have subscribed to about 10. I must have oversubscribed and overdid it. That is where my decline began …
          My conversations and thoughts have stayed with tragedy. Depressing, dooming tragedy … causing anxiety as I realize these things can happen to anyone, and I am no exception. It creates an inner fear, waiting on my turn. About 3 days ago my almost 18 year-old-wise-beyond-her-years-daughter said, “Mom, I think you are reading too many depressing stories.”
          In an instant, I said, “You are so right.” And I immediately unsubscribed to almost all of them, keeping about 3. Not because I don’t care, but because staying engrossed in pain and sorrow is bringing nothing but pain and sorrow into my daily life. It is debilitating and paralyzing, causing me not to enjoy the here and now of my life as I bear the weight of the world on my own shoulders, and it is not mine to carry.
          As I thought through all of this, an entry from one of the tragedy pages came to mind. It was from a man who was traveling with his family; his wife, son and daughter. They were in a terrible accident which left him wifeless and injured his daughter beyond belief. They are approaching 3 months in the hospital and he just informed his little girl that her Mommy died. In the midst of their turmoil, he posted a picture of him getting a haircut in the hospital and wrote how much that meant to him, as he was already 6 weeks overdue. People going through these things take up residency in the hospital, and I know that by walking along side of my friends as they battled cancer with their 9 year old son for 14 months … living in the hospital for much of that time.
          There is my answer! (Since I am a hairstylist :)) In lieu of sitting at home getting engrossed on my iPhone or computer, it’s time to unsubscribe and do something. Not to knock prayer, because I do know its importance and power; but truth is, all of those people posting “Praying for you” most likely aren’t really praying. They are thinking and needing something to write. I fall into that category at times if I really take a good look in the mirror.
          In addition, I was talking with my last client of the day yesterday about life and how hard it can be. I asked her, “Why do you think some people go through hard times and are surrounded by loved ones, while others must endure it alone?
          She brought up being old and in a nursing home. Uggh. That takes the cake. I have no desire to be super old, watch all my friends die and sit in a nursing home alone. Hence, idea #2. (Not that the stories of any elderly, lonely people make it to Facebook.) My sweet grandmother used to take me to the nursing homes when I was young. She taught me what to do and I loved it. At the young age of 14 (my youngest daughter’s age) I was feeding elderly people and doing their hair. I’m not sure who enjoyed that more, me or them. Also, the nursing home is a great place to deliver read magazines instead of trashing them. They don’t care what the date is, and will probably just look at pictures anyway.
          Seems sometimes the best thing to do is a random act of kindness. It is nice to read sweet comments posted on a site, but something that makes a difference in a day and/or someone’s life is grand. Styling hair, painting nails, bringing a treat, sending something via mail or a simple visit to one who is alone can move mountains … and get me out among the living, where I belong. My goal is to go to the children's hospital once a month and a nursing home once a month, and hold myself accountable. Posting this is will help with that.


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