I wish I could hold onto the feeling I get when something tragic happens, or when I am reminded of those who are less fortunate than I am. Everything in my worlds seems a little less dark. I acknowledge what I DO have, instead of focusing on what I don't.
Recently, there was a very public traffic accident involving the actor, Paul Walker. It was sad because he wasn't one of those drinking, drug using partying celebrities where you know it is only a matter of time before they are in the headlines as "recently deceased". Nope, you really only saw him on the Red Carpet, or in the movies. At least, he didn't stand out to me in the tabloid magazines. Anyway, turns out, he was incredibly philanthropic, a wonderful father and stand out guy. Everyone always sings the praises of people who die but this time ... there were events to back it up.
When someone dies so tragically like that, so suddenly, it always makes me take pause. It could happen to anyone at any time. I get so fixated on the ticking time bomb of my own health that I forget all about how I could end up in a crumpled tangle of metal on my way home tonight.
But, it's not just people dying that makes me take stock of my life. It's also those that are going through hard times in this happiest time of the year.
Every year, our dept put up an Angel Tree downstairs with people/children who need/want things for Christmas. I always take one and usually do one of the hearts from the volunteer place. I got my angel and my heart, and will be contributing to the "adopt a family" that we do every year as well. I am glad that I am in a position to help people during the holidays. Alas, I am not immune to the pain I get in my heart when I read some of them.
One of my friends posted their heart on facebook. They have a 13yr old boy and all he asked for was a warm sweater and a gift card for food. And that ... is where my heart broke.
We are having a bit of a cold snap here in Northern California. Colder than usual temperatures. We just finished updating the heating in our house ... that we own. This means all the more to me now as I sit and think about those struggling to find warmth while living on the streets, struggling to keep their children warm. My heart aches for those who are trying to provide something of a holiday where there is just no money.
I have seen these Angels and Hearts with people asking for an iPad or an iPhone, A PS4 or Xbox. Ok, yea ... this isn't the Beverly Hills Giving Tree!! Then, next to those are the hearts from elderly folks just looking for dog treats, warm gloves, a robe, a stuffed toy, some legos. It kills me. The simplest of things ... mean so very much.
I love giving at Christmas time. So ... even though I had the idea that I only want to buy for the kids in the family this year because we are a little over budget in places ... I made a list and bought a little something for everyone in the family.
OK, not EVERYONE but ... my brothers, their girlfriends, stepmom, dan's mom and siblings, etc. It's not as long a list as it looks. And, I just got them little things, just tokens of my love. It gives me a good feeling to do things for people. And, I am excited as heck to wrap up the gifts for people. I am excited to give things ... and I don't want anything for myself.
There are people out there in this world who would kill for the luxuries that I have. There are people who would sacrifice everything just to be able to do what I can do. So what if my bills climb, I have the money to pay them. I can't take it with me when I die ... so I am enjoying it now.
I need to hold onto this, hold onto how I appreciate everything right this moment. I don't want to get back to being that selfish, whiny, cry baby about everything in life. Others have it worse. There will always be someone who has it worse. In hindsight, even with everything going on ... I have it good. I am overweight because my drugs made me hungry and I had enough money to get food to eat to make me look this way. I have a house that I can curl up on the couch and not exercise.
I have a new car. We have a newer truck. My husband has his work truck. I have a HOUSE! What in the world do I have to complain about when there are people out there who would set aside their own desires to get treats to give to their dog because they can't afford it? I look into the face of my dog ... the spoiled rotten lil puppy that he is ... and I would be devastated if I couldn't provide for him.
I don't know. The world is a cruel place. I am lucky to be in my life, as hard as it may seem at times. I am thankful for what I do have, for the people in my world.
It's the most wonderful time of the year for me ... and I am bound to make it that way for others.