Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm a wuss

I published these two posts on Sunday night for like an hour before I became too self conscious and deleted them...both Dan and Jill told me to not be an idiot so here they are again.

Because I have been given much

So, below this post you'll find a post I wrote some weeks ago that I never posted because I was too self conscious about it. You should read it first (if you want to read this at all-there will be no pictures and will be very boring so I suggest waiting for my next post that will contain lots of pictures and a lot less emotion and will be a lot happier). If you do continue reading though, read the deep thoughts post first-it ties in with this one and helps with the story.

So, I wrote that the day after Thanksgiving after Dan and I had stayed up all til 2am, on Thanksgiving, putting together his new store. For some reason the store does give me anxiety and I was grumbling all night and eventually went home sobbing about how we were going to starve to death and our lives were ending. (2 notes: I do get hormonally challenged when I'm on my period and go a little/a lot crazy 2nd: There were a great many other things that I'm not going into leading up to this moment of utter despair). Needless to say though, I needed a reality check.

The next morning I was cleaning up and doing the dishes and the poem I quoted came to my mind and I decided to go pull out my old 101 Famous Poems book from Carden. I read it was duly inspired. My new mission, to help some other people and not think about myself so much. Perfect, I used to be a ward missionary and still visit teach several less active sisters who usually need some extra help. What a great opportunity!

I knew one of the sister's was having an especially hard time, so I found some things I could do for her. Paid for a massage so she could have some money (big sacrifice on my part) asked her if she needed any other help. Yesterday, at church she told me that her car had broken down and she needed a ride home from church which I was happy to give her. On the way home she told me that her car was going to be over $300 to fix, that she didn't have any of that money. She wasn't quite sure how she was going to pay rent, or buy food, but more importantly she now has no way to drive to work or to any of her clients for massage (she's a message therapist). I wished with all my heart that I could help her pay to fix her car, but we're not exactly rolling in money right now either so I offered to help her do whatever I could. I drove her to work and offered her some dinner so she wouldn't have to go hungry.

On the drive home she told me this story though. She has a man living and sleeping on her couch right now. She told me that she found him sitting outside of a gas station and she felt like she should talk to him. She didn't have any money to give him but she asked him if she could give him a ride somewhere. He'd come to Seattle on a promise from a friend that he could get a job here because he couldn't find a job anywhere in Virginia where he is from. His "friend" had helped him pay for a few nights in a hotel, but then skipped town and left him because the job hadn't panned out. He left him with no food, no money, no place to stay, and no way to go home to Virginia. He didn't know a soul in Seattle. Amazingly, my friend, who has very little herself, said well you can sleep on my couch and share my food.

As she told me this story, my jaw slowly dropped further and further. By the end you could probably have knocked me over with a feather. Suddenly, my grandiose gestures of giving her a ride to work and offering her dinner seemed pretty pale in comparison. I think she saw my surprise and said, "Well, Heather, he needed a friend he had nobody! I wanted to show him that there was good in the world. Well not just "in the world" everybody knows that there's good SOMEWHERE in the world. I wanted to show him that there was good in HIS world. That God loves and cares about him."

I went home pretty humbled to say the least. I sat on my couch in awe just thinking: I have never EVER gone hungry cause I don't have food. I have never not had a place to sleep. I have never not had a friend or a family member to call if I needed help, or money, or was feeling alone. Not only that, I have a lot of nice things! I have a car, and really good food to eat. I have a home to go to, a bed to sleep in, and a family who calls and asks how I'm doing. I have A LOT to be grateful for... I guess there is nothing like a little perspective and a little gratitude to get rid of all feelings of self-pity.

As I was listening to President Eyring and Monson's talks during the Christmas devotional about the true meaning of Christmas and the gift's that we can give the Savior this Christmas Season. I decided I'm going to do something a little bigger this year than give fifty cents to the Salvation Army guy and take Christmas cookies to my neighbor. I don't know if I'm going to be able to invite someone off the street to sleep on my couch (I think it takes a very special person to do that, and my friend is definitely such a special wonderful person), but I'd like to show someone that there is good in THEIR world, not just "in the world." And you guys can hold me accountable for that. I'd at least like to help my friend and her friend this year. I don't know if I'll have to go sit down on the corner and ask for money haha, or write into one of the Christmas station that grants wishes, but I would at least like to help them get the car fixed. If anyone has any better ideas let me know. Merry Christmas!!!

Deep Thoughts From Heather: How did you take it?

Warning: This does in fact contain "deep thoughts" so if you're not into that, don't read any further ;) Cause after all blogs are about showing off and making everyone jealous of my "way awesome life" haha so read my other posts if you're looking for that ;) Anyway, I have been a little bit of sour puss, grumpy face, angry face (thanks Kristen), and all around downer lately. Well, this probably isn't a surprise to most people who know me well. Rolling with the punches has never been my strong point. When things get hard, I tend to whine and complain about it and give excuses for why I didn't succeed or why you should feel so bad for me cause my life is sooo very hard. Sadly, life is a little bit more complex that it used to be and the difficulties that I don't respond well to have moved beyond my hair not turning out all right and staying up til 3am to read Tess of the D'Urbervilles for AP English and still not finishing... Well, when I woke up this morning feeling gloomy and depressed this poem came to my mind. I have to say thank you to Mr. Bradford for making me memorize it in 6th grade. I have changed the title from (How did you die? to the earlier line "How did you take?" -cause thankfully, I'm not dead yet ;)

Did you tackle the trouble that came your way

With a resolute heart and cheerful?

Or hide your face from the light of day

With a craven soul and fearful?

Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce

Or a trouble is what you make it.

And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,

But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well what's that?

Come up with a smiling face.

It's nothing against you to fall down flat,

But to lie there-that's disgrace.

The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce;

Be proud of your blackened eye!

It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts;

It's how did you fight and why?

And though you be done to death, what then?

If you battled the best you could;

If you played your part in the world of men,

Why the Critic will call it good.

Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,

And whether he's slow or spry,

It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,

But only, how did you die?

Deep thoughts eh? Now what I got out of it... So I can take what life throws at me and "take it" well or I can drown in self-pity. It's a sink or swim moment. Well sort of, I've tired sinking for the past while and it doesn't really work, you get a lot of water up your nose and don't go anywhere. So, it's time to swim. I have been given so much. It's time to be a little more grateful. I have been given a lot of talents. It's time to use them (instead of focusing on what I can't do and can't change). Wish me luck