Not that I should have eaten any of that other than the salad...but today I am celebrating. We kind of did that whole "fatted calf" thing since Brian was home for his first time since deserting his poor mother. Okay, FINE, since going off to college like he is supposed to do at this age.
I am celebrating the fact that all of us were together under this roof. That I had breakfast with my daughter where she works and that we had a little time together to just chat about nothing in particular. I'm so amazed at how well she does her job...how impressive and grown up...and professional she sounds when she's dealing with customers. How much she knows about the various kinds of cars. I know the basics...SUV, truck, sedan, van, and hatchback. She not only knows the cars...but what's unique about them. How to put the right customer in the right vehicle to make them happy. Kind of made me super-proud, truth be told.
Because the seasons have changed calendar-wise...it means that I have to start wearing socks and have to punt some of the lightweight shirts since the dress code is about to tighten up when it cools off a bit. The fact that I purged 75% of my closet last weekend means that I needed a couple of items to tide me over. So, I went to Belk today in search of a couple of shirts and came away with a lot of things on the 65%-80% off rack with an additional 30% off that are going to work for me...and a pair of Lauren work pants for Jill that were dirt cheap, and they fit her perfectly.
Right now, I am watching my Brian do his homework sitting across from me as I write this with Riley under my feet snoring every few minutes and moving around so that I remember he's there and don't step on him as I change sitting positions. Even Dixie seems to be doing better...although she clearly still is a little confused and has spent a couple of days hiding in closets so that we'll quit talking to her and attempting to ply her with treats and more TLC than she can stand..
Big Dave got paid from three jobs today which means that I can breathe for a few weeks. Not that I worry...but one of them was a little delayed...and larger than usual. One of the things that people don't realize is that small contractors need to be paid within a week. Not two months later. Better yet...paid when they finish. But God is good...and I'm assuming that the checks are. They have been in the past.
Today in the mail we also received two amazing thank you notes - handwritten, mind you - from a bride-to-be and her sweet mother. Although I mean well...and sometimes I am prompted to write a note...sometimes I simply forget. Especially because people these days tell me that they have been thanked and that it is not necessary. But is that really an excuse? My grandmother would say "no" - for sure. And receiving those notes today reminded me of how lovely it is to get something in the mail that isn't wanting payment, for you to sign up for a credit card or an opportunity to spend money either at a store or for a cause.
Tonight I listened to Jill and Big Dave making jalapeno poppers using peppers from our garden...with a recipe that she keeps on her phone because everyone wants her to make it so often during football season. She is finding her place in the world...with a fun circle of friends and the hope of meeting the right guy who was meant especially for her. She is busy but happy. Responsible...but young. Beautiful and my heart. Her Daddy's too, by the way (as is our son).
I pulled up Facebook today to a sweet friend telling me how much she appreciated something my daughter had done this week. Every mother loves that, right? Later, I saw an old work friend celebrating the anniversary of his proposal to his beautiful wife. I can remember how he looked when he spoke about her. Exactly the way that I hope some young man looks when he speaks my daughter's name. I already have seen that in my son with his Kentucky sweetheart.
In a few days, I'll be starting another round of "Apples of Gold" and will have the chance to meet young women who are coming to the class to be taught some cooking and decorating tips along with some spiritual nourishment. Yes, I'll be teaching "Submission" again because for whatever reason...it is a lesson that I've learned the hard way and would prefer that others have a simpler time than I have in this regard. Because as unpopular a word as "submission" is in today's society...it is God's plan for all of us in some way, form, or fashion. For wives, it is a particularly difficult concept - because we have been raised to feel like we can do anything a man can do. I do what I can to explain it in a way that hopefully changes their minds.
Yes, life is good today.
Even if I'm not at Disney World like two of my Facebook friends, tailgating somewhere, or through with my laundry. I'm just content to be where I am, with the company I'm keeping, at this point in time.
So much of our lives are devoted to the things that make days like this one possible. We go to work. We work out to keep healthy (um...I need more of this, but humor me). We support causes, attend events, and we serve others - be they parents or children who need us or a ministry that we are committed to devoting ourselves to. Every so often, it is good just to look around and realize that life is good.
Even when it is not so good. This week, overall, has been a bit of a doozy. Weeks like this can be a little iffy for me, so I am grateful to be sitting here...content.
A friend of mine posted something on depression today...how to make the load a little lighter...and it really hit home with me. Especially with what this week has been like. With the pressure, the disappointments and the little things that just kept going wrong over and over. Many of you may not know this, but I struggle with depression from time to time. Not the kind that keeps me housebound or that it is something that crushes my soul every day...but I have a tendency toward being melancholy. I'll see the bad in something before I'll find the silver lining and I have to carefully guard my heart from seeing, hearing, or taking in things that will harm me. I'm that impressionable.
I'll attempt to figure out what is going to go wrong and begin preparing myself for that eventuality. I'll be sad over something that other people would brush off or that people don't even know they said to me in passing. I'll see someone being overlooked or something being mishandled and I'll want to make it right. Sometimes, I will step in. Other times, I'll just quietly pray for a situation and wait to see if it resolves itself. But I'll chew on it and worry about it until I remind myself that it is not my place to worry, fret, or be anxious (Phillippians 4:6-7). Frankly, if I ever got a tattoo...which totally will not happen...it would be those verses...because I've spent many hours in my life repeating them to myself.
The way that I have dealt with depression is to find some coping skills that work for me. The main thing I try first is to always, always, always look for what is going right before I allow myself to delve into what is going wrong. Sometimes that's enough. Often it isn't. But nevertheless, I'll get up and go through the motions...even if it is difficult for me to focus or to even talk to people. Because that is what I do. And I simplify my life dramatically when I go through one of these down times. I do what I must and I have learned to let the rest of it go.
I guess you now know that writing is therapeutic for me. Which is why I am grateful that God gave me the gift of being able to express myself. I used to be angry that I didn't have a beautiful voice or was unable to draw or paint...but this is what He chose for me...and who am I to argue with that? Exactly.
It is because I know how precious good days are that I am especially happy today. After a week of things not going according to plan and money flying out of my wallet...I just held tight and trusted that God would deliver me from the dark clouds rolling in. And He has. With today.
And I am grateful.
Yes, there are days when I would trade being melancholy for just having a laid back approach to life...but that's why He gave me Big Dave. Big Dave's motto is "Every day's sunny in Dave's world." And it is. Truly. The worst it ever gets is partly cloudy...and there's the very rare thunderstorm about once a year. Some of that has managed to rub off on me through all of these years. That and his patient and wise counsel.
Truth be told, though, I wouldn't trade how I am...because to do so would erase the way I view the world. I like my creative side. I enjoy seeing things people miss. Even if they are painful. I think people that are sensitive to what is going on around them or who see the world differently have always had issues with melancholy and addictions of some kind. For me...it's food. I'm thinking it needs to shift to something more productive...like exercise...or doing good deeds or something different for a change. I'm going to work on that. I'm always working on that. Some days I actually succeed.
But enough about me...and back to this day. To this wonderful day of spending time looking at my son every chance I get because I want to remember this day and how having his presence here makes me feel...so that when he is back in Huntsville getting himself all educated and such...I can imagine him sitting here with me when I miss him. I had 21 years of him in this home...and I squandered so many hours doing things that mattered not...that I am extremely aware of his presence (or lack of it) now. Same with Jill...but at least she is in town. Although her social and work schedules make it harder to see her as much as we'd like.
So, tonight, we had the perfect steaks on a lovely night. We had laughter around our table...just the four of us. We ate too much, watched a lot of football, and just enjoyed something so familiar...and yet so much more precious now that our two have their own lives that are more and more independent of us.
I hope that in the coming weeks we will have others like Brian's sweet girlfriend and my "other daughters" around...and frankly, I am looking forward to that. I love having something to look forward to...be it football season, a wedding, time with friends or family, or even (gasp!) Christmas. I love looking ahead...but even more...I am learning to love where I am right now.
At this point in time.
I plan to write more often - and I doubt that it will be as "weighty" as tonight's post has been. I just thought I needed a counterpoint to the post a couple of nights ago when everything in the world was going wrong. Or so it seemed.
Thanks for reading...and for the support I've received from those of you who read every post...or those who catch it when you can. It means a lot. It truly does.