I've been feeling sorry for myself today. Since I woke up I've been surrounded by a funk, full of boredom and loneliness with a little 'lack of motivation' thrown in. I didn't even feel the urge for my trusty television to fill the silence; a big indication that something is not right! Even this blog, which has become a wonderful outlet for me and provided me with an opportunity to be creative on a weekly basis, could not draw me out of my own depression...in fact, when I tried to come up with a topic to write about nothing came to mind. Which is unusual, to say the least! So in an attempt to drag myself out of my own way, I got out of my pajamas (around 6pm...sad, I know,) and went to my parent's house...to try and distract myself with trivia games and Yatzee. Needless to say I failed miserably at trivia, but I did manage to win a game of Yatzee...it's all in the wrist, I guess!
Why am I sharing this with all of you? For the simple reason that it is a very human trait to fall into these funks every so often, and it's something I'm sure everyone has experienced for themselves...sometimes you just have to feel the emotions and let them happen. Not that knowing this makes the feelings any easier! I don't fall into these moods very often, thank God, but when I do it usually takes something to 'snap me out of it' and get me looking at the bright side of things again. Luckily that something was a carefully written letter, from a child's hand, lying on my parent's dining room table. Now, I am not in the habit of reading other people's mail, but I recognized this letter for what it was--the most recent correspondence from one of their sponsored children. For about 10 years now, my parents have sponsored two children through the Christian Foundation for Children & Aging organization; Susan from Kenya, and Olga from Guatemala. Susan, now 15 years old, wrote the letter that caught my eye.
The line that truly snapped me out of my own sad mood was written after an explanation on how she continues to work hard at her studies...as Susan so elegantly put it, "The sky is not the limit." It is her dream to become an accountant, and she lets nothing stop her from reaching for that goal...despite the hardships she faces daily, along with her family. An impressive dream, especially for a young person who has not had things easy throughout her life; I'd be hard pressed to find someone of the same age in our country, pushing daily toward such a goal. As I was getting ready to leave I asked my mother if I could see more letters from Susan, and she gave me an entire file with letters and updates on both children to take home. The rest of her letters (and Olga's) were enough to change my mood for the better, and realize how silly I was being...I was feeling sorry for myself because I didn't have ENOUGH to keep me busy. These letters my parents have received, are from two young women who are VERY busy planting gardens and harvesting crops with their families, in order to survive. And while doing all of that, they are getting an education as well, and working toward goals such as becoming an accountant; it has been Olga's dream to become a teacher, so that she can help support her family (she is now 21 years old, and has 7 brothers.) It was amazing to read through all of their letters, and see them grow up through those pages...and you know what struck me the most? How thankful Susan and Olga have continued to be over the past 10 years; not only for my parents who sponsor them, but for things that many of us take for granted--food to eat and running water, good health, and the love of their families.
Does this mean that I will boldly go throughout life, never again feeling down and sorry for myself?? Of course not; I am human, after all...and I will have my good moments, and bad ones. Hopefully in the future when I find myself in one of the bad moments, I can shake out of it a little quicker by thinking of people such as Susan and Olga, and be thankful that I was given the opportunity to learn about their lives...and maybe I'll be a little more appreciative for the gifts I have been given in my own. If you would like to learn more about the Christian Foundtation for Children & Aging organization, go to http://www.cfcausa.org/. There, you can learn about the many people being helped through sponsorship, and read some of their stories. And after doing so, you may wish to become a sponsor as well...it's a great opportunity to help someone in need, a goal for which you can be truly thankful!