Just had a talk with my best friend. We reminisced about sneaking out the upstairs bathroom window and smoking cigarettes on the roof. Meeting up halfway between her house and mine, which was a mile total for each of us (we grew up in the country and had no other neighbors to speak of). We used to hide-out under the bridge at the end of my road and go fishing, listen to music on our portable CD players, and carve words into the steel barriers of the bridge with rocks.
We’d spend time watching Johnny Carson videos at her parent’s cabin (which has since been sold) and watching movies we weren’t allowed to watch whenever we got the chance. We did everything together, she was (and still is) like a sister to me.
We reminisced about the old days, when things were so much more simple. I’ll never forget cruising around on a warm, summer night, riding in the back of my sister’s pick-up, laying down and looking up at the night sky in northern Michigan where the stars in the sky are so plentiful that you can barely see space between them.
Talking with her made me completely forget about my depression, my financial worries, and all the things that bring me down. It brought me right back to those times we used to spend together, just me and her, staring at the night sky and dreaming dreams bigger than you ever could have imagined. I’ll never forget those times or the feelings of our youth.
This has been a weird year.
I’ve had a breakdown, recovered from the breakdown, lost my job, gained a job, switched a job, had my son start preschool, and now I’m starting a new job again at the same place where I’m working and taking my son out of preschool. This is very different from my previous years where everything seemed to go along rather smoothly. This year I’ve had lots of bumps in the road.
But it’s not all about the jobs. Life isn’t all about where you work, although if you had asked me several years ago, that’s what it seemed to be all about. Now I realize that I have more time to spend with my kids than I ever had before, more time to spend with my husband than ever before. Maybe money isn’t everything.
That seems pretty obvious. But sometimes, it’s hard to remember. When I get to wake my kids up in the morning, it’s the best part of the day. Seeing Kareem’s sleepy face, eyes still puffy, hair disheveled, drool caked onto his face, there’s no place I’d rather be.
Sometimes simple reminders of what counts in this life are really what we need the most. I thank Allah for giving me my health, my kids, and my job. What more could I ask for?
How has this past year been for you? What challenges have you had to overcome?
Today my four-year-old son invited me to play a game with him. Who could turn down that offer? I was already late for work but decided it wouldn’t hurt to at least find out what the game was all about.
“What game are we playing?”
“Cakes,” he said. He proceeded to pull out a bunch of plastic bags from the cupboard.
“How do you play?”
“You KICK and ta-da!” So we started kicking all the bags and “ta-da”-ing them. At first I didn’t have time, but once I started getting into it, I realized that it’s pretty therapeutic to violently kick a bunch of plastic bags in the air in the middle of your kitchen floor.
I like Cakes.
These are some of the things we talked about last night. A pseudo-list of get-well-soon advice. Things I will do to help myself get better in that tiny, take-the-edge-0ff way.
Walking – I love taking walks. I dread taking walks. Those seem like mutually exclusive statements. But really, it’s the depression that keeps me from wanting to take the walks. Motto: Just do it.
Volunteering – I’ve been wanting to volunteer for a while now, I just wasn’t sure where to start. Volunteering makes me happy.
Taking classes – in the past I’ve taken writing courses and parenting courses, both of which I loved. I joined a creative writing group once.
I think I’ll partake in these adventures again soon.
So I just spent time with one of my girlfriends, and she really makes my day. It is so nice to have good solid friendships in this world. We always have things to talk about, and we never run out of things to say. I got to hold her newborn baby boy and eat birthday cake with her dad. It’s nice to be around family, even if it isn’t yours.