This time of year is particularly hard for those like me who suffer from depression related conditions (e.g. SAD, Bi-Polar, Manic Depression). To those who know of what I speak, as the days grow shorter and everyone else is swept up in the holiday season, socializing and good cheer, all of this make people like myself turn extremely dark, cynical and morose. The fact that other people are enjoying themselves only makes it worse. Coming into work today I was handed one of the sloganeering cards that are handed out from time to time. I accepted it as usual with a nod and read it on the elevator ride up to my work station. "Gratitude changes everything" I read, yeah right, they ripped this one off from the great Ray Wylie Hubbard I thought to myself. Years ago, at the end of an incredible performance of Mother Blues on the Letterman show, Ray Wylie lets the audience in on the fact that the song he just performed was in fact a true, autobiographical tale, ending with the quote which is the title of this blog entry.
This just seemed to worsen what was already a bad day for me. As I began to take calls and chats as a things got better because I could focus on something other than myself and help others which is greatly comforting. As the morning progressed, my mood started to lift like the early morning light of dawn. By lunch time I was feeling a little better but not out of the woods by any means. It was only until I saw that the Boca Chica was serving my favorite meal today, their incredible deep fried tacos, that my mood turned the corner and I could reflect on that card I was handed without cynicism.
I am truly grateful for all my colleagues here at work; for the staff at our Cafeterias, the convenience store and the security desk who may not be aware of the difference they make in the lives of their fellow employees. I could never thank these people face to face but every once in a while I get an opportunity to express my gratitude and it truly makes an incredible difference. For instance over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend I had been sick and did not get invited to a holiday dinner. Instead I worked that weekend and hearing of this, a good friend in the restaurant business decided to brighten my day by delivering a home cooked meal to me at work during my weekend shift. When my friend called to get directions and make sure I was here, I thanked him profusely and told him the only way his kind gift could be any cooler would be if he fixed up a second meal for the person manning the security desk. The only thing better than the taste of my friends home made meatloaf, real mashed potatoes, vegetables, roll, iced tea and pie was the look on the security guard's face when he learned that one of the meals was for him! Gratitude and giving. Try it sometime. It truly makes a difference!