When my sister challenged me to write down 50 positive things about my day because she thought that would help my overall attitude, it stung.
Of course she was right. I often tend toward a somewhat negative perspective. Yes, I do struggle with depression, but no, I don’t have an excuse for letting it affect the attitude I choose to maintain. So, after biting my tongue, I submitted to her suggestion and spent my day looking for things to write down. Fifty things sounds like quite a few until you arrive at lunch time with twenty-six or so written down already.
It’s hard to know from a one-time try how much of a difference her challenge made, given all the other variables of life, but I do know this for sure – I had fun writing things down and discovering I had found more good things than I thought. (Even though by 8:10 pm I haven’t yet made it to 50. I’m getting closer!) It brightened my day to see the little good things around the not-so-good ones. And for the cherry on top, I didn’t hit my usual early-afternoon energy slump. Was that a direct result? Who knows? I’d have to keep this up regularly to find out. But it was an awfully nice perk to add to my list today.
The next step: to keep this up in hopes of creating a new, better habit. (After all, it would be a shame to fill the first few pages of the little notebooky-thingy and not fill the rest. 😉 ) Just one aspect of a lifestyle overhaul that has been a long time in the works. I hope in the next few months to solidify some other small, but hopefully significant in the long term, changes that will help as well.
On my own I know I can’t do it. Not because there’s nothing I can do about depression, but because I’m not strong enough to keep up the battle long-term against letting it control my choices. I’ve tried that a time or two, and I always end up crying to God in frustrated exhaustion after a while. I need persistence to keep surrendering depression and my responses to it to God day after day after day, no matter how hard that particular day is.
And then I need help. I need help from God, but I also need courage to admit my weakness to fellow humans and ask for advice and accountability and support. You’ve heard of the serenity prayer. Well, today brought about a new prayer sort of based on the idea.
Lord, grant me the humility to recognize where I need to change, the persistence to keep surrendering it to You when it recurs, and the courage to ask for help.