Snatching joy from the jaws of despair

So, yesterday there was a school shooting at a high school geographically very near me. Sounds like a retaliation or something very personal between two 15-year olds – one went in, proceeded directly to his target, and shot. He ran. The victim was rushed to the hospital, where he died. Two lives altered forever, and no real clue about why. That made me sad, and very anxious – living in a high crime city for as long as I did carries some weight.

I got in touch with my best friend back home, and was surprised that he was able to answer the phone. I called his cell phone, but it forwards to his home phone, and that is where he answered. He was , of course, without power post-hurricane, but he and I had one of the prolonged laughing/snorting/guffawing heart-to-heart talks like in the old days. We never have 30-minute talks, we have 3-hour talks. I have a lot of history with him, and he knew my mother, and we talk about anything and everything. We are equivalently irreverent, and there are no sacred cows in our list of targets. That made me happy, and content.

It’s amazing how quickly I can shift gears at times. Usually the shift goes in the other direction, but this time I was rather pleased to see it go up rather than down. I had posted something on FaceBook earlier, about being kind. Perhaps I have taken that to heart,. I’m an empath, and I feel what other people feel. It’s like slapping myself in the face when I’m snarky to people, so perhaps the opposite is true.

Yesterday, I continued my upward slope when I tackled one of my meal delivery offerings. It was Carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches, which I sometimes really enjoy and sometimes really hate in restaurants here. I obediently followed all the instructions, except for the one about cole slaw with jalapeno ranch dressing. We don’t do jalapeno stuff – unless there is a defibrillator nearby and someone who can do CPR present. But I added what they said to add and baked what they said to back, and *presto* there was a meal. Amazing.

The meal that resulted was designed for two people, but there is only one of me so I ate only half of it. I ate the rest of it today, and it was as tasty as it was yesterday. I was rather proud of myself when I looked down at the empty baking pan and realized I had not wasted any of it, and had done a fairly decent job of portion control. That made me VERY happy.

So, all of that to say…I’ve done a couple of things that have worked for me this week, and I haven’t gotten bogged down in the doldrums about something that made me very sad. I wonder if this is how the rest of the world lives. I know it’s not, though, because there wouldn’t be such a huge market for anti-depressants. Nonetheless, I felt as though I’d entered another plane of existence.

Now, if I could just give myself more joy by cleaning up this place a bit, I’d be on Cloud 9. But let’s not get carried away.

Keep doing what you always did, and you’ll keep getting what you always got. Evolve, dammit.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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