Thursday, December 8, 2016


         Years ago, when anxiety would ran cold through my veins upon awakening, I would push myself through the fear and limp through the day. On many of those days, just when I was ready to throw up my hands and say, “What’s the use?” something wonderful would happen. A badly-needed check would arrive in the mail, or a friend from years past would call me out of the blue, or a student would pull me aside and tell me how she couldn’t have made it through the semester without my kindness. Just when the days seem so long and joy so elusive, something happens that shakes to the core; something that makes it all worthwhile. Those are the moments I keep in my “Strength Arsenal.” When things get tough, I haul out that puppy and reach in. Those moments remind me that there is always a reason to hope, to keep on keeping on and to embrace a potential random cure. 

     Yesterday, the following things happened:

  1. We got an unexpected check.
  2. I met a woman who told me the story of her evacuation from Nazi Germany
  3. I spoke for 15 minutes with a high school freshman who brought back the joy of 40 years of teaching.
  4. I watched teen-agers supporting each other in a time of trouble at a “Teen Court.”
  5. I witnessed a local Judge take her personal time to run the trial.
  6. I listened to a woman in a wheelchair who could barely talk give a speech to a group of kids.
  7. I spoke to a neighbor who found a new medication to relieve his pain.
  8. I watched a beautiful sunrise.
  9. I heard from a dear friend whom I haven’t seen for over 50 years.
  10. I laughed several times.

     Although I was feeling anything but down yesterday, I put all these things into my “Strength Arsenal” to remind myself that random good things happen. If we have a full “Arsenal,” we always have support within us to muddle through. I don’t remember anyone ever teaching me to erect this Arsenal, but I am here to tell you it works. Do you have one?