In several group setting in which I’ve been a part, and in many I’ve never experienced, a good ice-breaker for everyone is to name their personal “high and low.” It’s a pretty good indicator of what’s going on with individual group members. With teens, it’s usually along the lines of “My high is that it’s almost Friday, and my low is that I have three tests today.”
I am the sponsor (adult advisor) of two Bible studies at school. While I think that making that sort of statement might make me seem a bit more evangelical than I actually am, and I could clarify to say that I don’t do all that much planning for it as it’s led by student leaders, it’s still a pretty coll thing we do at our school, and I am thrilled to know all these girls at school because of it. Both of my groups rely on naming Highs and Lows as a way to check in with each other. It’s funny to me because I can’t always be really honest with them because a lot of my issues are, you know, kind of adult-like compared to theirs. I don’t want to worry them with my job woes or when I am feeling down about myself, or tell them I had to fork out a bunch of dough to get my dog’s teeth cleaned – I still have to be relate-able, after all. So I usually dumb down my responses or apply them to school stuff they can relate to.
So if you’re reading my blog at all, you know I’ve been in a funk the last while. It’s so funny to me (I know, I just paired the phrase in a funk with funny to me, but I digress) that the smallest things can lighten my mood and get my mind off of my continual preoccupation – which, thank goodness, because being depressed is no joy ride! I love these kids I spend two of my weekday mornings with at school as well as the kids I spend Sunday nights with at church because I can fall back on memories of being their age.
What my high is at the moment is tied to things that take my mind back further than their age. I am contemplating Christmastime and its music. And its lights. And its gets togethers.
I feel so grateful. It’s been a really rough autumn, and to look back and know that so many wonderful things have happened amidst some really crappy things tells me that I really don’t have it so badly after all. That I do have a right head on my shoulders, that I am a Child of God, that people love me and I love them, that community members really do look out for one another. I may not have full time job, but I do have folks complimenting me on a job well done, when I least expect it. I may be driving Josef’s old car because an older woman couldn’t look where she was going, leading to my car being totaled. I may not be a mom yet, even though I’m knocking on 30 in 2 months time, but I do have a very full life with many things to look forward to. I may not realize the full plan of this life, and may not always see the point (thus: depression), but all this love in my heart tells me to go on anyway and trust in God.
So that’s my high: no matter how abnormal I feel, there are others who have felt what I feel. No matter how awful things seem, I can turn to a large number of people for support, and they can rely on me to help them. I am filled with love because of the gratitude I am experiencing at the moment. My life as a prayer is saying Thank you, Lord. Thank you.