Friday, March 18, 2011

Think Positive ~ Good Things Follow

The power of positive thinking can never be understated.

After months of mild, lingering depression, I have finally turned a corner.  It wasn't easy to pull myself out of my computer chair, but once I did I was able to put into action a plan I'd devised to combat my sadness.

When you feel down, it's so easy to isolate yourself and wait for it to pass on its own.  Sometimes it even works. But prolonged depression is a dangerous, slippery slope.  Before I realized what had happened, the sadness had lashed itself about me, binding my arms, my creativity.

This week has been different.  I feel light-spirited.  Happy!  I laugh with my kids, snuggle up with my husband, reach out to my friends.  It's been a really, really good week.

So what made this week different?

On Monday morning, I headed to the Athens Botanical Gardens, maintained by the University of Georgia.  The manicured lawns and plotted flower and herb gardens are gorgeous, but if you hit the trails beyond the electric enclosure, erected to keep deer and other forest foragers away from the plants, you quickly forget you are inside city limits.  The trails are rugged, like being on the side of a mountain.  There are stretches that follow the swift-moving Oconee River, or babbling brooks.  When the trails head up steep hills, you have to lift your knees and reach with your feet, hoist yourself up the knobby, exposed roots of forty-foot trees.  Really gets your heart rate up.

I was so invigorated from the four-mile hike that I went back yesterday.  I explored more trails, felt the sun on my face, felt my muscles working.

(I'm working on a little project, born from these hikes, and I'll share it next week.)

The other outing this week was a "writer's field trip," of sorts.  I worked on a character back during the holidays, a young woman afraid to live her authentic life, held back by the childhood death of her sister which she witnessed.  I'd decided she would choose, as a career, a hair and make-up artist in a funeral home.  Later in the story, as she faced her inner conflicts, she would leave that job to pursue her true life passions.  I'd asked my hair stylist if she'd learned in beautician school about mortuary work.  She hadn't, but she had been asked by family members to work on deceased clients.

Such a job came up this week.  She called me.  Would I be interested in assisting her?  Wow.  I was terrified, but I grabbed the opportunity.

On Monday, I'll tell you about that experience.

Until then, have a wonderful weekend!