Those of you who have been following along on Facebook will know that I've been having a tough time of it the past week or so. As the adage goes, when it rains it pours, and boy has it been pouring lately. Life sure does know how to kick you when you're down. Fortunately, I think I've come through the worst of the downpour and some of the fog has lifted.
It's hard to want to do the things that help you out of the downpour when you're smack in the middle of it. I haven't felt like writing. I haven't felt like talking to anyone. I haven't felt like leaving my house. But I've been trying to do these things anyway.
Over the last few days, I've been thinking about a lyric from one of my favourite songs, Take A Minute by K'Naan: "And every time I felt the hurting I felt the giving getting me up off the wall." For me, the lyric is a reminder that the best way up and out of pain is often by making an effort to help others.
Not feeling quite up for building orphanages or doing a charity climb up Kilimanjaro, I've been thinking more about this concept of "Little Love", small ways we can make a difference in each other's lives. Awhile back I had the idea that I wanted to get out in the neighbourhood and scrawl bright, positive messages on the sidewalks as a way to spread a little cheer. To give credit where credit is due, this idea was inspired by author and illustrator Dallas Clayton who often ventures out and leaves pops of positivity around town. The combination of a fresh box of sidewalk chalk and bored children set this plan in motion today in a rather impromptu fashion and before long, we had made ourselves a decent little gallery on one corner of our block.
I don't know, of course, if our messages will make any sort of difference to the joggers and dog walkers on our street (hopefully they will take heed of my daughter's warning of danger), but I like to think that simply the act of putting that positivity out there into the world generates some good vibes. At the very least, it helped to get me off the wall and it put some smiles on our faces.
For a few minutes anyway. In the interest of full disclosure, the project came to a quick end when my six year old became frustrated with a drawing gone wrong and flipped the flip out and I had to carry her to her room for a timeout, during which she loudly declared that I am the meanest mom in the world.
Sigh. I might have to go read the sidewalk for awhile.
Little Love is a series on JTTG about small ways to give love and kindness.