Thought of the Week: The Joy of Giving

It’s late, I’ve just finished watching a movie with Mrs. Satis, and feel like I want to write a Thought of the Week post. I’m eating pumpkin tortilla chips with a rather nice autumn spice hot sauce, and for entirely unrelated reasons I find myself thinking about selflessness, consideration and the nature of giving and taking.

You see, for quite a few weeks, now—several months, in fact—I have been draining all those around me. Severe depression has a way of blinding you to the needs of others, and for a long time those closest to me have been supporting me, helping me … giving their all to me. I’ve selfishly taken all their could give, and demanded more. And while the disease is partly to blame, I can’t continue to ignore the effect it’s had on them.

I want to help my wife get healthy again.

Yet oddly, for most of my adult life I’ve been in a position to help other people. Although I work in retail, I’ve had the privilege to be able to put other people’s interests ahead of my own. I’ve listened to people’s needs, wants and problems, and helped to answer them. So why is it so hard to do the same for my loved ones? Why do I take them for granted?

I gave a copy of my book to a couple of colleagues at work today. One who is a good friend, and the other who I know is deeply into fantasy and science fiction. The look of gratitude—the smiles—on their faces was something … something special. Something that said they knew I wasn’t doing this blindly or randomly, but that I had genuinely thought about their passions and spoken to that. I don’t know if they’ll enjoy the book, but I hope they do; I hope they get the same kind of reaction as the friend I wrote about last week on Girl Who Reads.

But as much as I get this kind of pleasure from helping friends, it’s truly those closest to me that I ought to be helping the most. Those who’ve suffered the most because of me. Because of me, my wife’s health has deteriorated due to stress and lack of sleep. I want to help her get healthy again. Because of me, my son hasn’t had a father for two months. I want to give him that time back.

So as I think about what I’m putting under the tree this year, more than ever before I want to make sure that these are gifts wherein the thought is what counts. The cost doesn’t matter; time is free. Health trackers are expensive. It doesn’t matter. What matters is what I can give back to those who have given me so much.

I love my family.

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