I’ve been in a bad mood lately. There are lots of reasons for it. Amazon “lost” several reviews of my novel Foreseen. If you look on Amazon and didn’t know better, you’d conclude I had a couple of friends write reviews and no one else has read it. I am stumbling on the sequel, Choices, can’t quite get into the other novel I am working on, Sarandipity, and my house is filled with half-started home improvements that never seem to get further. There are lots of other problems and they had combined to set me on edge. Anything sent me from a perfectly acceptable day into the dark gloom of “knowing” the world was against me.
I’ve also been arguing with one of my best friends because I thought he wasn’t bothering to listen to me. But he said something today that changed me. Exactly what he said isn’t important, other than he told me he was going through some difficult times of his own. What was important was the shock that I hadn’t noticed, and the realization that all the things bringing me down have one thing in common: They are all about me.
The things I have truly loved doing in my life have been for others. Little stuff – making butterfly cupcakes for my son to proudly take to school on his fifth birthday, anonymously giving money to an acquaintance who couldn’t buy Christmas gifts for her young children, or sending a card to a friend for no reason at all – unnoticeable things. Those are the things that fill me with joy and make me feel personally worthwhile. And those things are not about me. They are about serving others. How had I forgotten?
My entire perspective has changed. The Amazon thing? Maybe people will notice their reviews aren’y there and re-write them, and if not, oh well. The household projects will eventually get finished, only to start on others. Something will always need to be done – that’s just how things are. And writing? I don’t know if I am past my “writer’s block” yet, but the world of possibilities is much bigger when considering solutions to others’ problems rather than dwelling on my own.
Life is about other people, not about me. Hopefeully, I will never forget that again. And in the meantime, is there anything I can do for you?