No school for the Franks today and I feel awful about how great the day was. I slept in, under the new comforter and in the warmth of our heated, clean and spacious home. It’s not fair that I put our kids out in the backyard to ice skate and sled while I exercised in the basement and listened to music. We took our pick of what food we wanted for lunch and then I dropped Nate off at a friends for a day of tubing, movies and an overnight party. The girls and I had fun shopping, doing crafts, going out to dinner and watching a movie, while my husband rode on the bus with his hockey team for a weekend of games.
I’ve had trouble today fully enjoying all of it because there is such a spotlight on the devastation in Haiti. I cry watching the images and the only way to make it any better, is to turn off the television. I feel guilty about doing that too, because I feel the same way when I avert my eyes from a homeless beggar on the corner. I help the ways I can from here: donations, packages and prayers, but when catastrophes like this happen, I hate the helplessness. I want to go pick up a boulder and move it out of the way, or comfort a crying baby with a hug and a song. I, of course, can’t do that and I can’t really stop doing the things that are the great parts of my life either. So I am stuck, and I have to come to terms with this battle.
The hype of the media will eventually fade, and the third world conditions that exist there, and other places in the world, will continue to exist, but not in my living room. I know enough to know that the conditions in Haiti are exasperated by the earthquake, but that it was in pretty dire condition before the quake. Why does it take something that costs so many lives to finally get people moving? Myself included.
At some point, I know I will go back to blissfully living my life without a “real” worry, but maybe I’ll take with me more gratitude for my blessings. I’ll hold my kids tighter and not take for granted the little things that make my days great. I accept the fact that I cannot effect change on the entire world, but I vow to make a difference in my immediate world. I want to stop averting my eyes when I am forced to see desperation, and I pray for the courage to do something when it needs to be done. That is the point, right?
May God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
It’s that wisdom part that seems troubled right now. I just get mad that I can’t change the bad things that happen, and I am hardly of any use to anyone when I let myself get stuck in that anger. I do hope that this weekend and the coming week are full of more positive and funny than dark and desperate, because I am not that great at embracing both at the same time.