Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beyond Myself

I don't know about you, but I frequently get stuck inside my head. I obsess over the things that are bothering me and that aren't perfect in my life.

This all reaches a point where I just have to get out of my head. I have to get beyond myself to get a more realistic perspective.

Today offered me a chance to do that. A friend of mine plans monthly service opportunities in which anyone can participate, and this month's service opportunity was at a shelter in St. Paul. At this particular location, parents must attend their children under 12 at all times. I can only imagine that that is a lot of work. Our group came in tonight to spend time reading to the kids so that their parents could have some uninterrupted personal time to relax, check email, apply for jobs, or make phone calls.

What a gift it was to be there. I met some wonderful children who are holding up well despite the changes their families are going through. I got to read books and giggle with the kids. I taught a little friend of mine words like "Excavator" and "Skid Steer." This particular little guy was so curious about EVERYTHING on the pages! We even danced together while reading a musical book. :)

I saw one really little guy getting sleepy as the night wore on. He was sitting in the same chair as his big sister, she perched on the edge of the chair and he sitting between her and the chair back. I watched him actually fall asleep in the chair behind his big sister! He was sawing logs while his sister, her friend, my friend, and I looked through a Where's Waldo book together.

It was crazy for me to imagine the things these children must be feeling, or trying to comprehend. I don't know their life situations, but I am guessing they lack stability.

I had a new perspective as I hopped in my car and drove back to my house. Soon I will go to bed so I can get some rest for the two jobs I have tomorrow. I will awake in the morning and pull food out of my cupboards for my lunch. I will choose what to wear from a variety of outfits in my closet. I will receive a paycheck tomorrow that will cover my bills. I will come home and prepare food out of the excess in my cupboards. I will check my email with one of our 2 computers. I will turn on my TV and watch my favorite shows.

I have a lot. I have stability. I have more than what I need.

But most importantly, I have a new perspective.

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