Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Today I am not at all depressed. Yes, I'm still on the medications that cause depression, still taking the buggers four times a day - talk about feeding your depression. Even so, I'm not depressed. Haven't been since yesterday at about 11:30. We were driving down to NYC where I'll be presenting for a couple days and Joe was listening to his classical station on satellite radio. As a piece was playing a slowly forming idea was taking shape in my head. I do not have 'flashes' of inspiration, I have slowly growing, slowing forming, images in my mind that then lead to an 'ah ha, I have an idea' statement.

By the time we got to the Delaware Gap, one of the most beautiful areas in the States to drive through, the idea had taken shape. Next, I evaluated it, saw that, with help, it was possible. The cool thing about the idea is that it would sure to be a wonderful surprise, a gift of joy, to someone that I care about. Tee Hee and Giggle Giggle. I love giving gifts, and I really love giving something that means something and matters. I also love the bit of tension from the back of the mind worry, 'what if I got it all wrong.'

We got to the hotel room and I pulled out the notes I made on the road, made a bunch of calls, organized a bunch of stuff I'd need. Next up it was tea with a friend over at the Port Authority - the only accessible area around our hotel. It was there I sprung the idea and asked for big time help. She agreed, kindly, to help me. So maybe, just maybe, I can pull this off.

Through it all I kept imagining my friend getting the surprise and loving the surprise. I kept in check the idea that my friend might go,'What? Really?' That's the tension that gives the joy in getting it right.

And then I noticed, all this focus on the surprise, the gift, my friend ... wham, no more depression. I remember hearing about Mitzvah Therapy ... a Mitzvah is an act of human kindness, an act that has you focus, not on you, on someone else. Well gosh, golly, and gee-willikers, it worked.

Maybe I'll spend the next two weeks trying human kindness as an antidote to antibiotic depression. What's the worst that can happen, people like me better, I like me better, the world is a slightly better place. There's side effects I can understand.


wendy said...

I'm soooo curious! I hope you'll let us know how it went, once the surpise was sprung.

Anonymous said...

David, you do realize that all your friends, those you know and those you barely know, are hoping, as we are reading that you are writing about a gift for me, oh, I mean, one of us. I'm making my comment anoymously so that the fact that I'm shattered with disapointment if it's not me will never be known

Manuela said...

Does this mean I'm getting those shoes?! LOL
Glad your feeling better. Say HI to all for me.

Susan said...

There's no medicine like planning to hit the sweet spot wih the perfect gift/surprise. I trust you'll nail it! (and then let us know how it went?)

Belinda said...

What a wonderful post! Not only to know that you are feeling better, but you have probably inspired our corner of the world (not a small corner I might add) to be kinder and less selfish. You have readers all over the world, so this ripple could reach tsunami proportions!

We all just got a gift! (sorry for all of the exclamation marks--it is one of my failings.:))

Kristin said...

I love planning and doing things for people too. It truly gives me the best feeling. I'm glad your scheming lifted the depression.

Princeton Posse said...

Sweet anticipation...

Anonymous said...

How fun to have this vicarious sense of anticipation -- somebody's getting a nice surprise soon! Doesn't really matter that I don't know who, where, or when. *grin*

rickismom said...

Definately! I once read a book about a group of young women in the holocaust, who survivrd mentally and spiritually (some did die physically) because they CENTERED on helping others.

Peter said...

Co Incidence, last evening I went to pick up my Wife from After School Care (Lucky me she gets after school care!)
Actually runs it.

Yesterday, on her way to work a local Shop Keeper, knowing she works with kids gave her a free travelers Sample string Puppet Horse which she let the kids at care play with.

When I arrived two kids were in some dispute over whose turn it was to have the puppet.

I by chance had my obsolete 20 dollar hand held GPS with me and distracted one of the kids by letting him play with my GPS providing the other kid took over the Horse Puppet.

Watching an enthrawled child wandering around the playing field in large circles led by a Hand held GPS removes any possible depressive thoughts.

Mitzva is good

We are also the ones who lend "Exceptional Learners" our old Digital Camera and let them go, much to some peoples horror.

Unfortunately the horse stayed at school so I am unable to any longer "destroy" the atmosphere of my Daughters Employment by walking it through the shop