Since around 2003 the month of November has also been known as Movember. During this time, men are encouraged to grow extravagant moustaches to promote men’s health awareness, particularly prostate health. (As a woman, I think that it is an excuse to not have to shave for 30 days – just kidding)
Being concerned about one’s prostrate health (if you are of the male persuasion) is important. However, for my hubby and myself, this time of year is of concern for our mental health. We are both struggling with fatigue, lethargy and winter blahs brought on by the decreasing hours of daylight, and the day after day of grey, windy, raw, wet and cold weather. The fact that my hubby has been sneezing, sniffling, snorting and blowing for over three weeks has not done anything to improve his disposition (or our tissue supply).
Between the unpleasant weather and my unhealthy hubby, we have not been able to get outside for our customary nature walks. After yet another weekend of snotty weather, my hubby says to me “never mind about calling this month Movember – I think it should be called “Poovember” because the weather is always so crappy! I must confess – I giggled a little at that. OK – I laughed a lot.
Yup – it is Poovember outside my home and inside my body. This time of year can lead down the slippery slope to a self-induced pity party pretty quickly. I don’t like being the guest of honour at such parties so I uninvite myself by finding something worthwhile to occupy myself. Today, I volunteered to help out with the annual coat drive which collects and distributes winter clothing to people in need. I assisted in setting up shop and helping people find winter coats, hats. mitts and scarves.
As I help people, they often share a little bit about their lives and circumstances. Today, there was a gentleman about my age who told me that after working for 32 years, he lost his job due to some really serious health problems. He has survived several strokes as well as blood clots in his lungs and other areas. He is basically a ticking time bomb. He has had to move out of his home and into an apartment and for some reason he doesn’t have hardly any furniture. Despite the grave difficulty of his situation, he was very pleasant to talk to and he was very appreciative of any help that was given him.
Then I had a lady whose daughter is anorexic and too weak and bedridden to come look for a coat for herself at this time. This lady was also pleasant and appreciative.
There are many suffering people out there whose entire calendar may be made up of “Poovembers”. Listening to some of their stories, I realize that my own “Poovember” is often so insignificant in comparison. It is at these times, when I realize, once again, how truly blessed I am! I have a nice, warm, dry and safe apartment that is nicely furnished. I have nice clothes and warm winter wear. I enjoy (maybe too much) good food. And I have a wonderful hubby. Best of all, I have peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
If you are feeling like you are in the middle of one long month of “Poovember”, find ways to help someone else through their struggles, and count the blessings you do have. Then I think you will find that the sun (and The Son) will start to shine in your heart.
“Spread sunshine all over the place, and put on a happy face”
Luk 6:38 Give, and it shall be given to you, good measure pressed down and shaken together and running over, they shall give into your bosom.