Gaining Perspective and Mourning the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman on this Superbowl Sunday

This morning I woke up feeling blue. I had no plans in particular and had been invited to no Superbowl party (though I hate sports, I felt like it was the kind of day that warranted an invitation somewhere); my apartment was a mess; I was not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Still, I knew that I needed to rise above my desire to stay in bed. So I got up, brushed my teeth, scrubbed my face, put on jeans and a sweater.

Getting out of bed and getting dressed lifted my spirits. I cooked myself a breakfast of scrambled eggs, and I read The New York Times. My plan was to leave the apartment to grab coffee and then visit the tailor, as I’ve had a bag of skirts and blazers and dresses that need adjustments hanging on my closet door for months.

But around noon, a wave of fatigue washed over me. It didn’t make any sense because last night I literally slept eleven hours. Still, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I walked back to my bed and lay down on my comforter, shoes still on, because I planned on closing my eyes for a twenty minute cat nap and going about my day.

Three hours later–three hours!–I woke up. I sunk back into my pillow, eyes open, and I started to feel sorry for myself because  this was how I was spending my Sunday, because I was lazy, because I felt sad for no reason. Then I picked up my cell phone, and there was a NYTimes alert reporting Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death. I started to cry. What an incredible loss. He had three children, and he had as much acting talent as anyone.

After my sadness subsided, I took a moment to acknowledge how grateful I am for all I have in my life–for my health, my friends, my family. Who cares that I wasn’t invited to a SUPERBOWL party?! How could I feel bad about something so trivial, when I have so much, when Hoffman’s family is out there mourning? My emotion shifted from pitiful self-sorry to a mournful gratitude.

I know this post is a bit spastic, but I just want to say that if you are struggling, taking a moment to express gratitude for what you have may help you get out of your funk. Even if it’s just gratitude for being alive … that’s enough.





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