When asked for a quote that I try to live by, I’m quick to respond with this Bible verse. As a child, I learned the first part of the verse – “A friend loves at all times” – and thought that was a great thing. When we are young we are taught to be friends, treat each other nicely, to share, and such. All of these things are good ways to live your life.
This verse fit nicely into my childhood ideas of what a friend was/is – someone I can count on, someone who laughs with and not at me, a secret keeper, a companion when causing trouble. I had very few friends growing up that met this criterion.
As an adult – yep, it took me that long to look at the complete verse – I discovered the second part of the verse – “…and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Now that gives an entirely different meaning to the proverb. The first part is much easier than the second part.
What does it mean to be “a brother”? A brother (or sister) is family. Family loves you regardless and is there to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you when times get terrible. The family is where you turn to carry you through, sometimes to provide material needs (shelter, food, etc.), and always to provide moral support.
I know from first-hand experience that sometimes blood relatives fail you. This verse is talking about the person (and usually there is only one or two in your life) that is there regardless. Land in jail – they show up with bond money and a lawyer; so sick you can’t get out of bed – they bring the chicken soup; so sad or happy you have no words – they are the ones that instinctively know the right words (or no words) to get you through.
So how do we find this “brother” for our time of adversity? That isn’t the point of the Proverb. The point is, are you the “brother” for someone else’s adversity? This is the way I try to live my life. More than a fun-loving, trouble making friend but that I’m the “brother” someone can rely on at all times.
Just about half way thru NaNoWriMo and things are going well.
I am spending a big portion of my evenings shut up in a room with a computer where I write like a crazy person. Pouring out ideas, creating characters, talking aloud to the walls, and crafting a plot or two while watching the word count increase.
The words flow from my brain to my fingers to the computer screen, but I fear I’m missing words during the transfer process. At the end of the month, I will stand with my arms raised high and shout “Winner!” and then it will be time to cry over the words.
Now, is the time to toss caution to the wind and be brave and daring – to attempt plot lines that loosely hold the story together, to write a scene that you’re not sure is believable even in your pretend world, and to leave all the adverbs and passive sentences.
But maybe I should cut back on the amount of caffeine I’m ingesting and try getting a little more sleep.
It’s November, end of the beautiful fall colors in my area of the country, cold weather is creeping down from the north, and it is the start of short daylight hours. Just thinking about going and coming home from work in the dark depresses me. Watching the sun set at 4:00 is difficult but knowing it won’t be above the horizon until after 7:00 adds to the sad feelings I get. But the bright side to all this darkness is hot chocolate.
Hot chocolate is what I crave when the daylight gives way to darkness. I am sure this is my body fighting off the depression caused by the lack of sunlight, officially called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. I don’t have SAD, but I become moody and uninvolved with long periods of no sunshine. Which really bothers me since I’m usually an upbeat person.
That brings me back to chocolate, loaded with substances that cause the brain to release endorphins – the feel good chemicals. The problem with chocolate is it tastes so good. It takes only a small amount of chocolate to activate the happy endorphins, but your mouth wants more, which overloads the brain. So how to find the perfect balance. For me, it is a cup of hot chocolate. It is hot which means I have to drink it slowly giving me a longer time to enjoy the flavor, and it is a controlled portion of chocolate that keeps the brain happy.
So bring on those long dark winter days, I’m armed and ready to take it on.