Querida Mita,

Peace Corps life can be a lot to manage at times.  I love my community, but sometimes struggle to be so far from my support group and from the things I used to love to do.  Add in a couple acosos on the street, struggling to communicate in Spanish, or a hard day of teaching and I can start feeling pretty down.  Querida Mita, when life seems stacked against you, how do you keep from feeling blue?

Querida voluntaria,

What do I do to keep from feeling blue? Well, let me tell you something. Fijate que…

There will always be sad times in life, but it’s important to remind yourself of what you are grateful for. Have you thanked God for being alive today? Even if you don’t believe in God, you can still be thankful for that breath you just took. Hay mas tiempo que vida (There is more time than life) is my favorite saying for a reason. Life is short, and we must appreciate it.

I remember the days in the 1980’s. We had very little back then. Times were so hard that we didn’t even have toilet paper. We used newspaper. Some days we didn’t have more to eat than gallo pinto. I lived in the campo, so during the war, both Sandinista and Contra soldiers would stop by our finca to ask for water and some food. We gave whatever we could.

Sometimes, I thought of how lucky I was to not be fighting. We lost a lot of people then, but life had to go on. I’m grateful that my fridge always has some food in it and that my family doesn’t go hungry. I’m even able to give away mango frescos in bags to the garbage collectors sometimes on hot days.

When I feel blue, I think of what I have. I have food, family, and there’s air in my lungs. It’s those simple things I love having that I won’t have forever, but right now, they give me joy. Remembering what I didn’t have reminds me of what to appreciate. It’s okay to feel blue. Life is short and it’s not perfect, but at least we have it.

Con mucho cariño,

Mita


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