Once again Tabs was up at 2am and would not go back to sleep. Once again I woke up depressed.
Today I tried to get myself out of my depression. I tried to play with my kids, I tried to smile, i tried to be grateful. It didn't work.
Today we went grocery shopping. A few months ago the store had a sale on gift cards and we bought a few. I took the never before used gift card to the store with me. While I was pulling Alexa and Tabs out of the car and looking for my shopping list and grabbing my shopping bags Alexa found a gift card on the ground and handed it to me. I praised her, thanking for finding it and thinking how awful it would have been if I had lost it.
When we got checked out I handed her the gift card. It had a quarter of the amount that was supposed to be on it. When she said it would only cover have the bill panic rose in me. It then occurred to me that maybe that wasn't my gift card. I dug in my pocket and pulled out another gift card. I handed it to her and sure enough, that one had the correct amount. I realized that I had just used someone else's gift card to pay for my groceries. I thought of asking the clerk to reverse it and put it back on the gift card, but the store was really busy, my line was long, and the clerk was young and inexperienced. I rationalized that a gift card was like cash, and I would never be able to find the owner. We finished loading groceries into the cart and I started to walk away,
I felt awful. I had been depressed all day, but this was different. I rationalized that I should feel grateful. We had gotten half of our groceries paid for! God was trying to tell me he loved me! But it didn't feel like a blessing. I stood at the front of the store and looked around at the busy clerks, the long lines, and the crowds of people. I glanced around for a manager, but couldn't see one, and Tabs had started crying. Alexa was anxious to get going and was starting to wander off. I was busy, I had my hands full, and the store didn't want to be bothered.
I sighed. I went to the nearest check-out stand and asked the busy cashier if there was a manager I could talk to. She informed me she was the manager. While she checked out someone else's groceries, I told her what had happened and asked if I could put the amount back on the gift card. She said she could, and that they could track to whom the gift card belonged my the gift card number.
So I took and extra 5 minutes out of my day to do that.
On the way to the car I explained to Alexa that she had been someone's angel; that she had found the gift card that someone had lost and because of her, they would get it back.
I was still dead tired, but no longer depressed. I yelled a few times, but I was able to tell myself that I needed to keep trying. I think in that case, service was helpful. Next time I'm depressed I'll try doing some small service to see if it will help.