First of all, I need to apologize for the radio silence lately. I had a million thoughts running through my head,  but couldn’t write any of them down. But, as I said early on – I prefer quality over quantity, so yeah.

The other day, a friend of mine listed a couple of things she collects on her blog and asked her readers what we collect, if there was anything? Of course, I added my 2cts and listed some things, the usual – aka material – things like books (what do you mean – “but you already have so many books!” ?? There can never be enough books, as far as I am concerned; just not enough time to read them all!), furry friends (aka teddy bears), stuff about New Zealand and Route 66 etc.

But then I got philosophical and wrote (along the lines of):
“I also collect moments. Moments in which I felt happy to help me cope in hard times.”

I think we tend to be so materialistic that we overlook the small and simple things in life and don’t realize that they, in fact, can be the bigger things. Even more so when these small things can rekindle the spark, fuel the fire again and put that smile back on your face. For me, those moments are so much more valuable than (most) material things. They can break, but memories?

They last forever.

Looking back at those moments when you felt happy in times of sadness can – and will! – have a positive effect. I treasure them, hold them dear to my heart and NO ONE can ever take them away from me. Moments in which I felt alive. Which made me smile for days on end. Which are with me until I draw my last breath.

Mostly, “my” moments happened at concerts of my favorite bands (because, you know, that concert feeling – it’s just amazing and an escape from the madness in my head) or with some athletes I admire. Meeting them, getting something signed and having a little chat with them most definitely makes me feel good. Also about myself which I am having a hard time with, anyway.

The best part?

My friends are happy for me, too. Happy because they know how much meeting someone I admire means to me. Or because they know how happy I was in that very moment. How that moment gave me LIFE again. Jealousy? Not an issue. They just love to see me happy, and they keep sending me positive messages on Twitter, or Whatsapp or whichever medium of choice. “I’m so happy for you!” – “I’m so glad that you’ve had such a great experience!” and other messages of that kind.

I usually write about those moments in my journal (yes, I am one of those old-fashioned people who also keep handwritten journals) and my private blogs and elaborate on them in one way or another, so that, when the tsunami called Depression hits me, I have something I can turn to, re-live the way I felt, and, even if I might not be well at that time when I look up my notes and entries, I can at least remember what “Happy!” and “at ease” feel like. A reminder that it’s worth to keep fighting.

Recently, I found another escape from this raging storm in my mind. Something which put back that smile on my face for a bit and which I am ultimately grateful for. Moments I will treasure forever, because … well, to be honest, I had plummeted into a really black hole lately, and I was barely functioning anymore. I felt heavy, as if I was about to break for good. Stuck in quicksand. Like Don Quixote fighting against the windmills. (Just to give you an idea.)

However, the little escape I had found had a bit of an energizing effect on me – so it cannot be a bad thing, right?

In short, I met an athlete I’d been a fan of for a good four years now. He was my favorite player on my very favorite hockey team, the San Jose Sharks, and is now, after some time in Switzerland and some to-and-fro with other NHL teams (which didn’t end up signing him), with the local hockey team, Eisbären Berlin. Actually, I got super excited about this signing in summer already and planned to attend a practice session of Eisbären, only, my health thought otherwise. Yeah, Depression and Anxiety, I love you, too. Not.

Last week, however, I finally managed to attend a practice session and well, it was an all-around awesome experience. He came out of the locker room, saw me standing there in my Sharks gear and that got the ball rolling. He gave me a glove bump (a fist bump, actually, but with his hockey glove on), and we started talking for a bit. I felt so perfectly at ease, something I hadn’t felt in a while. As if the storm inside me had become a soft breeze. As if I had managed to unplug. Calm.
It was just me, my camera (because I needed to play paparazzi, to capture the moments), and the ice rink on which the team kept doing their thing, aka playing hockey. Granted, I am not a fan of them, but I very well am a fan of the player in question, and being there and finally able to meet him – it made me feel GOOD. ALIVE, even. (I’ve gone three times now, and it’s always fun, even more so since several players and some staff are saying “hello!” now when they see me there, ha!)

I enjoy taking in those moments. Enjoy them to the max. Moments of peace. Of tranquility. Of happiness. Of … smiles. As the photo below suggests, too. 😉


While the road to recovery from all the fatigue, the tension, and anxiety is a very long and winding one, and the climb out of that hole of depression a very steep one, I have found something else which makes me happy and which can be a bit of an anchor in stormy seas. Another Comfort Zone away from my Comfort Zone. A new Happy! Place.

And more of *THOSE* moments I could add to my collection to look back on when things are getting rough again.
When I found this little photo album that had “Collect beautiful memories. Moments go, but memories stay.” written on its cover, I knew what I had to do … and some pages are already filled with moments-turned-memories.

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