“In the Dumps”? You Might Want to Re-Think that Phrase

Dear Reader:

How many times have we used the expression or had the expression asked of us “Are you in the dumps?”

I would venture to say the vast majority of us, if we are being absolutely truthful, would have to admit that we have had our bouts of (at a minimum) “low-grade depression” in recent weeks.

It would be unrealistic of us to think that our lives could be turned upside-down, so quickly, during this pandemic, without any transitional mood swings.

After all we are human beings…and, as such, our feelings, both positive and negative, are paramount to living on this fragile, ever-changing world on earth.

So when Anne dropped this book off and simply said, “Read it…now”…I could tell it was going to be “change agent” kind of book.

However when I, later, read the description and summary… I hesitated. What I really up for a story that took place in a massive city dump that thousands called home in Cambodia? A story about daily survival, corrupt government, dashed hopes,  scavenging for food and a chronically ill child?

I felt an invisible barrier going up around me…to protect me, emotionally, from entering this place and characters you knew, intuitively, you would come to care about. (*No pun intended…but really…how depressing! )

Yet…something kept nagging at me. I had just finished another “light summer read” so I was ready to start a new book and it was time to change the genre to issues with more substance. But inwardly I was concerned if I could handle it.

As I wavered one line popped out at me as I skimmed the pages. Someone called the Healer was saying “It doesn’t matter where you live, it is how you live.”

I started thinking about my “home” and realized that I have lived in a duplex for the majority of my life….first as child and youth…then later when married with children and now me, myself, and I all live together… still on one side of my duplex.

For years I envied people who lived in houses…not duplexes… and I savored the few times I did live in a house…but it appeared I was destined to be a “duplex” gal.

However now my eyes see “home” differently…I see my duplex as whole…not two separate entities…but one loving home that welcomes family and guests to come and spread out over both sides. The garden belongs to the ‘whole house’ and I love every inch of it.

The book quote is true….I had to change my attitude about living in duplexes first…and then concentrate on the most important question… how-not where I was going to live my life.

I read until 2 a.m Monday morning…slept a few hours….picked the book back up around 10 a.m. and finished late yesterday afternoon. I learned more lessons on life, with newer perspectives, in that one book than I have in a long time.

So until tomorrow….To sum up my feelings about the book I will take a quote from it which applies to my higher level of understanding people…no matter where they live. We are all the same…we love our families and friends, hope for a better future for our children, and treasure our time together.

Or as this quote (from the book) observes about finding the truths in life…

“Stop listening with your ears. Listen with your heart. It is only the heart that realizes and comprehends the truths in life.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

P.S. If you like a conclusion that you never saw coming…that makes you gasp and shake your head in amazement….read this book! 🙂




About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to “In the Dumps”? You Might Want to Re-Think that Phrase

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Your blog today reminded me of 2 things…when we were in Washington DC the last time we went to the Holocaust Museum and I really didn’t know if I could go into.it but I knew I needed to and it is something that I will never forget…the 2d thing is this book.brought vack memories of one of my favorite books which is based on a true story…”Same Kind Of Different as Me”…would love to read this one….


    • Becky Dingle says:

      The book is truly amazing…I needed to read it right now…it helped me believe in the human spirit again and just how unbelievably strong we humans can be when it comes to providing a life for those who depend on us…by never giving up hope and always loving.


      • Rachel Edwards says:

        Please lifti Sue Ann up…she had back surgery last week…did ok..
        Came home Friday…someone dropped the ball with home health…either hospital or doctor…headed there now…


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    Thanks Ging for the info….what a friend you are…hope she can get home health started now.


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