The past week or so for me has been filled with a lot of emotionally charged moments – some breathtakingly beautiful, some gut-wrenchingly sad. I am feeling the effects of being on that rollercoaster in my inability to sleep soundly, urge to eat a ton of sugar, and resurfaced questioning of why the hell I chose this particular time in history to live an alcohol-free existence. I have a few things I try to remind myself when things feel like this. Sometimes I’m successful with them; other times, not so much.
I try to maintain a sense of humor. I bought way too much food for a celebratory dinner last week. Not only is my bank account significantly lower, I have rotting shrimp cocktail in my fridge which I consider a sacrilege. (The giant chocolate cake is gone though!) Various online conversations this week could have deteriorated into nastiness if I’d reacted rashly, but I chose to make my statements clearly, respectfully, and at times, humorously. I’m not going to fight with anyone on Facebook, but I’ll meet you for coffee to talk.
I try to remember to unplug. This one is hard for me. With the 24-hour news cycle and the state of the world sometimes, it’s scary to look away. I feel myself spiraling down into panic when things are nuts, and I feel so helpless and hopeless. I worry for my kids and your kids and all kids. And then I don’t sleep. I didn’t write for this 30-challenge yesterday because I didn’t feel anything I had to say would mean much, and I needed a break. It’s ok to take a break. It’s necessary.
I try to love as many people as I can the best I can. Many emotion-filled moments (good OR bad) can feel isolating. Regardless of what’s happening, I try to remember to reach outside myself. I give lots of hugs. I smile. I hold the door for strangers. I refrain from honking my horn at the person who just pulled out in front of me. I say thank you to those who are kind to me. All these little things add up, and you never know how your smallest kindness might affect someone else.
I try to find something to quiet my mind. For me right now, that’s watching the World Cup. I can turn on a match, sit on the couch, and watch these athletes represent their countries. They stand for their anthems – tears in their eyes – and then turn around and play their hearts out. This tournament has been such a welcome distraction for me. Meditation, walks, reading, music, and movies also help me calm down when things have been particularly nuts.
I realize we all deal with our crazy times in our own unique ways. These are simply some of mine. This wasn’t a writing prompt from my list, but I needed the reminder. I hope it helps someone else who might need one too.