I didn’t plan to write about anything related to the coronavirus.
But then I saw an article that I saw last week about the number of suicides during this period being higher than the number of virus-caused deaths.
And a conversation I had earlier a couple days before about how people are going out of their way to, well, get out of the way of others made me realize that I’m not the only one who feels incredibly isolated during this time.
I’m actively fighting it. I have one friend I’ve been getting together with weekly. (thank you, Leslie!) I’ve been talking on the phone to my mom. And I am an introvert who has never had a problem being alone.
But even I have struggled with feeling alone. Feeling stuck.
Last summer, Seth Godin wrote a blog post that hit home, but not in the way you would expect. His goal was for people who are offended by other people. For me, though, I’m the opposite. If I think it’s a person, I have patience with them. But if it’s electronics, I get SO frustrated SO quickly.
Yesterday’s blog post almost didn’t happen. It was completely written, and then I clicked the wrong button and *poof* it was gone!
Thankfully I know it’s never really gone, so with some patient poking around I found it again and brought it back.
But now I’m having issues getting Mailchimp to work with this blog. I’m pretty tech-savvy, but it’s time to bring in Level Two Tech Support (which means sending a Hangouts message to my husband’s computer. JOSH!!!!!!)
What does all this have in common?
Wait, you think I’m supposed to have something planned when I write?
Oh yeah, it does.
I’m realizing that right now, we are all desperate for peace. For a feeling that life won’t fall apart in the next five minutes.
I’ll write in the future about the work I’m doing to get my adrenals back where they should be, and how much of a difference that’s making in my outlook on life. But right now, with them improving but not there yet, I understand all the people who deal with depression, anxiety, or just the general feeling of unrest.
This is a difficult time. We’re all hurting. We’re all trying to make sense of the half-truths and misleading news articles and polarizing views we’re being bombarded with. No matter where you fall on the issues (and please don’t tell me what those are! Chances are, I already know), you’re likely feeling the same way I am. Wishing we knew who we could honestly trust, and wishing all the untrustworthy people would stop muddying the waters.
My wish is that people could find ways to stop feeling so alone, and that we could all spend more time focusing on what we all have in common, rather than dwelling on the much smaller areas of disagreement.
So if you’re like the guy in Seth Godin’s article and do better when you imagine it’s an inanimate object, or if you’re like me, pretending Alexa is human so I have more patience with her, it’s all about finding what makes us calm back down. Instead of focusing on where we differ (whether that’s about wearing or not wearing masks, taking a knee during the national anthem, choosing to vaccinate, eating a certain way…the list goes on and on), it brings me a lot more peace when I focus on how much we have in common. If I look at someone who chooses all the things that are the polar opposite of me, instead of thinking, “why would she choose that,” instead I choose to imagine that she put the same amount of thought into her decisions as I did. Because you know what? Whether she did or not, we both have to live with the consequences.
And as soon as I do that, I have peace.
If she chooses to feed her kids gluten wrapped in MSG deep-fried in trans-fats, what is that to me? I mean, really. Why should I feel like it’s my job to educate her? All it does is bring me stress to consider what her life could be (or, if I’m perfectly honest, what I think it should look like).
“I am the one thing in life I can control”
My favorite line from Hamilton…the line I’m working on teaching my children…and the line I need to remember myself.
I can find peace during this crazy time by remembering that it’s me, and me alone, that I’m responsible for.
For you, that might mean wearing a mask any time you leave the house, knowing you’re doing your best to make sure no one contracts the virus from you.
…It might mean exactly the opposite: choosing to go mask-free, and instead smiling at the people you see in stores, helping them feel a little less alone during this time.
I’m really writing this as a way to keep myself accountable. Today has been a rough one, and I’ve been feeling like the world is out of control. Because it is! But I can control my actions, my responses, and the feelings I choose to hold onto.
And today, right now, I choose the ones that will bring me peace.