Jeesh there is like, a cornucopia of shit things happening on the planet right now (is there always and I am just more attuned to them during Covid–yes and no, but I do think it’s hideous on many levels right now). If you allow yourself to pay really close attention to all the things going wrong–this life-altering pandemic that keeps slogging along causing trouble wherever it goes, politics (don’t EVEN get me started), daylight savings time (dark at 4:30), climate change, which is doing us in a little at a time, supply chain issues, parents who tried to escape punishment, leaving their mentally unwell child in the worst predicament in his life, food insecurity, refugee relocation–I could keep going on, somebody stop me…..
But, the secret trick I’ve learned is that I am the one to decide whether to ingest and perpetually think about these things all the time. I am in charge of whether I allow myself down the dark and dreary path of global glop in an endless loop. Yes, I try to soothe my worried mind with gratitude–just counting the multiple things I have to be uber thankful for, but lately I have begun to see that I just have to do more than that, I have to actually allow the self-preserving act of paying attention to those things, no matter how silly, shallow or inconsequential that make me feel happiness.
I am a realist. I have never been able to ignore the bad seeds, the horror shows, the misery that humans so often experience, but I have learned, especially in the last few years that joy is needed, in fact, it’s downright fucking necessary. Without the moments that make your mouth turn up, a guffaw fly out of your face, a feeling that can well up in your chest that is part peace, part contentment, being alive doesn’t much matter.
So, gratitude for not always paying such close attention to every problem the world experiences, no matter how awful. Here’s to noticing all the small, beautiful and remarkable, making plans for the things that bring us unadulterated cheer, letting the white twinkly lights of December set our hearts on fiery exuberant fire.