This next year will be another year of change. (They all are, but I want to embrace and focus on the concepts of change this year – the good, the bad, and the ugly.) I am going to fight against the bad and ugly. I will accept reality, but I do not have to let certain realities alter me. I will go high when the world around me seems to be going low. I will relax my fear filters and try to let them go altogether. I will speak truth in love. I will be me.
I am grateful for yet another day to experience life in this body, in this place, at this time. There’s nowhere else to be!
Getting up at 4:45a to go swimming, while not an easy feat, has given me the advantage of some time to myself before the day really “begins”. The hope is that I will eventually remind myself that being a morning person is all around better for me as a functioning being.
The topics of the day have filled me with a growing sense of dread. While yes, I can get triggered by the abundance of fear-inducing current events, even more I’m starting to feel a calm and growing certainty that in the next several years, we will see world and life-altering change that we do not expect and may not be able to prevent once it starts.
As I was driving home from the Y, I had that premonition feeling – you know, like in the post-apocalyptic films and they have a flashback to their “before”. I was feeling like I was watching the road with that “before” vibe. Maybe that’s just called “taking stock”, but today I’m consciously absorbing my surroundings and feeling exceptionally grateful. Gratitude seems to change me from within. So I’m attempting to notice all the positive things I typically whiz by in my day — the soothing whoosh of a functioning air-conditioner, the click-a-click-a-click of Sabian’s nails as she does a patrolling round of the house before schlumping onto my foot while I type.
There’s quite a bit to become alarmed by lately. And there’s a lot of garbage and outright lies. As much as I can find plenty to trigger my righteous indignation, I’m wondering what good it is to point it out to others. I am getting tired of kvetching. If pretty much everyone is just pointing to horrible things to say “that’s bad!”, does anything get better? Is there a tangible thing (or things) I can do to sow seeds to heal the world around me?
I’m going to brainstorm here a minute for things I can do right now:
Engage with others in conversation. Listen, validate, allow time and space for processing (both for me and them). Not allow fear to push me out of stepping fully in.
Recognize that in general, a difference of opinion indicates a difference of personality in circumstance. There’s no rule that either one must be “right” while the other must be “wrong”.
Take the time to discuss in an age-appropriate way, all of the current events we see happening, with my son. Not only is it helpful to him, but the act of summarizing thoughts is mentally clarifying for me. Sometimes I don’t even know what I really think until I hear myself telling J5
Periodically and regularly take the time to create “in this moment” space to breathe, resettle my mind and spirit into my body, and recognize the good in my life. Just “being” is good. Very good.
Continue to do “good work” on whatever is at hand — laundry, meal prep, customer service, driving, parenting. All of it.
Write. I don’t think I have anything better or worse to share than the next person. What I do have is a need to find a healthy response to the chaotic political and social atmosphere here in the US, and in the world. There are a LOT of things happening that are red flags to continuing the way of life as it is today. Maybe with some writing and sharing, and maybe even some conversation, I can find clarity. Clarity is sweet. It’s a high unlike others I’ve experienced.
Continue to share the good stuff via Social Media. If I’m going to contribute to the noise in the world, at least it can be a song I enjoy.
I learned today that the Sandra Bland tragedy struck closer to home than I realized. I was reading a blog post, by this pastor, about how Senator Bernie Sanders took the time to sit down and talk with Sandra’s mother recently. (I have to say, I have a great deal of hope for our country if our leaders will take a lesson or two from this man.)
As I scrolled down the page and looked at the photo taken of the group, I immediately recognized a woman from my neighborhood! Shante, who I now realize is Sandra’s older sister, lived just down the street from us for years! Our sons were good friends in early elementary school!
If for some reason you don’t know or remember who Sandra Bland is, please google her. [Interestingly, I’ve been thinking about how to write this post all day, and just now I saw that someone on HuffPo just wrote a piece about the blog post I was reading this morning.]
I’ve been trying all day (and now evening) to find good words to say. To find a way to speak up and amplify Sandra’s story. I don’t believe that Sandra killed herself. I think something ugly and tragic happened and I do hope the truth comes to light. I don’t know that my one voice can do much at all, but today, this is how I’m Speaking Up.
Please take some time to read through some of the Twitter threads below. Twitter is a plethora of opinion, and many links to additional information. If, after reading, you feel inclined to help her family dig deeper into what happened, you can contribute below. Thank you for being part of a momentary remembering of a beautiful woman whose life was cut short too early. She should not have died this way.