I don’t know if you have noticed, but there are a lot of things to be fearful and upset about in this world. I can so easily be swallowed up in a down-the-toilet-bowl swirl of my twitter feed that it makes me want to crawl into bed and hide under the covers. Forever.
But then there is the other side of the coin. The moments of joy that come into my life every single day. A beautiful sunset, a visit from a beloved friend, or a tv show that moves me to tears all remind me that there are wonderful things in this world along with the bad. But I still have a difficult time experiencing both.
Part of me feels guilty for smiling at my daughter’s goofy dance when there are kids elsewhere are torn from their parents because of rules I don’t believe in. I feel the stirrings of shame at feeling proud at accomplishing a writing goal when the polar ice caps are melting.
To help me reconcile these two extremes, and keep from going crazy(read: crazier), I am going to try something new. I will be working incredibly locally, focusing on what is within my control. I will try to dwell and ruminate in the joy I experience. I will also try to take in these massive stories of sorrow only long enough for me to take what actions I can, and then moving on. I am going to recognize tragedy in-the-moment and then wallow in my joy.
It’s kind of a reversal for me, but it sounds like such a relief.
For the month of February, I am going to try on the hat of actionable optimist who dwells on the joy, shamelessly.