Is this real life?
How is this real life? If I take too long to sit and think about the hateful, nasty, cruel, sick, horrendous, abominable, abhorrent, frightful, shocking, dire, unspeakable, vile things happening in the world - if I let it really set in, I might lose myself to the fear.
The fear of hopelessness.
I know I need to feel it. I shouldn't ignore it. It's a disrespect to the people facing this each and every day for me to think it doesn't exist. It's easier to live in my bubble where I don't see hate and close mindedness on a daily basis. I'm lucky. But I know it's happening. Gosh, I don't understand how it's happening but HATE is out there.
This weekend's events make my heart ache and pisses me right the heck off. Where do these ignorant, scum-filled, dirt on the bottom of my shoe, soulless people come from? How do these people with such small pea-brained minds still exist in the world? Why haven't we learned from history? I can't believe these views could possibly exist and are being recycled. Generation after generation.
#45 uses hateful, vulgar language on the regular and is then surprised when these fools come out of the woodwork with their own ignorant hate. "Today marks the first terrorist attack to occur on this president's watch, but it did not come at the hands of that one religious group he denigrates at every opportunity...Instead, it was committed by people who have been living among us all along, quietly waiting for an opportunity that, at long last, has arrived. Hate has always existed in America. Donald Trump just made it fashionable again." (source)
What can I do? How can I stop this from happening? When you look at the big picture, it's hard for a person to think how they can make a difference. During the last presidential election, my girlfriend posted this quote, "If you want to change the world, go home and love your family." And that really stuck with me. I like it because it's something I can do. It's something I can control.
I'm going to teach Teddy what it means to be a good person. Where gender, race, religion, sexual orientation don't define a person's worth. Our differences are what make us special and awesome. We should embrace them. We should learn from others. My son is going to know what it's like to be loved. He's going to have confidence in himself and how amazing he is - he won't feel the need to bring other people down so he can feel good.
I want to teach Teddy how to have relevant, constructive, open conversations with peers who have different opinions and beliefs. I want him to find appreciation in our differences. I want him to understand life is NOT black and white, it's complicated - it's not the left or right - it's in the middle. Teddy is going to know how to treat women with respect and the importance of equality. He's going to have faith. He's going to know the importance of helping others and taking care of his community. I want him to be kind. I want him to sprinkle kindness around like freaking glitter.
My son is going to live in a world where LOVE conquers HATE.
On days where I can't take one more news alert, I'll look at this list and hopefully find some happy.
1. Teddy. Tim. My Circle. If I ever have a bad day, I think of these two. They are my joy, they are what matter. Everything outside my circle, is an extra blessing or something that doesn't matter in the long run.
2. Volunteer. "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." - The Lorax. Helping others is good for the soul. When I volunteer and help others in need - it helps me put life in perspective. I'm able to look at all the things I have and count my blessings twice. How can you put the hands God gave you to good use?
3. My Tribe. Spending quality time with my "tribe" always leaves me with a full heart. Laughing, telling stories, catching up, sitting in the same space with people who have the same values and are positive and awesome - makes me happy.
4. Give. I have 5-6 amazing non-profit organizations I give to regularly each year. Most recently, I discovered Charity Water (I think I'm a little late to the game) but I love what they are doing. No one ever becomes poor by giving. Even if it's the amount you'd spend on a cup of coffee - give that up one time a month and make a difference. If we all give a little, think of the impact we can make?
5. Go for a quick workout. Who regrets a work out? Not me. I always feel better after a run. It clears my head and gives me energy. It leaves me ready to tackle anything in my day.
6. Cute Disney Animals. Stop what you're doing and watch this right now. The cutest, littlest, animals ever. If only they were real life...
7. Listen to music. "Sometime's Music is the only thing that gets your mind off everything." Music is so powerful. This is one of my favorite playlists when I need a little lift.
8. Good people do exist. There are bad people in this world. We know that. But the number of good, compassionate, brave, courageous, kind, happy, sweet, quality, "helpers" in this world completely outweigh the bad. “Helpers” and good human beings who work hard every day to make this world a better place. Love will ALWAYS conquer hate. Believe that. In case you need a reminder, check this out.
9. Send Snail Mail. Writing and sending handwritten snail mail makes me SO happy. It is something that has ALWAYS brought be joy. If I need a quick pick-me up, I'll write and send a quick note to a friend. A fun new way to send happiness is Greetabl. I've sent to a couple to friends and I love it. Check it out and spread joy. (You can get 10% off your first order!)
(Greetabl I sent to my Bestie)
10. Plan your next trip– even if it’s just in your mind. Look at places you dream of going – someday they might be a reality.
What makes you happy? How do you find light on dark days?