I am a big believer in the power of attention and attitude.
There are always reasons to be sad or stressed. There are also always reasons to be happy and grateful. We feel the way we feel, often, based on what we pay attention to – where we focus our energy.
For example: when I focus on the pervasiveness of social injustice, the uncertainties associated with my job (when schools will open and how), and the monotony of being in our little home bubble with few opportunities for novelty or socializing – I get stressed and sad. It’s a real bummer.
But when I focus on how grateful I am to have a steady job, the health and well-being of my family, and the gift of having time at home with my boys – I feel happy and appreciative.
I had a different post scheduled today, but it’s the third day of November and it’s Election Day. I’m going to have a really difficult time if today doesn’t produce the result I am hoping for. For a few days last week, I was experiencing some anxiety just related to the actual day part of Election Day. Like, what was I going to DO for the 12 hours while other people voted and there was little to no news about results to consume? How was I going to survive that mental stress?
- I’m text banking ALL DAY LONG. All the shifts – some double shifts. My brain will be fried tonight, but it’s worth it.
- I’ll have a masked and socially distant playground date for me, the boys, and my sister-in-law and nephew and nieces.
- I’m going to remember this: whatever the result is, the sun will rise tomorrow and we will continue to fight for what is right and just in our country.
- I will choose happy.
Fretting all day long will do nothing to improve my circumstances. And fretting all month long will do nothing to reduce the isolation, loneliness, and stress of the pandemic.
There are days when Stressed and Sad will win out – that’s just life. But, whenever it’s within my grasp this month, I would like to choose happy and focus on the good rather than the overwhelming.