blogging · Keepin' it real · mental health · The COVID files · waxing philosophical

Day 424: Public Service Announcement

At times it feels to me like the world has gone just a bit insane. Everybody is outraged about something, it seems. And before you dismiss that as a “privileged” statement, remember: this is my blog, I do have some privilege (but not all, what with being Jewish, female, and not totally able-bodied and all,) and if you don’t want to hear about it nobody’s forcing you to read it in the first place.

Now, with that disclaimer in place, I’ll continue: everybody is outraged about something, everybody thinks the world is going to hell, and if you listen to them long enough, you might start to believe it, too.

So please, take a breath. It’s okay to not “do the work” all the time. There’s plenty of beauty in the world.

There are bunnies living in our garden who hop around in the evenings.

The weather is getting warmer and the days are longer. Flowers are blooming and the bees and butterflies are out.

There are children running around in the park, playing as children have always done.

There is music to be heard, played, and sung—and not just by professionals. Humans are hardwired to participate in music. Try it sometime, if you haven’t lately.

There are “leave a book, take a book” little libraries popping up all over the place. How nice is it that people take the time to build those, and others take the time to drop off books instead of just throwing them in the recycling bin?

People are resilient, and as tired as we all are of this COVID thing, we’ve seen lots of innovative ways to remain part of our extended family and our community. I can attend a Purim party without leaving my comfy chair. What a time to be alive.

It’s okay to stop reading the news, stop “doomscrolling” on social media, stop immersing yourself in other people’s outrage and pain. It really is. The news will still be there tomorrow (and there’s never really anything new) and you can pick it all up again anytime. I promise.

It’s okay to put it down and feel peaceful and happy. Your impotent rage probably won’t change the world (unless you’re actually taking some kind of action) but your happiness, kindness, peacefulness? Those are contagious, and they can change everything.

5 thoughts on “Day 424: Public Service Announcement

  1. Thank you for a timely reminder.
    Lavender is almost ready to bloom and the first rush of roses in my tiny patch of ground is finishing the first bloom. Iceland Poppies almost over blooming but the bumble bees are still hopeful. I am appreciating my good fortunes … including knowing you, albeit only on line.
    Pausing, breathing, being grateful.

  2. Thank you. I think I needed to hear that just now. I’ve been feeling like I’m doing a terrible job at absolutely everything, and this week I’m supposed to be attending an international conference and seeing all my friends, and hearing all sorts of cool ideas and getting inspired. Instead I’ve got all the cool science online, no time with friends, and instead of inspired I’m just feeling overwhelmed and unproductive.

    1. Aw, I’m sorry about your conference. That sucks. You’re not doing a terrible job at everything, you’re doing just fine in a crappy situation. Hugs, if you want them.

    2. SO sorry from me too about conference. That reunion with others is so supporting and increases the flow of ideas and creativity. Also makes a good reinforcement of ideas being presented at conference. Deep breath, take care of you, as appropriate get some time outside in clean air … it helps.

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