It’s easy to get caught up in drama and negativity isn’t it? I think we are somehow wired to be attracted to it and interested in it. Some people thrive in it and seek it out almost as if they don’t know what to do if there is not a crisis occurring. I’m not sure why. Part of the allure is entertainment, but why are we entertained by people fighting, arguing and being petty? Like many of you, I watched some of the Johnny Depp trial. I have watched some of the hearings regarding the Jan. 6th riots. I also watch Real Housewives, but just during the summer. Does that still count? I think in some ways it’s an escape from the routines of our lives, gives us another perspective – to see how other people live, and for me, I always find myself thankful that it’s not me in those situations. The maliciousness of the women on RHOBH – I’m thankful my friends and coworkers are more genuine than that. The Depp/Heard trial – I’m thankful that I have a good marriage and strong relationship with my husband. All of this makes me realize that I should be very thankful for what I have.
Gratitude is a major buzzword right now. We hear and see it everywhere. Our current mental health crisis should show us that
things we need to change. With the political climate, our financial climate, the pandemic, the school shootings, social unrest – individually and collectively we can all be part of the change that is needed to fix these issues. But the first step is to work on ourselves. We have got to stay grounded or get grounded in our personal beliefs, our values, and our integrity. I think it is vital for us to do this so that we have it to come back to when we are faced with a challenge whether it’s a physical, a mental or an emotional challenge.
I don’t practice gratitude. It’s not something I have to set a scheduled time for each day and remind myself how thankful I am. I AM grateful. I know everyday that I am lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it, insert your word for it here. But I don’t consider it luck or fate that I have so many blessings in my life. I have worked for it. My husband has worked for it, and I(we) have been intentional in things we have done, decisions we have made, choices we have made in order to get to this point. I told my principal I don’t know how many times this past year how thankful I was/am for the opportunity to work for and with her. I love my job. I can say and do these things because I have become intentional on living in a grateful way. I exercise. My health is very important to me. I try to eat healthy. I watch my weight, and every time I go to to the doctor, I am thankful that I have made these choices which have given me good health. I am on no medications. I don’t have any health problems. I’m not in pain. Now part of this is genetics. I read on one source that genetics is 25% of your overall life health. If this is true, what if the other 75% is your lifestyle? The choices and decisions you make every day? That gives you a lot of power and control over the quality of your life doesn’t it? Including your happiness and well-being.
I encourage you to be an active participant in your health and well-being. If you’re unhappy in any way, what can you do about it? What can you change? All it takes is one step- that first step and you are on your way. When I feel like life is bringing me down, I start looking at what is going on in my life: my relationships, my job, choices I’ve made (too much social media?), not enough sleep? Then I work to change it. I use Calm. The latest mediation I’ve been listening to is the Daily Jay. He has a short mediation every single day focusing on different issues. Just the act of sitting down, taking a deep breath and having a moment to yourself might be all you need. His content might not even apply to you for that day and that’s ok. What’s important is that you took some time for yourself. Another thing I do is take a Peloton class. Those instructors are motivating and super positive! It doesn’t hurt that they can make you laugh as well. Some of my favorites are Ally Love, Cody Rigsby, Jenn Sherman, Chelsea Jackson Roberts and Alex Toussaint. Sometimes I go for a walk, have a glass of wine, read a book. On a really exhausting day, I just sit outside on my backporch with silence for however long I need to. The point is that I take time for myself. I am selfish with it and very protective of my personal time. Very protective. To a fault. Because I need it. You do too. You know you do. So get past whatever is holding you back and claim that time for yourself. Get rid of that guilt. There’s no reason to feel guilty. No reason at all to feel guilty for taking care of yourself. None.
I will leave you today with a quote from Henry David Thoreau:
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.